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.
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.