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Ryanair and panniers?

Old 09-07-09, 12:25 PM
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Gotte
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Ryanair and panniers?

I'm taking my bike by Ryanair to Hahn on Friday. I'm using the see-through plastic bag method. I plan on putting the empty panniers on my bike, plus empty handlebar bag. Anyone done this/know if I'm likely to told they can;t go through with the bike (as I seem to remember one airline does). Normally, I'd just pack them with luggage, but the 15kg limit is proving problematic, so I'm wanting to put the panniers on the bike to lessen the luggage load.

Thanks in advance
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Old 09-07-09, 02:31 PM
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I haven't flown Ryanair, but from what I hear their customer service is miserable and they will slap you with as many fees as they can think of -- one for transporting sporting equipment, another for overweight, etc. They even tried to charge for use of the bathrooms on their flights.

Expect no mercy if you fly Ryanair.
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Old 09-07-09, 04:05 PM
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Originally Posted by Bacciagalupe View Post
Expect no mercy if you fly Ryanair.
Most airlines have some small print that no other luggage can be packed with checked in sporting equipment... It would surprise me very much if Ryanair, in particular, were lenient about this. If there's a to be charged extra they'll find it

My advise would be to put ALL your clothes on... (an' I mean all of them! your helmet is just a hat (or you feel safer with it on in a plane , don't take any toiletries or other dispensables you can buy at your destination, max out your handbagage to the allowed weight (10kg?) (panniers inside panniers?). Basically get as light as possible.
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Old 09-09-09, 03:34 AM
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Err, why not call them up and ask them? Leaving panniers on your bike seems reasonable to me, but they're an airline - they may not be reasonable.
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Old 09-09-09, 04:28 AM
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+0,5. For the full +1, get their reply in writing (e-mail or such). With other airlines, what they say and what actually happens at check-in are sometimes two very different things.
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Old 09-10-09, 05:46 PM
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Originally Posted by imi View Post
Most airlines have some small print that no other luggage can be packed with checked in sporting equipment... It would surprise me very much if Ryanair, in particular, were lenient about this. If there's a to be charged extra they'll find it

My advise would be to put ALL your clothes on... (an' I mean all of them! your helmet is just a hat (or you feel safer with it on in a plane , don't take any toiletries or other dispensables you can buy at your destination, max out your handbagage to the allowed weight (10kg?) (panniers inside panniers?). Basically get as light as possible.
Did this once, my god it was a hot experience.

At least put on the heavyest chlotes and shoes.
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Old 09-11-09, 01:32 AM
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Thanks for that. Stupidly, I had my digital scales set to lbs instead of kgs, so my allowance has just doubled . My main concern now is that one of my panniers, which I'm taking as hand luggage, is very close to the max dimensions (well, one side is). If it's bigger, they make you put it in as hold luggage - at a fee (30) of course.
Trouble with getting an answer from Ryanair is that they don;t seem to respond to emails, and whatever they say over the phone isn't worth a hill of beans, as the operatives on the ground seem to make it up as they go along.
Anyway, we'll see, I suppose.
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Old 09-11-09, 01:39 AM
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Originally Posted by Bacciagalupe View Post
I haven't flown Ryanair, but from what I hear their customer service is miserable and they will slap you with as many fees as they can think of -- one for transporting sporting equipment, another for overweight, etc. They even tried to charge for use of the bathrooms on their flights.

Expect no mercy if you fly Ryanair.
Miserable is correct. Still if you somehow meet their rules they are cheap.. Seems their website has baggage rules posted in regards to bikes.. For sure they will screw you if they can.. Time I put my bike in a plastic bag on B/A they pushed in about a dozen spokes and but a new curve in my handlebars..
Ryan Air says they want to have passengers load their own baggage in the near future. For the security of a bike , that might be a good thing...
By a baggie you mean just a plastic sack.. Maybe you can check out those 'plastic wrap,' vendors at airport lobbies.. I've seen cyclist have their bikes bubble wrapped.. Seems the charge was about 15-20 euros... The tension of those bubble wrap machines might protect your bike and encase your panniers.. It's such a tight fit, maybe they'll consider it one package.?
Good luck in contacting Ryan Air. They charge .34 centimes per minute if you can get through to them.. Also don't pick up a magazine or bottle of wine once you get past security.. Ryan Air will not permit anything on board that is not within your carry on.. ipods, etc. Maybe a magazine or newspaper will pass.?
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Old 09-11-09, 03:05 AM
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I've flow ryanair with bikes. Usual rule of arrive early apply.

