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Which international (Europe bound) airlines allow the plastic bag bike as luggage?

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Which international (Europe bound) airlines allow the plastic bag bike as luggage?

Old 03-13-24, 10:01 PM
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Originally Posted by Tourist in MSN
I have a DIY wooden center support in the case, just in case airline personnel stack extra luggage on top of my bike.
That center support is smart. I'll have to remember that. Even better if the parts for such, can serve another purpose on the tour. I think my folder seatpost and seat, over 60cm, would be too long, otherwise I could use that and fab a flat part and plug to fit in the lower end.
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Old 03-14-24, 09:20 AM
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To be clear…I have4 bikes with S&S couplers and 4 S&S suitcases and my goto bike travels packed in those but this case is for two touring bikes I left in Europe years ago and I want to bring them back hone
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Old 03-15-24, 01:32 AM
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Originally Posted by PedalingWalrus
To be clear…I have4 bikes with S&S couplers and 4 S&S suitcases and my goto bike travels packed in those but this case is for two touring bikes I left in Europe years ago and I want to bring them back hone
For a one-time transport, I would "rinko" both bikes, pack well, as two checked bags. Basically, pull off both wheels, place one on each side of frame, pull off handlebars and pack, pull off fork and pack. Either bag each bike or wrap up each bike. Details:

https://www.welovecycling.com/wide/2...ing-your-mind/

https://www.rossmancycles.com/rinko

https://www.bantambicycles.com/blogg...ko-vs-couplers

That last link says that rinko will not get you below max checked bag size for airlines, but the airline may fly bikes as oversize without extra charge (although perhaps only one per passenger), and rinkoed, they are certainly easier to carry than full-boxed bikes.

Last edited by Duragrouch; 03-15-24 at 01:53 AM.
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Old 03-15-24, 05:49 AM
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For me, Rinko is the way. Thing is, reading this thread raises the question of conformity. Transparent plastic bags used to be widely accepted, now boxes are becoming officially mandatory for most if not all airlines.

I am not worried about damages to the bike - our bikes are old school steel tanks and cardboard provides marginal additional protection over padded bags as illustrated by anecdotes in this thread.

But I start to worry about the possibility of being denied boarding by a zealot who believes in the sanctity of the rules book. I'll read again this and other threads because I don't recall instances of actual denials. But if this were to be a thing, it would mean more time and energy for little if any gain.

[re-read this thread - no mention of denial; googled and nothing came back]

Last edited by gauvins; 03-15-24 at 06:57 AM.
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Old 03-15-24, 08:40 PM
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I think rinko, in combination with an airline that is bike-friendly (no oversize charge), should mean it gets accepted. If not, you can politely and nicely say you packed it down small to take up less space, versus putting it in the typical bike box, which takes up a lot more room, and you did this to be considerate of others, because you would not have been charged for the large bike box. Put on your friendly face and communicate only the best of intentions.
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Old 03-17-24, 08:49 PM
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My worst experience was not with an airline but TSA in the US. They ripped my carefully packaged bike box open and of course didn't make any effort to repack it properly, so just shoved it all back in with half the bike sticking out and a few bits of tape and TSA stickers holding it together. When I went to complain and ask how to claim compensation if anything was damaged they laughed and gave me a piece of paper that basically said that under some terrorism act they can pretty much do whatever they like to luggage, with no recourse
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Old 03-17-24, 10:30 PM
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Originally Posted by dreamy
My worst experience was not with an airline but TSA in the US. They ripped my carefully packaged bike box open and of course didn't make any effort to repack it properly, so just shoved it all back in with half the bike sticking out and a few bits of tape and TSA stickers holding it together. When I went to complain and ask how to claim compensation if anything was damaged they laughed and gave me a piece of paper that basically said that under some terrorism act they can pretty much do whatever they like to luggage, with no recourse
Low education and with the power of authority. Unsurprising, and embarrassing to my country.
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Old 03-18-24, 06:05 AM
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Originally Posted by dreamy
My worst experience was not with an airline but TSA in the US. They ripped my carefully packaged bike box open and of course didn't make any effort to repack it properly, so just shoved it all back in with half the bike sticking out and a few bits of tape and TSA stickers holding it together. When I went to complain and ask how to claim compensation if anything was damaged they laughed and gave me a piece of paper that basically said that under some terrorism act they can pretty much do whatever they like to luggage, with no recourse
Write a letter to your congressman. They get flooded with e-mails because computers can easily generate them. Letters have to go through screening first (do not include white powder), so letters are not handled quickly either, but probability is high someone will actually read it.
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Old 03-18-24, 04:12 PM
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If your goal is to minimize packing duties, check if Air Baltic flies on your route. A few years ago I needed no packing at all - my bike survived it completely without a problem.

