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Anyone flown Lufthansa lately?

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Anyone flown Lufthansa lately?

Old 08-29-16, 01:51 PM
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redbagsrambler
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Anyone flown Lufthansa lately?

Yesterday I packed my bike for a Lufthansa transatlantic flight from Charlotte, NC to Munich, Germany with a connecting flight to Gdansk, Poland. Today I was reviewing the Lufthansa website again and came across this statement, "Bicycles must not be packed for carriage."

Based on my past experience in that every airline I've ever flown has required boxing, I felt the need to contact Lufthansa directly to get confirmation of that statement. Sure enough, the Lufthansa customer service rep told me that Lufthansa prefers unboxed bikes.

Usually, I follow the airlines rules and everything runs smoothly. BUT there have been occasions when the rules printed out from the airlines website seem to differ from how the airline staff at the airport view them. These occasions are stressful and not fun.

So, anyone here flown with a bike on a Lufthansa transatlantic flight recently? Were you required to box the bike? I don't want to show up at the airport and have my bike denied carriage for not being boxed. I also don't want to show up with a boxed bike and be charged an excessive oversized baggage fee (very small chance of that, but could happen if one uses a very strict interpretation of Lufthansa's oversized baggage fees.)

Thanks in advance.
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Old 08-29-16, 02:28 PM
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Can't help on the question, just with the general advice that whenever I am traveling and possibly foresee a luggage issue, I prefer to have a printout of the luggage policies from the day I purchased my tickets. Only had an issue once, many years back, and having the paper in front of me to point at instead of tossing out vague "but I saw it on the website" (especially since this was 8 years back in a country where the internet wasn't yet completely integrated into society) saved me $50 or so.
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Old 08-29-16, 02:49 PM
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Oh, I always carry a website printout of the policies. It's saved me more than once, but it's also been stretched beyond belief to be construed differently. Continental Airlines agent once looked at my printout then told me what was in the required box did not matter, it was the oversize of the box (standard cardboard bike box) which conveniently cost more than the bike fee stated on the printout. I have other examples, but would prefer not to derail this thread from its original purpose of current Lufthansa practice.

Originally Posted by jefnvk
Can't help on the question, just with the general advice that whenever I am traveling and possibly foresee a luggage issue, I prefer to have a printout of the luggage policies from the day I purchased my tickets. Only had an issue once, many years back, and having the paper in front of me to point at instead of tossing out vague "but I saw it on the website" (especially since this was 8 years back in a country where the internet wasn't yet completely integrated into society) saved me $50 or so.
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Old 08-29-16, 03:24 PM
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I did from Frankfurt to Mexico and my.bike was pack in a box
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Old 08-29-16, 05:34 PM
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A friend recently flew from SFO to Italy (Milan Malpensa?) on Lufthansa. He rode to the airport and rolled his bike up to Lufthansa check-in and handed his bike to them, no hassles. Did the same coming back from Europe to SFO. His only other luggage was a carry-on duffel, which was everything he needed for 3 weeks of bike touring (mostly camping with occasional hotel stays)
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Old 08-30-16, 12:11 AM
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Surprising info, many posters have flown on various airlines with just clear plastic bags over bike but I've never heard of an airline preferring or mandating no packaging. Perhaps this simplifies security screening. AFAIK Lufthansa still charges hefty bike fee, I'm wondering if they use special procedures to load bikes or just toss 'em around like most airlines do?
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Old 08-30-16, 06:21 AM
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I flew with Air Berlin a few years ago. Their bike policy then was the same: just roll it on.
Otherwise, Lufthansa have very steep bike charges ime

British Airways is my go-to

afaik baggage handlers are employed by the airport, not specific airlines... thus if you have a change of airport, I would be vary wary of them loading my unprotected bike :/

I'd read and re-read the bike policy and go for the cardboard box if it's the same charge

Last edited by imi; 08-30-16 at 06:27 AM.
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Old 08-30-16, 06:41 AM
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Originally Posted by DropBarFan
Surprising info, many posters have flown on various airlines with just clear plastic bags over bike but I've never heard of an airline preferring or mandating no packaging. Perhaps this simplifies security screening. AFAIK Lufthansa still charges hefty bike fee, I'm wondering if they use special procedures to load bikes or just toss 'em around like most airlines do?
I went over most of the airline regulations not too long ago.

Air Transat, while not prohibiting boxes, provides clear plastic bags with your $30CAD fee: Baggage weight and dimensions | Air Transat

"CAD $30* per item per flight segment. An oversize plastic bag, available at all Air Transat check-in counters, is included.


*USD: $30 / EUR: 24 / GBP: 20 / CUC: 30 / MXN: 420 / CHF: 30 / HRK: 155 / HUF: 6600 / CZK: 600

DETAILS
In preparation for travel, handlebars must be turned sideways and secured, the tires deflated, and the pedals removed. A bicycle helmet is accepted free of charge.

The bicycle must be placed in a sturdy bag or box."

Likewise, WOW Air (at least in Reykjavik) offers plastic bags:
https://wowair.us/travel-info/option...s-and-charges/
"(7) Bicycles must be wrapped in plastic, boxed or packed in a bicycle bag. You can purchase a bag at check-in in Keflavik for 1500 ISK."

Whether that counts as prefers, I dunno, but bags are frequently mentioned. I'd love the option of a bag at the end of a tour, for simplicity's sake.

Then again, many airlines also specifically require boxes.
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Old 08-31-16, 05:48 PM
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Thanks, everyone.
I'm going to keep my bike in the box. I like the added protection, but I also like being able to put other things in the box that make TSA fussy if you try to take them in carry-on luggage. Things like a pocketknife, bike lock, tools, extra spokes, etc.
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Old 09-06-16, 03:43 AM
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The last years I flew several times with Lufthansa (in Europe). Really no packing required.
Not cheap but best for transporting bicycles. With the race bike I forgot the tool to remove the pedals - no problem and because I hadn't any other luggage the bike was even for free

I can update in October, when we flew from Frankfurt to Montreal and back from Toronto to Frankfurt.
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Old 09-06-16, 11:48 AM
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Originally Posted by redbagsrambler
Thanks, everyone.
I'm going to keep my bike in the box. I like the added protection, but I also like being able to put other things in the box that make TSA fussy if you try to take them in carry-on luggage. Things like a pocketknife, bike lock, tools, extra spokes, etc.
You've probably already considered it, but whatever extras you toss in the box, make sure are attached to the bike in some manner or in a big bag. Holes can easily appear in the side of the box that little things can drop or stick out of. I used one of my panniers as a carryon and the other packed inside the box to hold such things.
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