Bikes on a plane

How much hassle is it taking a bike to an abroad event? 


  • Dead easy if you pick the right airline

    Where are you going?

  • Ive only ever flown my bike with BA (about 7 times now), every time has been hastle free and never asked to pay extra for the bike.

    You need a bike box / bike bag (which you can hire from most bike shops), you pack your bike by removing pedals, seat post and wheels and loseningthe handlebars and twisting them horizonatal to the frame.  You can search the internet/youtube for more detailed bike packing instructions.

    BA let you take your bike as one extra free pieve of luggage (so you can still take a suitcase and hand luggage), the bike and case must be 23kg or less.
  • Great, thanks for the answers.  No serious plans as yet, was eyeing up Barcelona last night though  ...
  • Sleezy Jet is stressful, sometimes they charge you excess, sometimes they don't. Never known them lose or refuse a bike yet. Although do know of some that have been damged.
  • BA are good ... even if your bike doesnt make the same flight as you image
  • puttingt the bike back together again at the other end would worry meimage
  • In Switzerland we had an en-mass bike assembly just about in the YH communal area
  • I'm a complete bike numpty.  I took me about an hour to figure out how to pump the tyres up image
  • PP - I have prepared some instructions on how to pack a bike bag or box which breaks the process down. you can download them off the website - link here

    one way to prepare is to follow the instructions way before you need to do it for real - just don't do the packing/padding bits - and then put the bike back together. you should find it's pretty simple in reality
  • When you are taking the bike apart take a careful note (or mark with masking tape) the height of the seat post and how/where the handlebars attach to the stem.

    Once I had mastered the actual fitting the bike into the box I found the biggest hassle was the logistics of getting to/from the airport with what is in essence a rather large suitcase.  Having something with wheels helps enormously.

  • PP - take instruction from Aitch!

    When she undid her bike box in the YH in Zurich there was a hushed, awed silence as beginners and ponces alike paid homage to her bike packing skills...
  • Jj - would the bike packaging skills of Aitch have withstood a bag - throwing - athon from the airlines.

    or was it making a nice jingle- ing noise ?

  • the bike packaging skills of Aitch would have withstood nuclear war.
  • she obviously took this comment from my instructions to heart then

    "Once it’s all packed just give one final thought – would YOU be happy to throw the bag and contents down the stairs. If so, then you’re fine – if unsure, then check the padding and add more"
  • Good comment FB, mine always passes that test, I think I have padding OCD  image

  • OMG FB that link's scared the crap out of me!  image 

    So there's no just wheeling you bike onto the plane and sticking it in the corner then ... image

  • to an extent you can PP - but I wouldn't trust the baggage handlers with it! I've seen a couple of people at Stansted on touring bikes wrapping them in bubble wrap before they checked in - no bags, no boxes - no brains!!
  • There's some sense in just using a clear plastic bag to pack your bike as the throwers can then see what they're handling and it's a tricky shape that can't be thrown in with a pile of suitcases.  I use a soft bike bag, which was fine for the trip to Austria.  It even made it onto the teeny, rubber band powered plane for the leg from Vienna to Klagenfurt.
  • Just don't fly swizzair cos they charge an arm and a leg to carry your bike. Thieving gits.
  • Sleezy-jet give you a baggage allowance of 20Kg per person, add a bike to your ticket and you get a further 13Kg (I think) to add to the total.

    However, they won't ship any item that weighs more than 32Kg. Like FB says do a dry run, and make sure you weigh the outcome.. you may be suprised. Some airlines charge an embarrassing fee per additional Kg.

    Pack helmet & shoes in hold luggage ~ they're weapons now you know.

    Don't pack non-bike related stuff in the bike box/bag.. they'll sniff it out and unpack for you. Drinks bottles, helmet etc. count as 'bike stuff'. Not sure if a wetsuit would count, probably not, but then it's heavy as well. Some say pack the wetsuit to pad your bike, this is subjective but I wouldn't want to risk damaging the wetsuit.

  • "Some airlines charge an embarrassing fee per additional Kg."

    travelling to Thailand a few years ago with MTBs, some of the other group members coming from Manchester had a particularly stupid check in clerk who didn't understand the baggage rules (it was a pretty new flight route) and were charged way over £500 for being overweight with the bike bags - despite them taking loads out and carrying it as hand luggage!

    they kicked up a fuss in Thailand and promptly got apologies for the error, a full refund of the charges, and an upgrade to business class on the way home
  • Flying to (or via) the states changes all the rules regarding luggage (is a lot lot easier).  I used soft bag, with tent, walking boots, tools, water bottles and a load of other random stuff in there right up to the 32kg and Air NZ didn't bat an eyelid.  Was absolutely fine, no damage at all.
  • Bikes on a plane - is that a new movie?
  • It took you 5 years to repeat a joke? image

  • M..o.useM..o.use ✭✭✭

    No, there was a spammer who spammed every bike transport thread last night.  The spam has been deleted but other funnies/comments left behind.

  • We flew virgin, they don't charge for bikes (but probably wished they had as it was the world champs in Vegas and all the team seemed to be getting on the same flight) they all arrived on the flight safe. Ryan scare charge but got the bike to Spain in one piece. 

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