Flying with a Bike

Cycle-touring, Expeditions, Adventures, Major cycle routes NOT LeJoG (see other special board)
pete75
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Joined: 24 Jul 2007, 2:37pm

Flying with a Bike

Postby pete75 » 20 Sep 2018, 4:45pm

Just looked into flying with bike and found BA take them free as part of your inclusive luggage allowance. Business class allows two 32kg items in Europe which is enough for bike and luggage. However they do say " Thin polythene covers aren't recommended by us because they offer very little protection - which means that if you arrive with your bike in one, our airport team might ask you to sign a damage disclaimer."

simonhill
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Joined: 13 Jan 2007, 11:28am
Location: Essex

Re: Flying with a Bike

Postby simonhill » 20 Sep 2018, 5:11pm

Having to sign a waiver is common, however your bike is packed. I normally sign one on Emirates even though my bike is in a cardboard bike box.

Do you want to fly Business Class? You can go Easyjet, etc for cheap fare plus about £40 for a bike. One other piece of luggage is about £15, which is much less than BA Business class and often cheaper than BA Economy.

durhambiker
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Joined: 6 Jun 2010, 12:59pm

Re: Flying with a Bike

Postby durhambiker » 20 Sep 2018, 5:41pm

Business class to go biking! Bizarre

pete75
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Joined: 24 Jul 2007, 2:37pm

Re: Flying with a Bike

Postby pete75 » 20 Sep 2018, 5:48pm

durhambiker wrote:Business class to go biking! Bizarre


Why? With offers I have access to can get London - Warsaw return for 50 quid business class. Economy £35 but would have to pay that much again to take bike so business is best value. Flight has to be with BA though.

ubert767
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Joined: 4 Aug 2013, 8:16pm

Re: Flying with a Bike

Postby ubert767 » 20 Sep 2018, 8:35pm

I've just flown back by British Airways from Frankfurt to Heathrow with my bike in a CTC type polythene bag (no damage waiver required). Although all went well and the bike was accepted as part of my allowance, in comparison to Easyjet I found the BA booking procedure annoying, to say the least.
On the BA website their additional checked-in baggage costs ( £60 for a bag into Heathrow, £35 into Gatwick) are somewhat hidden and also there is a requirement to give notice via a premium rate phone call of your intention to fly with your bike. This was to a call centre operative whose first language was not English and with whom it was difficult to communicate with any confidence. (Call cost £6)
I think that BA now has a wiff of Ryanair about it, I much prefer Easyjet any day.

pete75
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Joined: 24 Jul 2007, 2:37pm

Re: Flying with a Bike

Postby pete75 » 20 Sep 2018, 9:30pm

ubert767 wrote:I've just flown back by British Airways from Frankfurt to Heathrow with my bike in a CTC type polythene bag (no damage waiver required). Although all went well and the bike was accepted as part of my allowance, in comparison to Easyjet I found the BA booking procedure annoying, to say the least.
On the BA website their additional checked-in baggage costs ( £60 for a bag into Heathrow, £35 into Gatwick) are somewhat hidden and also there is a requirement to give notice via a premium rate phone call of your intention to fly with your bike. This was to a call centre operative whose first language was not English and with whom it was difficult to communicate with any confidence. (Call cost £6)
I think that BA now has a wiff of Ryanair about it, I much prefer Easyjet any day.


On the BA website it says "When you have booked your ticket, remember to call and let us know the size and weight of the bike you are bringing, so we can be ready to accept it." Clicking on the call and let us know link took me to these contact details:-
"Telephone: 0344 493 0787 option 3
(calls charged at local rate)
Daily
06:00-20:00"

Two items of baggage of 32kg each are included with the flight so I don't think I'd need to buy any extra.

MrsHJ
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Joined: 19 Aug 2010, 1:03pm
Location: Dartmouth, Devon.

Re: Flying with a Bike

Postby MrsHJ » 21 Sep 2018, 5:47am

In terms of weight I think I had 16.6k of bag (camping tour) and 14.4k of bike. Just to help with the maths.

pete75
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Joined: 24 Jul 2007, 2:37pm

Re: Flying with a Bike

Postby pete75 » 21 Sep 2018, 7:28am

MrsHJ wrote:In terms of weight I think I had 16.6k of bag (camping tour) and 14.4k of bike. Just to help with the maths.


