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Old 05-11-07, 01:32 AM   #1
Losligato
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Flying With A Bike | Bike Friendly Airlines

Have you had a good experience while flying with your bike?
  • Which Airline?
  • From ? To ?
  • Was there a special bike fee or was it free?
  • Do they list their bike/sports equipment policy online?

We should reward airlines that cater to cycle tourists with positive publicity.
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Old 05-11-07, 01:43 AM   #2
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Our first flight:

Second Flight:

Third Flight (this coming July)

Last edited by Losligato; 05-11-07 at 02:24 AM.
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Old 05-11-07, 06:42 AM   #3
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We flew Zoom airlines one way to Canada and BA on the way back and neither charged us for our bikes. I think BA technically could have but chose not to as we were not massively overweight, while Zoom count bikes among things carried free of charge.
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Old 05-11-07, 07:06 AM   #4
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I used BA a few years ago, no fuss about taking an unboxed/unbagged bike, left the tires inflated for the Denver-London leg, had to deflate the tires for the return trip. No charge for the bike for either half of the round trip. They've apparently tightened up their luggage policy since then, you have to call ahead and reserve a spot for your bike and put the bike in some kind of box or bag. They currently allow one piece of checked baggage (50 lb max) plus one piece of sports equipment free of charge between North America and Europe. Full baggage policy is on their website(www.britishairways.com).

I used Lufthansa last year this time to go to Italy. No fuss about an unboxed bike, had to call a toll free number in Germany (the guy spoke excellent English) to reserve a spot for the bike. No charge last year but they have since instituted a charge and tightened up their baggage policies. Last year the rule was that you had to deflate the tires. I e-mailed with complaint when I got back home, they called me up and discussed the matter, a few weeks later they called me and said they had done some research and were changing the policy so deflating the tires was no longer necessary. Luggage/bicycle policy is on their website.

Both airlines required me to turn the handlebars sideways and remove the pedals, this was explained in their website.

Would it be worthwhile to make this thread a sticky?
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Old 05-11-07, 07:24 AM   #5
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Many of the airlines have changed their rules for 2007. Machka, posted an article in this thread that explains it. What was free last year, may not this year.

My bike flew for free last year on UsAirways but it looks like there will be a charge this year. .
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Old 05-11-07, 08:59 AM   #6
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I've flown with a bike a few times:

KLM
Toronto - Zurich (via Amsterdam)
Paid $CDN 120 (for the extra baggage; not because it was a bike)
Not sure if their policy is online

South African Airways
Zurich - Cape Town (via Johannesburg), and back
Paid CHF 150, but nothing on the return; no idea why
Policy was made available at the travel agent

Ryan Air
Stockholm - Frankfurt
Paid ~EUR 35
Policy was clear at booking time

Continental Airlines
Newark - Zurich
Paid $95
Policy was clearly stated online

I've always had good experiences flying with my bikes. The only nerve racking moment was once seeing the bike box on the airport tarmac with the bottom wide open! It arrived safely, fortunately.
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Old 05-11-07, 09:29 AM   #7
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LA-Seoul on Korea Air. Online and talking to several agents over the phone I thought I'd be paying anywhere from $80-$120 each way- heard different things from each source. Showed up at the airport both there and back and they took my bike without any questions or fees. This was the summer of 2007.
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Old 05-11-07, 10:27 AM   #8
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While the "official" policy is set by the airlines, the fact that you get charged or not is at the discretion of the ticket agent.

As mentioned above, you get charged for the over sized luggage. Not the fact that it is a bike. So it is going to do little good to lie about the content of the box, as often suggested about other members of the forum. Just tell the truth, be charming and hopefully the agent will use their discretion not to charge you.

I would bend the truth a bit. If you are charged and are charged for the round trip, tell them that you are thinking of selling your bike at the destination. You will may have better luck not being charged on the return trip.

skelonas,

Summer of 07 has not happened yet.
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Old 05-11-07, 10:35 AM   #9
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Carry-on?
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Old 05-11-07, 10:40 AM   #10
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I'm flying out with Conti. in the near future. Just called (again after seeing this thread) and checked to see if their policy is still what they have on their website. It is:

Quote:
Continental Airlines accepts a non-motorized bicycle with single seat or up to two non-motorized bicycles packed in one case as checked baggage. The following are bicycle restrictions:

Handlebars must be fixed sideways and pedals removed or
All loose items must be enclosed in plastic foam or similar protective material or
Bicycle should be transported in a sealed box. If a box is needed, see the Courtesy Bags section of this site.

If the bike(s) is packed in a container that is over 50 lbs (23kg) and/or 62 linear inches (157cm), a $95 service charge applies each way. The service charge is in addition to any excess baggage charges that may apply.

Continental is not liable for damage to bicycles that do not have the handlebars fixed sideways and pedals removed, handlebars and pedals encased in plastic foam or similar material or bicycles not contained in a cardboard containers or hard-sided cases.

Note: Bicycles will not be accepted during an excess baggage embargo when no excess baggage is allowed.
Says nothing about deflating the tires. I am planning not to.
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Old 05-11-07, 02:59 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spinnaker
While the "official" policy is set by the airlines, the fact that you get charged or not is at the discretion of the ticket agent.

[clip]
Although this is true, if you remember to bring with you a print-out of the bike policy from the website, you will have better luck.

My friend flew USAir last year (when the policy was bikes-fly-free), and, the ticket agent tried to charge her for the San Fran to Philly flight, even though it was obvious that she was only connecting in Philly to get to Amsterdam. It wasn't until a neighboring ticket agent told her that my friend was correct did the ticket agent back down and did not charge for the bike. I flew out of Seattle and connected in Philly, and had no problem.
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Old 05-11-07, 05:47 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eric von zipper
I'm flying out with Conti. in the near future. Just called (again after seeing this thread) and checked to see if their policy is still what they have on their website. It is:



Says nothing about deflating the tires. I am planning not to.
Average cabin pressure of commercial aircraft is nothing near sea level but somewhere around the equivalent of 8000 feet. So unless you have climbed on a ride to 8,000 feet it seems to me little trouble to at least partially deflate your tires rather than taking a chance on a blowout.
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Old 05-11-07, 05:48 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eco-warrior
Carry-on?
And where do you propose on putting your bike? In the overhead?
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Old 05-11-07, 05:53 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FlowerBlossom
Although this is true, if you remember to bring with you a print-out of the bike policy from the website, you will have better luck.

My friend flew USAir last year (when the policy was bikes-fly-free), and, the ticket agent tried to charge her for the San Fran to Philly flight, even though it was obvious that she was only connecting in Philly to get to Amsterdam. It wasn't until a neighboring ticket agent told her that my friend was correct did the ticket agent back down and did not charge for the bike. I flew out of Seattle and connected in Philly, and had no problem.
Yes a very good point especially if the bike does fly for free.

Also a good idea to carry a copy of your receipt for your bike.


I noticed a policy on Delta's website that said if the luggage is over 80 inches it does not fly. I can't remember the size of an average bicycle box but something tells me it is over 80 inches.
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Old 05-13-07, 06:04 AM   #15
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March 2007 I flew to Jordan from Toronto with Delta Airlines (to NYC) and with Royal Jordanian (to Amman). Neither one charged me. Both their websites say that I should have been charged. I was expecting to be charged. The Delta guy did mention that there would be a charge for the bike but than forgot to charge me. On the return flights nobody at the counters mentioned anything about bike charges.I made a webpage of my bike trip to Jordan. Check it out here; http://www.geocities.com/pathebikeguy/jordan2007
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