Airline Baggage Regulation / Flying with Bikes

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  • The following is a guide and should not be taken as gospel. Airlines have been changing policies and weight limits a bit recently. That being said, this should give you a starting point for any research.

    Would be grateful if people could add information about other airlines so we can look to develop a more comprehensive alphabeticised list. Feel free to send me a PM.

    Air France charge depends on what sectors you are flying (code share agreement means you need to ensure that you are flying with Air France and not another airline)
    http://w3.airfrance.com/PK/en/common/gui­devoyageur/pratique/bagage_equipements_s­port.htm
    Air New Zealand. They've changed their rules effective of tickets purchased after about June 2010. Previously a bike could be brought in place of a bag, but now in economy you only get 1 x 23kg bag (for all flights they operate). The good news is a bike is charged at 1/2 the extra bag fee if its under 23kg, and then 1/2 the extra bag + overweight fee if its 23 - 32kg. Basically London to Auckland is 17.50 quid for up to 23kg bike, and about 50 quid for an up to 32kg bike.
    All Nippon Airways: Bike is free if below 20kg (Having said that Build having flown with them 6 times has never had his bag checked for weight. The last time he flew with them he brought two bikes back and a load of parts etc).
    http://www.ana.co.jp/asw/wws/uk/e/
    British Airways: bikes travel free as long as weight is below stated limit. Change will occur from October 7 2009 onwards will see bikes not being part of a traveller's baggage allowance rather than an additional free piece of luggage (as has previously been the case on BA, and as is still the case on Virgin).
    BA is also capping the per-item weight at 23kg, whereas it was previously 32kg. However, that applies to all items of luggage, not just bikes. (BA will still accept an item weighing up to 32kg, but you'll now be charged a fee if it's more than 23kg.) no pre booking needed
    Delta $US200 for oversize bags on trans-Atlantic route (code share agreement means you need to ensure that you are flying with Air France and not another airline)
    http://www.delta.com/help/faqs/baggage/i­ndex.jsp#bicycleEasyjet: sports equipment charge paid on booking - charge based on flight as long as below 32kg
    BMI were very good when I fly to the Tour of Ireland with bike. It was something like £70 return and the bike travelled for £15 each way.
    Easyjet - pay fixed charge for taking bicycle as long as its under weight limit
    http://www.easyjet.com/EN/Planning/bagga­ge.html
    Emirates varying reports - one person pointed to heavy charge for going over weight allowance
    30kg allowance for Economy, it was boxed and went into special 'Fragile' item cage. Apparently steep charges if you are over the weight limit. Also need to bear in mind that there's a 12kg limit on in cabin luggage so can't simply shift all your heavy stuff to carry on.
    KLM bicycles travel free if under 20kg weight (code share agreement means you need to ensure that you are flying with Air France and not another airline)
    http://www.klm.com/travel/gb_en/travel_i­nformation/baggage/exceptional_baggage/i­ndex.htm#2
    Lufthansa: additional charge paid at airport
    Lufthansa want to charge 70EUR EACH WAY for Heathrow to Trieste flight. It would be free if I could fit it in their 20kg/158cm total external lengths limits but this is unlikely.
    Ryanair: sports equipment charge of £40 for each leg paid on booking online. £50 if paid at airport.
    http://www.ryanair.com/site/EN/faqs.php?­sect=bag&quest=sportsequipment&xtmc=spor­ts%20equipment&xtcr=2 Also reports that if bicycle is over a certain weight, you can still face additional charges
    Virgin Atlantic: Virgin Atlantic allows one piece of sports equipment in addition to your free baggage allowance at no extra charge, as long as your sports equipment does not weigh more than 23Kg - pre booking not needed
    http://www.virgin-atlantic.com:80/en/gb/­passengerinformation/baggage/sports/cycl­ing.jsp

    Online guides to traveling with bicycles

    http://www.ibike.org/encouragement/trave­l/bagregs.htm

  • All Nippon Airways
    Not sure on their transatlantic flights. Only used them for London - Tokyo.
    Bike is free if below 20kg.
    Having said that I have flown with them 6 times and never had my bag checked for weight. The last time I flew with them I brought two bikes back and a load of parts etc.
    http://www.ana.co.jp/asw/wws/uk/e/

  • I think the main change in BA's bicycle policy, which appears to be in place for all flights from October 7 onwards, is that bikes will now be part of a traveller's baggage allowance rather than an additional free piece of luggage (as has previously been the case on BA, and as is still the case on Virgin).