I had a folding bike bag with two bikes, + sleeping bags + mats inside and all was cool, it came in at just under 30kg. I paid for one peace of sports equipment. This weight was on there T&C as the maximum weight they would allow the baggage handlers to shift.

We also had one pair of panniers strapped together as hold luggage.

Personally if I was in you position, i.e not wanting to use a bag, I'd do the cardboard box option, scrounge some cardboard take some packing tap and pack the air port. That way you can pack some bits including empty pannier in the cardboard. See this photo from a CGOAB journal.
http://www.crazyguyonabike.com/doc/p...=7M&size=large

If you go the plastic bag route tape / strap your pannier to the bike frame don't put it on the rack, it will be more buy this way.

Re hand luggage, I would not worry too much when you check in, take some stuff out and put in your pockets so that the bag can crumple a bit then if asked to test to see if it fits into the metal cage thing it will compress down a bit. I 've even done things like worn a coat over a small satchel and just presented my rucksack as hand luggage when checking in then walked on with two bags before.
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Old 09-11-09, 03:36 AM
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Originally Posted by TheBrick View Post
I've flow ryanair with bikes. Usual rule of arrive early apply.

I had a folding bike bag with two bikes, + sleeping bags + mats inside and all was cool, it came in at just under 30kg. I paid for one peace of sports equipment. This weight was on there T&C as the maximum weight they would allow the baggage handlers to shift.

.
Are you saying you traveled with a folding bike or not..? Or two bikes.. ?. Or did you take along three bikes....?.. that would make a big difference in how you can package your sports gear.
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Old 09-11-09, 06:35 AM
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The bag had the ability to fold, similar to the tardis bike bag. (it folds up into a small backpack about 14"x10"x6") with two full sized bikes in that bag.

The bag is strapped on the side of a one of the bike in this pic

http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3239/...74ff07ac71.jpg

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Old 09-11-09, 07:47 AM
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Originally Posted by stevage View Post
Err, why not call them up and ask them?
This can be a very risky approach. I tried it with British Airways, and what started as a perfectly polite and civil question seeking clarification about the information on their website (regarding their specification of a "recognised bicycle bag or box"), turned into a vicious swearing match and a promise that I wouldn't even be allowed into the AIRPORT let alone on a plane if I ever TRIED to use a cardboard box or a clear plastic bag. I was shaking with blind fury at the end ofthe conversation with their 'Customer Services' department.

My advice is, if there's ANY ambiguity in the website information, play dumb and get to the check-in early, with a pleasant smile and a print-out of the web pages in your pocket.
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Old 09-11-09, 08:15 AM
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The Stansted Airport security people are VERY meticulous about hand bagage size and weight... Don't put stuff in your pockets, you have to empty your pockets and this will be added to your handbagage weight. It is getting harder and harder to "get away" with anything even slightly outside the rules. Airlines have different rules and costs for bikes and extra bagage... My advice would be to check and recheck the rules and adhere to them absolutely... p.s I hate writing that but this is the way it is nowadays.. suck it up!

fwiw Berlin Air and Lufthansa have recently given me fair deals when flying with my bike
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Old 09-11-09, 08:23 AM
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The most frustrating thing about it is that you stand to be penalised in a dozen different ways for being an ounce over a weight limit, or an inch over a size limit, but the very likeable overweight gentleman who's next in the queue will get a free pass.

Last edited by Al Downie; 09-11-09 at 09:23 AM.
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Old 09-11-09, 09:15 AM
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Originally Posted by Al Downie View Post
The most frustrating thing about it is that you stand to be penalised in a dozen different ways for being an ounce over a weight limit, or an inch over a size limit, but the 300lb lard-ass who's next in the queue will get a free pass.
I understand your sentiment Al, but find your wording a bit insensitive...
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Old 09-11-09, 09:25 AM
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Ah. Yes, you're right. I was still angry at British Airways and the demise of Customer Service as a concept in my country. I apologise unreservedly.
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Old 09-11-09, 10:19 AM
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yes the term "cuddly" or "bubbly personality" is preferred.
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Old 09-11-09, 10:23 AM
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Originally Posted by Al Downie View Post
I was shaking with blind fury at the end ofthe conversation with their 'Customer Services' department.
Sounds like their mission was accomplished!!
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Old 09-11-09, 10:34 AM
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Fortunately I've only ever had good luck with BA. Usually I've used old bike boxes to pack my bike, but a visit to their website prior to my flight last September revealed they were now asking for a bike specific bag or case to transport a bike, so I used a bag. Still don't understand why they couldn't accept a cardboard bike box as I would think it would be easier all round, but I wasn't about to take any risks with it.

