As my trip approaches, I am beginning to worry about the airline losing my bike. I suppose for the cycling tourist there isn't much worse that can happen than to be told the bike didn't arrive and the next flight is three days away. Over the years, I have had the odd tent go missing but last year they lost the bike. Luckily it was on the homeward leg so I didn't really care. Does anyone have any strategies to deal with this problem?
Helsinki to Nice. I am flying with Air Finland a charter company. As I mentioned in my previous post, my bike got lost last summer. After a rainy week in Sweden, I only had the 40 minute hop to Helsinki. As always, I was the first in line at the check-in. So they had plenty of time. They delivered it two days later.
If you are taking a direct flight to Nice you can always ask the person at the check in counter to make sure that the bike gets on the plane. It has always worked for me. A nice smile and a mention of the fact that this is your holiday in the box helps a lot.
They lost your bike on a trip from Stockholm to Helsinki? That's amazing. It's always been my experence that Cophagen manages to lose your bags, or in the case of a friend, have your bag ransacked and half the contents stolen.
I had to go to the airport this morning and I took the chance to ask about this for you. Both the women at Finnair and AirBaltic said the only things you can do are to package the bike properly (duh), and to register the bike as baggage when you check in. I'm not sure what this registration does, they were not to clear on it, but both of them thought it was really important. I hope this helps.
...Does anyone have any strategies to deal with this problem?
As others have mentioned, be nice to the counter folks. Other than that....? Perhaps nice relaxing music, or decaffe untill your off the ground. -Seriously, I find flying to a tour stressfull (because of concerns regarding damage/loss)-so I try to keep my mind off it. I've seen my bike "tossed" onto the planes conveyer a couple times from my seat...makes my blood preasure go up a few notches (it allways arrived fine though). However-once its out of your hands, there's nothing you can do-so no real sense in worrying about it.
Thinking about it another way-you've allready had your bike "lost", the statistical probability of it happening again to you are now astronomically low.