    BA is also capping the per-item weight at 23kg, whereas it was previously 32kg. However, that applies to all items of luggage, not just bikes. (BA will still accept an item weighing up to 32kg, but you'll now be charged a fee if it's more than 23kg.)

    http://www.britishairways.com/travel/new­-baggage-policy/public/en_gb

    (FWIW, I've flown with my bike a few times on BA and Virgin, and it's always been pleasingly straightforward.)

  • I flew from Berlin to NYC yesterday, got charged 350 FUCKING DOLLARS for my bike bag (i know, i know... my bike probably isn't even worth much more than that.... ha.. but i love it). $150 for being overweight (25 kg, only allowed to be 22), $200 for being oversize. this is a new rule. seriously.. fuck these assholes. i will never fly DELTA, AIRFRANCE, or KLM again.

    bikes aside, they recently instated a new baggage allowance of one 20 kg bag. this is a fucking inter-continental flight i'm talking about. second bag will cost ya $50. over 20 kg, $150. i am so pissed off about this. they were incredibly rude as well. fuck 'em.

    so the airline business is certainly changing; it's really important to check baggage allowances before buying a ticket these days cause they are just trying to squeeze the last penny outta you and industry standards obviously don't matter anymore.

    assholes!

    and i flew london to berlin in june and got hit with 70 quid to bring a bike on lufthansa as well.

  • I'm flying over to india in october with my bike on kuwait airlines and there is a 40kg weight allowance. Not sure whether all their flights allow this much or just this route but I'm not complaining. Except that they don't serve alcohol...

  • If your intending to fly somewhere with a bike checking out the airlines policy and charges for bikes is something you should do before booking.

    No sympathy.

  • This site is quite useful as it gives an overview of the various airlines and what their policies are on traveling with a bicycle. if there's a way to transpose that list into a clear format onto this thread, and keep it updated, it would be incredibly handy for anyone wanting to travel abroad.

    I am not sure when the last time it was updated, but it's a good overview, nonetheless.

  • Northwest Airlines - free below 20kg. Although I was informed that i should be paying $150.
    They waived this charge, as i just had my carry on luggage and my bike.

  • I flew from Berlin to NYC yesterday, got charged 350 FCUKING DOLLARS . $150 for being overweight (25 kg, only allowed to be 22), $200 for being oversize. .

    ignore them. myself and many others think you look absolutely gorgeous. dont go changing honey.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T1mibrPIB­eI

    sorry if i missed something.

  • If your intending to fly somewhere with a bike checking out the airlines policy and charges for bikes is something you should do before booking.

    No sympathy.

    i have gone between the u.s. & europe on numerous airlines and never heard of an intercontinental flight with a single 22 kg bag allowance that led to a $350 charge for a single bag that wasn't all that heavy or all that big, and was made to be taken on a plane in the first place. if they wanna charge 50 bucks or something, yea, whatever, but 350!? absolutely ludicrous. even some of the lower-down employees at the airport (obviously not the extremely rude manager) were telling me what a pathetic racket is is. not that i want your sympathy in the first place, i would prefer delta airlines' blood.

  • Hi,

    I found these websites useful when flying my bike back to London from NYC

    http://www.ibike.org/encouragement/trave­l/bagregs.htm

    http://www.bikeaccess.net/bikeaccess/Def­ault.cfm?Index

    Also beware, my partner and I had purposefully booked with Air France rather than Delta (as their bike policy was far better), only to turn up to JFK and find that as its code share Deltas rules apply. I think (trans Atlantic) Klm flights are also part of the same code share mess. We are in the complaints process @ the mo, as they charged us $300 USD for being oversize, despite being underweight.