Have never weighed my touring bike - must do. WIll be flying after Brexit day so wonder if they'll have changed weights back to imperial by then. :wink:

delilah
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Location: Oldham

Re: Flying with a Bike

Postby delilah » 21 Sep 2018, 9:20pm

Ryan Air have almost signalled the death knell for me touring with my bike by air!
Flew out to Charleroi in June with bike in cardboard box.
On returning dismantelled, packed and taped bike up in plastic CTC bag only to be told Ryan Air would not accept it!
They took me round the counter and showed me picture sent from Ryan Air Air showing plastic see-through bags would not be accepted. Only Boxes and Bags.
I complained that it was news to me and that I had flown Ryan Air several times before and they always accepted plastic /nylon bags.
They wouldn't budge. Made me unpack my bike. Purchase a cardboard box from them for E30 which I had to assemble myself!
So Ryan Air are definately off my radar?
ps I had considered flying to Luxembourg next year with Flye Be but they have a policy of only accepting bikes if there's room on the plane at the time so I'm not sure if I turned up whether I get out or back with my bike!!!

MrsHJ
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Location: Dartmouth, Devon.

Re: Flying with a Bike

Postby MrsHJ » 22 Sep 2018, 10:20am

delilah wrote:Ryan Air have almost signalled the death knell for me touring with my bike by air!
Flew out to Charleroi in June with bike in cardboard box.
On returning dismantelled, packed and taped bike up in plastic CTC bag only to be told Ryan Air would not accept it!
They took me round the counter and showed me picture sent from Ryan Air Air showing plastic see-through bags would not be accepted. Only Boxes and Bags.
I complained that it was news to me and that I had flown Ryan Air several times before and they always accepted plastic /nylon bags.
They wouldn't budge. Made me unpack my bike. Purchase a cardboard box from them for E30 which I had to assemble myself!
So Ryan Air are definately off my radar?
ps I had considered flying to Luxembourg next year with Flye Be but they have a policy of only accepting bikes if there's room on the plane at the time so I'm not sure if I turned up whether I get out or back with my bike!!!


Blimey, I flew with them on Monday and no mention of that but I was at tiny Beziers airport. This is one of the reasons I try to avoid Ryanair though-I don't trust them not to move the goal posts. Some numpty at Bristol put the bike on the regular luggage belt though and I was very unimpressed. Have flown fine with Flybe a couple of times before. We were first at check in but I haven't heard of bikes actually being refused. The problem would be if a stag weekend of golfers with their golf bags was going somewhere they'd get first preference.

Get CTC in the case?

simonhill
Posts: 2063
Joined: 13 Jan 2007, 11:28am
Location: Essex

Re: Flying with a Bike

Postby simonhill » 22 Sep 2018, 11:19am

delilah wrote:Ryan Air have almost signalled the death knell for me touring with my bike by air!
Flew out to Charleroi in June with bike in cardboard box.
On returning dismantelled, packed and taped bike up in plastic CTC bag only to be told Ryan Air would not accept it!
They took me round the counter and showed me picture sent from Ryan Air Air showing plastic see-through bags would not be accepted. Only Boxes and Bags.
I complained that it was news to me and that I had flown Ryan Air several times before and they always accepted plastic /nylon bags.
They wouldn't budge. Made me unpack my bike. Purchase a cardboard box from them for E30 which I had to assemble myself!
So Ryan Air are definately off my radar?
ps I had considered flying to Luxembourg next year with Flye Be but they have a policy of only accepting bikes if there's room on the plane at the time so I'm not sure if I turned up whether I get out or back with my bike!!!


Seeing as this was 3 months ago and there have been no other reports, I wonder if it really is a Ryan-wide thing, or just Charleroi getting bolshy. Plus, of course, taking the opportunity to sell a very expensive cardboard box. Its not difficult to create a Company letter to show what you want is official policy. The fact they had it and showed it rather smacks of them being prepared to have their (own) rules challenged.

