My wife and I plan and execute several self-guided international bicycle adventures every year. Like many other bicycle touring folks, we prefer to bring our own bicycles whenever possible. Our experiences would indicate that is that it is getting easier in general to travel with your bicycle and we are encouraged by the evolving bicycle policies of airlines like British Air where they now consider our bicycles as a piece of general luggage, so long as we keep the total package (bike and bag) below 51 pounds. We have actually developed a fairly robust system for packaging our bicycles for airline travel and have experienced only minor "bumps and bruises" to our full-sized touring bikes thus far.
Hope to hear from others regarding some experiences, tips etc. related to preparing your bicycles for airline travel