S.
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Old 03-18-24, 10:15 PM
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Originally Posted by Tourist in MSN
Write a letter to your congressman. They get flooded with e-mails because computers can easily generate them. Letters have to go through screening first (do not include white powder), so letters are not handled quickly either, but probability is high someone will actually read it.
Their profile says they are from Oz (I assume Australia). That's why I said I was embarrassed for my country. But otherwise, good advice.
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Old 03-18-24, 11:34 PM
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Originally Posted by simonthread
If your goal is to minimize packing duties, check if Air Baltic flies on your route. A few years ago I needed no packing at all - my bike survived it completely without a problem.
From Air Baltic’s website:
Bicycles are accepted for transportation with the pedals removed, handle-bar turned and tires deflated. Maximum weight: 25 kg.

Some airports require that bike must be packed in a hard protective case or box, which is meant for transportation of bicycles. Cardboard bike boxes are sold at the airports. Please note that if your bike is not packed appropriately, the airport may not accept it for transportation. Please contact airport for more details
Are cardboard boxes becoming more available at airports nowadays?
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Old 03-19-24, 02:23 AM
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Not sure. The GDN and RIX airports didn't need it then.
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Old 03-20-24, 04:44 PM
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Originally Posted by Duragrouch
Their profile says they are from Oz (I assume Australia). That's why I said I was embarrassed for my country. But otherwise, good advice.
Yes, i am in Australia. This happened a few years ago and as my bike was undamaged and I was at the end of my trip and going home soon I didn't take it any further.

But it does raise the interesting argument that if it is not packaged well and they can clearly see that it is fragile they will handle it carefully, whereas if they just see a big solid box they will chuck it around
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Old 03-20-24, 05:05 PM
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Originally Posted by dreamy
But it does raise the interesting argument that if it is not packaged well and they can clearly see that it is fragile they will handle it carefully, whereas if they just see a big solid box they will chuck it around
luck of the draw I reckon, not to mention stuff can fall off conveyor belts all by themselves, no humans involved.
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Old 03-20-24, 10:04 PM
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Originally Posted by dreamy
Yes, i am in Australia. This happened a few years ago and as my bike was undamaged and I was at the end of my trip and going home soon I didn't take it any further.

But it does raise the interesting argument that if it is not packaged well and they can clearly see that it is fragile they will handle it carefully, whereas if they just see a big solid box they will chuck it around
Oh, I had perceived this as them going into the box because they didn't know what was in it, or x-rayed it, and pulled it open to see if anything was being smuggled inside the frame or tire tubes, had a dog sniff around. But in any case, things should be packed back the way they were. They'll rationalize that they don't have time for that, but to me, if you mess something up, you clean it up. I don't know if that would be better with clear wrap instead. A zippered bag with things individually padded, they might have pulled out everything, but perhaps, could just unzip, have a dog sniff around, zip back up.

If I ran the world, I'd have inspection be first right inside the doors, then have a secure area downstream with tables for people to repack, or take down or fold their bike there for packing, then directly to airline baggage check. The problem is the airline ticket counters are first, where they take checked luggage, and then that is screened somewhere in the bowels of the airport, while you then proceed to security check of you and your carryon baggage. This is stupid. Screen everything first, with the passenger there to undo any locks, repack, etc, proceed to checkin and baggage check or directly to departure gate. Not that hard to figure out, if they wanted to make things better.

Honestly, I wish it was like in the soviet union, they didn't have baggage handling systems; You brought all your luggage to the gate, and handed off directly to baggage handlers, or, on some soviet aircraft, you brought it all into the passenger compartment and it was lowered by hand into the cargo space space below; From wiki for IL-86:

The Soviet solution to the airport capacity issue involved passengers loading and unloading their own luggage into and from the aircraft. This was eventually called "the luggage at hand system" (Russian transliterated: "sistyema bagazh s soboy"). Soviet aviation journalist Kim Bakshmi described it (at its ultimate) thus: "One arrives five minutes prior to departure, buys oneself a ticket on board the aircraft, hangs one's coat next to the seat and places one's bag or suitcase nearby.".

