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BA are great with bikes.
Didn't someone go to IMAT via Llubljana with ryan air - and miss the race because they never got his bike there?
I've flown with Ryanair several times to Girona as I used to do a bit of training over there (this was before the Celtic tiger died and I could afford a coach ). Maybe I was lucky but I didn't have any bad experiences. You booked the bike online and it was pretty easy. Having said that, it's about 2 years since I was over there if not a little more and they have become much more militant about overweight luggage since. But it was easy and fairly cheap at the time, 30 Euro I think.
On the otherhand Swiss Air charged me 70 Euro each way to Switzerland (and they sponsor the Swiss Ironman) and Aer Lingus make you ring their booking office to get a bike on at all which is a fairly painful experience.
You're right PSC - Ryanair is 30kg but easyJet is 32 and I, like your poor friend, need that extra 2kg for a heavy bike box. (It is agreat bike box, though - no need for bubble wrap or pipe lagging or anything. Leave the pedals and saddle on, too. It IS like wheeling around a large chest freezer, though, and is deeply uncool.)
I think I'll be going easyJet and just put up with going to LGW etc. Shame, because Bournemouth's much more friendly (hence the Ryanair question because they're the only ones that go to Palma from Bournemouth at the mo). But I just don't want to risk the stress and hassle of extra charges. Flying with a bike's expensive and stressful enough without worrying about Mr O'Leary or whatever his name is finding yet another way to get his pound of flesh.
I go Spain several times a year so bit the bullet and just bought a bike to keep out there. Definitely cheaper as there are no local rental options. Easy jet is something like £80 each way if I remember. BA used to be free from oversize sports kit as I flew back from Gibraltar once to take advantage of this. Alas, no more.