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Avoid being stung with painful bike baggage charges with this handy comparison guide

If you’re planning to take your bike on a plane, it’s well worth being in the know about baggage charges, which vary enormously across airlines and can really make a dent in your travel budget.

With holiday firms reporting a 10% to 40% increase in bookings for bicycles to go abroad, Airport Parking and Hotels has created a comprehensive guide to comparing bike baggage costs covering all the major airlines.

Many readers already know that Ryanair is to be avoided with a bike, with the extra baggage cost as much as £60.

But British Airways, Quantas and 17 other airlines will include bikes as part of a passenger’s weight allowance.

The weight allowance allocated for each airline was found to vary however, with Atlantic Airways, BMI, Flybe and Thai Airways all limiting passengers to 20kg. Some airlines on the other hand, were found to offer a higher weight allowance of 32kg with Delta Air Lines even offering 42kg.

Aer Lingus, Air France, Aitalia and British Airways ask customers to contact the reservations office in advance to book a bike as checked-in baggage. Airlines such as Iberia, KLM and Lufthansa require a minimum of 24-hours’ notice, however Delta Air Lines allows passengers to book bike baggage at the airport providing the bicycle meets the weight limit.

The storage requirements for each airline were also found to vary between companies, with some requiring tyres to be partially deflated, wheels removed and attached to the frame, or for bikes to be stored in a hard shell container - advisable  in any case for for decent equipment. There are full details of all airline requests on the website.

You can see the APH guide to airline bike baggage costs here and road.cc's guide to flying with your bike here

 

After an unpromising start, having to be bribed by her parents to learn to ride without stabilisers, Sarah became rather keener on cycling in her university years, and was eventually persuaded to upgrade to proper road cycling by the prospect of a shiny red Italian bike, which she promptly destroyed by trapping a pair of knickers in the rear derailleur. Sarah writes about about cycling every weekend on road.cc.

9 comments

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vbvb [619 posts] 2 years ago
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Article says:

"British Airways ask customers to contact the reservations office in advance to book a bike as checked-in baggage"

No mention of this on BA website that I can see. Quite important. Link please.

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CarbonBreaker [86 posts] 2 years ago
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vbvb wrote:

Article says:

"British Airways ask customers to contact the reservations office in advance to book a bike as checked-in baggage"

No mention of this on BA website that I can see. Quite important. Link please.

This query also applies to KLM, I rock up regularly with no warning and just pay the Euro 60 fee (within Europe) with no bother...

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giff77 [1260 posts] 2 years ago
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vbvb wrote:

Article says:

"British Airways ask customers to contact the reservations office in advance to book a bike as checked-in baggage"

No mention of this on BA website that I can see. Quite important. Link please.

Would seem that you do it online. Suppose that will take the sting out of when you appear with case. http://www.britishairways.com/en-gb/information/baggage-essentials/extra...

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goggy [155 posts] 2 years ago
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I travel with BA a lot and have never had to book it in advance... this link has details

http://www.britishairways.com/en-gb/information/baggage-essentials/sport...

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Djf2682 [1 post] 2 years ago
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Be careful with British Airways. They have something of a reputation for not putting bike boxes on flights. Mine returned from the Etape this year a day late despite being booked 2 weeks in advance and I heard plenty of people had their bikes delayed until Saturday going out to France as well. Pay in advance and they send when they want??

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sm [398 posts] 2 years ago
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Too much stress for me. Bike hire every time! Easy, plus you get to ride a different bike.

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peterben [65 posts] 2 years ago
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I remember reading about how the budget airlines charged over £100 to take golf clubs. You can now book a courier to pick up your clubs from home and deliver to your holiday accommodation for far less, often they book freight on the same plane on which you are travelling. Could be the way to go for bikes too.

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wildnorthlands [32 posts] 2 years ago
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If you're travelling to Europe in many cases you can take your bike on the train with you with a bit of forward planning. Also you might want to consider hiring a bike at your destination and saving yourself a bit of hassle.

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poshguy [1 post] 2 years ago
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There's a company that does that, transports your fully assembled bike to Events in Europe called www.cycle-express.co.uk saves all the hassle of dis-assembling and re-assembling your bike.