    A tip though.. always take duict tape with you to the airport as we were able to reduce the charge by $300 simply by taping our two bike boxes together.

    Cheers

    Li x

  • where did you fly from?

    oag.com has many interesting flight dork things.

    Northwest (who are being taken over by Delta) are also part of the AF/KL group...

  • Hi,

    We flew JFK to Heathrow

  • just flew to stockholm yesterday with british airways, bike in bike bag, with cycling shoes, track pump, tools, wheels and pedals off, frame wrapped in pipe lagging, weighed about 10kg all in, no problems, no extra cost, though british airways are changing their policy about the beginning of october, details below, it seems they have reduced the size of the luggage for sporting equipment,

    The changes to our sporting equipment policy will apply to bookings made from 31 July 2009, for customers travelling from 7 October 2009. To avoid delays checking in your sporting equipment if you are travelling after 7 October, please bring your original e-ticket receipt with you to the airport.

    Changes to the carriage of sporting equipment
    Sporting equipment will be included as part of your free checked baggage allowance.
    If the number of bags exceed your free allowance you will be charged the excess baggage rate for each extra bag.
    The heavy bag charge £30 ($50) will apply each way to all bags more than 23kg (51lbs) and up to 32kg (70lbs).
    All sporting equipment (excluding the not acceptable for carriage list) will be accepted for travel only if they are packed correctly within the maximum weight and reduced maximum dimensions of 190cm x 75cm x 65cm (75in x 29.5in x 25.5in).

  • If any of you ever come to Canada, Air Canada is supposed to charge the usual CAD $100 or so for bikes but flying twice between Vancouver and Edinburgh, they haven't actually bothered to charge me yet. And this is for heavy boxes full of my stuff, well over 50 lbs. Not sure how it is over here but I'm told that this sort of kindness is not uncommon on flights in North America... the baggage lady has discretion to cut you a break, so remember to be polite and nice.

  • ^^ Edit (can't edit posts yet, am in nursery) I've got these freebies from both the Air Canada baggage people at YVR and their BMI codeshare counterparts at EDI.

  • american airlines charged me nothing for a bike-in-a-bag from heathrow to chicago, august 2008.

    top tip: oversized bags are checked-in in a separaste area of o'hare airport, saved me a 45 wait in a queue.

  • "just flew to stockholm yesterday with british airways, bike in bike bag, with cycling shoes, track pump, tools, wheels and pedals off, frame wrapped in pipe lagging, weighed about 10kg all in, no problems, no extra cost, though british airways are changing their policy about the beginning of october, details below, it seems they have reduced the size of the luggage for sporting equipment,"

    Going to Amsterdam or Paris in November and probably flying BA. Does anyone know if my mate and I need to stick our bikes in bags or can we just ride up, bung our bikes on the plane and ride away at the other end?

  • beanpie bikes aren't allowed on ba flights unless in a bike bag, or boxed. If you want to ride up and ride off other end, eurostar to paris (if you go) might be a better bet. Plenty of threads about that.
    otherwise grab a cheap bike bag from decathlon, or plastic laundry bag, which is more foldable, to put bike in, pipe lagging to frame, off with wheels pedals, turn handlbars to side, bobs your uncle..

  • alternative option is picking up a bike box from a bike store and leaving it at the airport as you exit right but it does mean locating a bike box before you depart to repack your bag

  • Cheers guys...off to Decathlon site for a quick squizz now.

  • I flew with easyjet from Pisa to Stanstead and I had a fully laden touring bike with full panniers and tent etc. They let me strap things to the bike so I wouldn't have to pay extra by taking on more bags. No bike bag needed either, and I got priority seating! Very impressed by easyjet

  • Easyjet were my 1st choice as they were only charging £10 for bikes, but when I checked they other day it was £70 or so...pretty disappointed about that.

  • From memory it cost me £15 extra for return on Thomson to take the bike earlier this year.

    I only used a cheap Ambrosio padded bike bag from Parker International and my Carbon frame was fine.

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Airline Baggage Regulation / Flying with Bikes

Posted by Avatar for Gustav @Gustav

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