Taking suitcases into the cabin, as in trains, was studied, but necessitated a 3 m fuselage extension with a 350-seat capacity. To avoid this, passengers were to deposit their luggage in underfloor compartments as they entered the airliner.
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Old 03-21-24, 05:46 AM
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Originally Posted by dreamy
But it does raise the interesting argument that if it is not packaged well and they can clearly see that it is fragile they will handle it carefully, whereas if they just see a big solid box they will chuck it around
Possibly, but that question becomes irrelevant if the airline refuses to take your bike because it's not in a suitable box as specified in their baggage policy... One hour before check-in closes, what will you do with your bike then?
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Old 03-21-24, 06:01 AM
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Originally Posted by imi
Possibly, but that question becomes irrelevant if the airline refuses to take your bike because it's not in a suitable box as specified in their baggage policy... One hour before check-in closes, what will you do with your bike then?
this is all that matters, what a specific present or current airline policy is.
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Old 03-23-24, 06:54 PM
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Emirates offered me plastic bags when I turned up to the airport with a loaded touring bike once.
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Old 03-23-24, 07:12 PM
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Originally Posted by tpuglisi
Emirates offered me plastic bags when I turned up to the airport with a loaded touring bike once.
My perception is that Emirates has been rapidly expanding as much as possible in the past decade, well beyond their traditional routes, and that may mean they are trying harder to accommodate passengers. Other large corporations, when in growth mode, seemed to try harder, only later when their growth leveled off and management and/or stockholders demanding higher profits, did they start cutting corners in service and benefits, like going cheaper on flight meals or eliminating them altogether, charging for checked luggage, etc.
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Old 05-02-24, 01:14 PM
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Originally Posted by HelpSingularity
I'll be flying Condor Airlines in a few months: LAX to Frankfurt. I'll be taking a Bike Friday folding bicycle and using their canvas bag.

From https://www.condor.com/us/flight-pre...-equipment.jsp :
"....bicycles are only transported packed. We recommend bicycle cases or bags as packaging"

"Dimensions: max. length 200 cm x width 40 cm x height 100 cm or length 300 cm x width 40 cm x height 60 cm. Anything higher, longer or wider must be registered with customer service (phone / WhatsApp).
Weight: up to max. 30 kg."
I flew to Frankfurt, DE from LAX last week on Condor Airlines. I packed my Bike Friday in their canvas bag with some cardboard for protection. The bicycle arrived in perfect condition. They had it in a separate "bulky luggage" section. For a "budget" airline they really seem to emphasize customer service. I would fly with them again in a heartbeat. (seats had a fair amount of legroom too, I'm 6' 1'')
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Old 05-02-24, 11:39 PM
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I like Condor's new livery design (broad vertical stripes in various colors against white backgroud), high visibility and fashionable in a J. Crew catalog kind of way.
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Old 05-03-24, 12:28 AM
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Originally Posted by Duragrouch
I like Condor's new livery design (broad vertical stripes in various colors against white backgroud), high visibility and fashionable in a J. Crew catalog kind of way.
Funny you should mention that (the new livery designs). Half way through the flight the captain got on the horn and announced that they were celebrating their 2 year anniversary of the new livery. In celebration they were offering savings on their in-flight catalog merchandise of up to 30% off. It includes cosmetics and cigarettes. I just found it kinda weird that the person flying 260 souls across the Atlantic was hawking cosmetics and cigarettes over the P.A. Then came the flight attendants wheeling their carts stacked high with cartons of cigarettes. 49 Euros a carton, good deal, I guess.
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Old 05-03-24, 07:59 PM
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Originally Posted by HelpSingularity
Funny you should mention that (the new livery designs). Half way through the flight the captain got on the horn and announced that they were celebrating their 2 year anniversary of the new livery. In celebration they were offering savings on their in-flight catalog merchandise of up to 30% off. It includes cosmetics and cigarettes. I just found it kinda weird that the person flying 260 souls across the Atlantic was hawking cosmetics and cigarettes over the P.A. Then came the flight attendants wheeling their carts stacked high with cartons of cigarettes. 49 Euros a carton, good deal, I guess.
Well, Condor is a German-based line. When I visited there in the early 1990s, the guy I was traveling with, looked around, and said, there are three signs of a militaristic country: Guys around the airport with submachine guns, eagles on the money, and cigarette machines everywhere for the soldiers.
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