I fly a lot and find that rules are rules, but each airport may find a reason to vary them to their whim or advantage. Some airports will not accept bikes unless boxed - regardless of what the airline require.

Anyone else been subject to this new Ryanair rule?

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bigjim
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Location: Manchester

Re: Flying with a Bike

Postby bigjim » 22 Sep 2018, 11:34am

Probably the check-in desk on commission. I was refused at Beziers for an Easyjet flight because the bike was in a plastic bag. Check-in wanted us to purchase cardboard boxes. We stood our ground and got the airport manager to come down and made them access EJs website. They had to relent and let us board. Not a pleasant experience and totally unnecessary. I hire a bike these days if it is at all possible.
Nothing left to prove. http://adenough1.blogspot.co.uk/

pete75
Posts: 10072
Joined: 24 Jul 2007, 2:37pm

Re: Flying with a Bike

Postby pete75 » 22 Sep 2018, 5:55pm

simonhill wrote:
delilah wrote:Ryan Air have almost signalled the death knell for me touring with my bike by air!
Flew out to Charleroi in June with bike in cardboard box.
On returning dismantelled, packed and taped bike up in plastic CTC bag only to be told Ryan Air would not accept it!
They took me round the counter and showed me picture sent from Ryan Air Air showing plastic see-through bags would not be accepted. Only Boxes and Bags.
I complained that it was news to me and that I had flown Ryan Air several times before and they always accepted plastic /nylon bags.
They wouldn't budge. Made me unpack my bike. Purchase a cardboard box from them for E30 which I had to assemble myself!
So Ryan Air are definately off my radar?
ps I had considered flying to Luxembourg next year with Flye Be but they have a policy of only accepting bikes if there's room on the plane at the time so I'm not sure if I turned up whether I get out or back with my bike!!!


Seeing as this was 3 months ago and there have been no other reports, I wonder if it really is a Ryan-wide thing, or just Charleroi getting bolshy. Plus, of course, taking the opportunity to sell a very expensive cardboard box. Its not difficult to create a Company letter to show what you want is official policy. The fact they had it and showed it rather smacks of them being prepared to have their (own) rules challenged.

I fly a lot and find that rules are rules, but each airport may find a reason to vary them to their whim or advantage. Some airports will not accept bikes unless boxed - regardless of what the airline require.

Anyone else been subject to this new Ryanair rule?


Their website currently says "Bicycles - MUST be contained in a protective box or protective bike bag in order to be accepted for travel." https://www.ryanair.com/gb/en/useful-in ... _368204930

Presumably a clear plastic bag is not regarded as a "protective bike bag". This is correct in that it provides no physical protection.

In my opinion, for what it's worth, such a bag may give psychological protection in that handlers can see what it is and hopefully handle accordingly.

simonhill
Posts: 2063
Joined: 13 Jan 2007, 11:28am
Location: Essex

Re: Flying with a Bike

Postby simonhill » 22 Sep 2018, 6:12pm

Fair enough. If it is on their website then no real argument. Thanks for that. It just goes to show that plenty of airports don't
apply the rule.

I haven't flown with Ryanair for 15 years or so. For Europe, I am happy with easyjet (plus I get get free flights via my Emirates' air-miles).

I now have mixed views about naked (or poly bag) bikes. In Asia, I have certainly had my bike treated with respect, but not sure about your average UK baghandler. I was once told at Gatwick that the 'guys downstairs' hated unboxed bikes as they were difficult to handle. There was an implication that because of this they were more likely to be mistreated than handled with care.

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bigjim
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Re: Flying with a Bike

Postby bigjim » 22 Sep 2018, 6:32pm

I always box my bike on the way out. More likely to have an undamaged bike for my tour. On the return leg I use one of those £5 bike covers from Ebay. It has pictures of bikes plastered all over it. Useless protection as it's usually torn somewhere on arrival. However it has never been refused by Check-in as they can't argue that it is not a bike bag. Unlike the CTC bag, as they can say, it's just a plastic bag.
Nothing left to prove. http://adenough1.blogspot.co.uk/