Airline Baggage Regulation / Flying with Bikes

Posted on
of 13
First Prev
/ 13
  • I'm sick of the shitty Iberica / Air Nostrum bike box booking shenanigans so I'm thinking of leaving San Sebastian another way, perhaps ferry or perhaps train to Madrid.

    My original flight was San Seb to Madrid to London. Is it possible to train to Madrid and just pick up the second leg of the flight or are they going to stop me, because I didn't board where I'd originally planned to start the journey?

  • I've used Wizz Air a couple of times recently - £30 each way and they've been very good.

  • Gonna take the Kuota to Germany and leave it at a friend’s. Going BA.

  • The second one.
    Unless they’re two separate airplane companies with 2 separate tickets.

  • Thanks. Bugger. Airlines are fucked. I'll have a look at ferry options tonight.

  • I think the bike policy on the ferry from San Sebastian is equally as useless as any airline one. From memory they make it really difficult to pre book a bike...

  • Is there a ferry from San Seb? I was going to ride on to Santander or Bilbao for the connection if I end up doing it.

  • Anyone in Spain that speaks Spanish want to try +34 91389 4357 and see what they are saying?
    When I call and "press 1 for English" I just get Spanish so have no idea what's going on.

  • Sorry meant the Santander or Bilbao ferries, should have been clearer. I looked last year and remember them being really awkward. Stupidly low number of bike spaces and very difficult to pre book

  • Sigh. Always second class citizens we are.
    Actually, if I book a cabin, I should be able to take bike to cabin. I guess they probably stop that because elfansafety.

  • Yeah no ferry I've ever been on has let me take my bike to my cabin. It's a shame about the Spanish ferries as the policy on any UK-France, UK-Holland Ferry is great for bikes.

  • BA lost my bike. Apparently it never left Heathrow.

    It was fucked 3:1
    It’s been stolen 10:1
    Something will be missing 3:2
    It will actually arrive within two days 20:1

  • One thing worth knowing about BA. Way back in the day, they found out that they were losing way more luggage than any other airline.

    Their response to this? Change the lost luggage hotline to a premium rate number. They are the perfect national carrier for this Britain.

  • Mhmm.

    I used the Aviapartner desk at the airport, then double checked the online form on the website to be sure it was entered correctly.


  • I reckon it will arrive within two days

  • That's not entirely fair...

    A few papers quoted the insurance survey that claimed BA was losing/damaging/delaying 1 in every 3.8 bags (customers own perceived experiences over the past five years).

    However, the truth is closer to ~11 extra bags lost per 1,000 passengers... based on 26.5 bags per 1,000 passengers for BA versus the EU average of 15.7 bags per 1,000 passengers (source: Air Transport Users Council).

    They're almost the worse performing in Europe, but back then (and now?) BA was handling more passengers with the most complicated luggage sorting system in the world: Heathrow T5 and the Int'l to domestic transfers covers 5 miles of high-speed track and 11 miles of regular conveyor belt... in my opinion it's a little unfair to compare BA's baggage record to airlines working with simpler routes/infrastructure.

    I'm not aware of that old premium rate number? To my knowledge all BA phone lines have always been charged at local rates? When did they use premium rate lines?

  • Morning update:

    Yesterday the online system accepted my lost luggage code, and I could update details. Then, in the evening, it said the code was not recognised and now I’m effectively locked out and cannot log onto the website to check status.

    I tried the UK number from the website, it is for UK arrivals only. I tried the direct Hannover number, rings off every time. Tried the other BA number for Germany (standard baggage loss number, from the card), automated service and no answer.

    So, that’s shit.

  • Try this one (BA customer service Germany): +49 (0) 421 5575 757

  • Thanks. Will try if no joy later.

    Latest update is that the website is broken so that’s why I can’t check online. I tried two dozen times and no answer in Hannover.

    I called the ‘wrong’ number for UK arrivals only, and got through to a real human (I think). They say it was last scanned in OG at 07:55 yesterday... the time my (slightly delayed) flight was boarding. The person put a note on the system to ask Heathrow to expedite it, and I was asked to wait 24 hours, and not call them but call Hannover.

  • My favourite lost luggage experience was when I landed into LA with no bag. They asked for my number so they could call me when the bag turned up. I started to give them my number but they stopped me and said they weren't able to call international numbers ...

  • Not sure if this is too late to be of use, but two years ago I found that the Bilbao ferries don't seem to take foot/bike passengers as a rule, whereas the Santander ferries do.

    There was a fair few of us when I came back that way, as well as more motorbikes together than I've ever seen in my life. Honestly there must have been 300+ boarding.

  • @graunch it’s here but technically beyond 48 hours, so can’t honour your bet

    1 Attachment

    • 81FBF2CD-1F8C-4D57-A57D-7E0F3BB463E0.jpeg
  • Following plenty of positive stories here and online generally re flying with bikes in bikeshop-sourced cardboard boxes I dutifully found myself a box and getting my shit together. However, now I'm looking at it I reckon I was expecting something slightly smaller - i.e. that I would have to take off the wheels and really pack it in, etc. The box I've got is basically big enough to fit the bike with wheels on and handlebars turned. Is this what people have used before, any particular tips (assuming I'll take pedals off and wrap as much as I can in bubble wrap/pipe protector things) and put other belongings (up to airline weight limit) around it to pad out/stop any shifting about... any thoughts would be much appreciated from experienced cardboard-box-fliers to assuage my pre-flight nerves!


  • I've not flown with my bike but I've couriered one in a cardboard box

    Take off the front wheel and the stem/handlebars, plus pedals and it'll drop straight in. If it's got a derailleur on you might want to pad that out a lot or just take it off

  • If you’re nervous and can drive via Swindon, I have a big plastic solid bike box you or anyone else can borrow.

    It’s biiiig though. You only need to remove the wheels and turn the bars, and remove the rear mech for safety, but the weight of the box is more than most modern bikes.

    If you’re removing the wheels get a couple plastic dropout keeper things from a bike shop (often chucked after they assemble bikes that are delivered) to avoid damage to forks and rear stays.

    4 Attachments

    • 50338ED4-19E2-4415-A9C1-FF5837FAAC7E.jpeg
    • F41242ED-E20F-4619-B999-8D6BE8D00331.jpeg
    • FB3D2354-281E-407D-986D-08559BE98774.jpeg
    • 06DA7353-8DD4-46BE-BA99-9821D5EE218D.jpeg
  • Post a reply
    • Bold
    • Italics
    • Link
    • Image
    • List
    • Quote
    • code
    • Preview

Airline Baggage Regulation / Flying with Bikes

Posted by Avatar for Gustav @Gustav