First things first, it still is your responsibility to at least read the rules and regulations of the airline you are flying, and what if any restrictions and costs they might apply. This will probably help to avoid any issues right from the beginning.

But I agree with Al completely -regardless of the regulations and whether or not you believe you are within them -and especially if there is any ambiguity -play dumb, act nice (catch more flies with honey than vinegar), try to establish a quick positive rapport and acknowledge the individual behind the counter (harder to be hard on someone you have even a minuscule personal conversational relationship with), have a printout and perhaps most important of all, turn up early, preferably at the very moment you can first check in.

Also be well prepared about what to say if they do give you trouble. I've had a printout of rules and also written on it the name of a rep and date and time of a conversation (not necessarily about bike transportation either!) just in case. I figure if ever I'm completely refused, I can at least politely make my case, and if worst comes to the worst, ask for a supervisor and plead my case with the evidence -though I'm glad to say that's never happened. I've never had to consider pulling that out of my pocket, but it's nice to have the ammunition and a pre-thought out plan just in case.

Lastly, I always accept in the back of my mind that I might have to pay extra, however unfair or unjust it is. I usually have enough money or certainly a credit card to cover it. If you've booked a once in a lifetime cycle tour, it's not worth jeopardizing it for the sake of a couple of hundred dollars -plus you can always fight it afterward, whereas if you put yourself in a corner you might lose your entire air fare and whatever other planning costs related to your trip.

Once they accept your bike, it will be extremely unlikely they'll then refuse to take it.


Originally Posted by Al Downie View Post
This can be a very risky approach. I tried it with British Airways, and what started as a perfectly polite and civil question seeking clarification about the information on their website (regarding their specification of a "recognised bicycle bag or box"), turned into a vicious swearing match and a promise that I wouldn't even be allowed into the AIRPORT let alone on a plane if I ever TRIED to use a cardboard box or a clear plastic bag. I was shaking with blind fury at the end ofthe conversation with their 'Customer Services' department.

My advice is, if there's ANY ambiguity in the website information, play dumb and get to the check-in early, with a pleasant smile and a print-out of the web pages in your pocket.
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Old 09-13-09, 05:49 AM
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Hi all,
I have done many trips transporting bike by air...I made a kitbag out of that plastic ripstop stuff..yep, sewed it myself. It takes my three panniers, sleeping bag etc and I load lots of stuff into my onboard pannier...and wear as much of the clothes as possible..Jacket etc...I have never had any problems with it, apart from having to probably redo another one as it wont last forever..but I am happy with that
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Old 09-13-09, 11:38 AM
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Originally Posted by Al Downie View Post
This can be a very risky approach. I tried it with British Airways, and what started as a perfectly polite and civil question seeking clarification about the information on their website (regarding their specification of a "recognised bicycle bag or box"), turned into a vicious swearing match and a promise that I wouldn't even be allowed into the AIRPORT let alone on a plane if I ever TRIED to use a cardboard box or a clear plastic bag. I was shaking with blind fury at the end ofthe conversation with their 'Customer Services' department.

My advice is, if there's ANY ambiguity in the website information, play dumb and get to the check-in early, with a pleasant smile and a print-out of the web pages in your pocket.
I've had mostly good luck with BA on both sides of the Atlantic. Most times my bike has been accepted without any kind of bag (Denver, Catania, Heathrow, Gatwick), once they gave me a clear bag (Denver) and once I used a black bag (bad move, the baggage handlers piled stuff on top and knocked the brake levers crooked, but it could have been worse). I am getting very tired of the UK staff telling me that I have to deflate my tires, especially when BA's website says that this is optional.

Gotte, after everything I've heard about Ryanair I think you're a very brave man for even thinking about doing business with them.
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Old 09-13-09, 11:40 AM
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Last week I booked a flight with Lufthansa... I phoned customer service and asked how to pack my bike: "just leave it like it is" they said... "what? not take the pedals off and turn the handlebars or anything?"... "no it's easier for us to wheel bikes around as they are... and we are careful..." "COOL" I say
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