Easyjet

Cycle-touring, Expeditions, Adventures, Major cycle routes NOT LeJoG (see other special board)
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frank9755
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Easyjet

Postby frank9755 » 27 Aug 2009, 7:46pm

Does anyone have any recent experience of taking a bike on Easyjet - any things to do or not to do?
I'm flying from Gatwick to Montpellier in a couple of weeks time. I've got a CTC polythene bag, and plan to prepare the bike as per CJ's guidance, but it's the first time I've taken a bike on a plane so would welcome any reassurance or forewarnings regarding what to expect!

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mill4six
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Re: Easyjet

Postby mill4six » 27 Aug 2009, 8:31pm

I flew Easyjet from Inverness to Bristol recently, my colleague had a big clear bag large enough to take the bike with bars turned and pedals removed. We just rolled it in, taped the end over with duct tape and sent it through the oversize baggage check in no problems at all. I'd spent £40 on a proper bag and had the pleasure of dismantling my bike completely to fit it in. Just one warning try and get frame spacers if you remove the wheels and remove the rear mech from it's hanger if possible. We got away with it but my bag took a hammering. Good luck...

MartinBrice
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Re: Easyjet

Postby MartinBrice » 27 Aug 2009, 10:03pm

I did exactly the same trip last year and had no problems at all. At Gatwick the Easyjet lady found me after i had checked in and said she would personally check the bike was OK - on the plane I asked the stewardess if my bike was on, they rang up and checked, and came to my seat to say the bike was on the plane. On the way back I watched it being loaded and the Montpellier loading man held it in his hands and went up the conveyor belt into the plane as I watched from the departure lounge. There wasn't a scratch on it at all. I don't see why Easyjet is seen as a "cheap" airline - the service I had was superb. I used a plastic bag i made from a mattress we bought, taped it with gaffer tape and put a notice on it saying "Bicycle fragile" on one side and "Velo fragile" on the other.
My only advice would be to arrive at Gatwick about 3 - yes, 3 - hours before the flight and that gives you oceans of time to prepare the bike. And 2 or 3 days - yes, days - before you leave home, check you can get the pedals off - you won't want to to be at an airport wrestling with pedals as the clock ticks on and on.... I have drops and turned them, and then I turn the STI brake levers so they are inside as it were, so they won't get bashed. The plastic bag I chucked on the rack at the other end and cycled to Montpellier train station - that is a tricky trip and needs a bit of thought but it was fine. I went on a CTC trip to Doug's place - it was fantastic and I'm definitely going back, perhaps next year. Is that what you're doing?

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frank9755
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Re: Easyjet

Postby frank9755 » 27 Aug 2009, 10:16pm

Thanks guys - Martin in particular, your story is very reassuring! One important thing - you have reminded me to add 'pedal spanner' to my holiday toolkit; not something I would normally take but I wouldn't want to have got to the airport before I realised!

I'm going on a CTC tour in the Pyrenees, with Peter England. Am looking forward to it, but a bit apprehensive as it seems to include some very big climbs (and descents!), which are way beyond anything I've done so far.

simonhill
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Re: Easyjet

Postby simonhill » 28 Aug 2009, 10:42am

Not only add pedal spanner, but make sure that they are loose enough to undo before you leave home. I have been in the difficult situation of not being able to remove with a small spanner at the airport after they had been tightened by my LBS.

MartinBrice
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Re: Easyjet

Postby MartinBrice » 28 Aug 2009, 12:46pm

you might want to have a go at home, taking pedals off, turning handlebars, etc. it doesn't take long when you know what you're doing but you don't want to be learning it at an airport. also, make absolutely sure that you know exactly what easyjet expects you to do with the bike, cos things may have changed since i did it.

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anniesboy
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Re: Easyjet

Postby anniesboy » 28 Aug 2009, 9:54pm

Don't forget left pedal is left-hand threaded, I saw a chap at Gatwick sweating and cursing trying to remove by turning the wrong way.

Gyllas
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Re: Easyjet

Postby Gyllas » 31 Aug 2009, 5:53pm

My daughter and I flew with both Easyjet and RyanAir this summer and used the CTC plastic bag on both occasions with no real problems at all. Like a lot of you, I'd agonised over how to pack the bikes but as we were touring and not returning from the same airport a heavy duty bike bag was out of the question. In the end I liked the idea that if the handlers can see the bike they will be more inclined to treat it with a bit of respect, which turned out to be the case.

We flew out of Bristol to Bergerac and even managed to put both bikes in the one bag (end to end and taped together to protect the gears) having left the other at home which caused a little bit of panic (doh!). As long as the total weight is less than 32kg you are o.k. We returned from Marsaille with Easyjet, again with no problems.

Only thing I'd do differently next time is perhaps wrap some bubblewrap around sensitive paintwork (we did get a sight scuff on one fork) and not let all the air out of thetyres becuse I think this did contribute to a puncture later on the ride as the tube looked like it had been crimped against the rim as if it had been dragged about on the flat tyre. Actually, I'm not even certan you need to let the air out but as i was on the plane I ered on the side of caution!

steve71ni
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Re: Easyjet

Postby steve71ni » 3 Sep 2009, 1:01am

another useful tip is to have a some lube with you and apply to the pedal threads when you reassemble at the other end. When it comes to removing the pedals for the return flight it definitely makes life easier. My mate didn't take my advice on our last trip and struggled for some time to unscrew his pedals, I got mine off with little effort and a smug expression.

One other thing, getting your bike accepted one way doesn't guarantee the same for the return. I went from belfast to schipol with easyjet, poly bag, no probs. Coming back the staff at schipol made me buy a bike box.

regards,
steve.

Pass the Biscuits
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Re: Easyjet

Postby Pass the Biscuits » 10 Sep 2009, 10:00pm

Flying to the baltics we wrapped our bikes in cling film bought from the shop. It works great, you can even repeat wrap some section if your want to give them extra protection. Not only is it cheap, you can just pick some up before you fly home.

matt_twam_asi
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Re: Easyjet

Postby matt_twam_asi » 16 Sep 2009, 11:53am

I've just flown back with my bike from Toulouse to Gatwick, no problems.

Instead of buying a bike bag/box I went to the local Veloland and asked for a cardboard box, then after loading the bike in and filling as much space as possible, I gaffa taped the hell out of it. I asked for a fragile sticker at the airport and the box came out at Gatwick almost totally unscathed.

I guess that option only works for trips home. We got to the Languedoc the hard way ;)

oldfoolsclub
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Re: Easyjet

Postby oldfoolsclub » 22 Sep 2009, 3:23pm

EASYJET FROM BUDAPEST.
We have just returned from Budapest and a had problem with the loading clerk. Although my bike ,packed in an old OZZO bike bag, was accepted, my mates bike, packed in the same polythene bag which was accepted at LGW by Easyjet for our flight to Vienna, was vehemently rejected by the clerk who insisted that the requirement was for a bike bag(bought from a shop).Objections to customer services had no effect.The clerk's decision was final . An airport porter appeared and offered to help. He had stashed away a couple of discarded bike boxes and sold us one for 10 Euros. Easyjet 's policy seems to be at the whim of the local airport staff and does not help if you want to fly out of a different airport on the return journey. BEWARE!

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frank9755
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Re: Easyjet

Postby frank9755 » 28 Sep 2009, 8:34am

It all worked out ok for me, both directions.
I used the CTC plastic bag, turned handlebars, removed rear mech, took out the front wheel and took off bits that would break. The bike came through unscathed. I didn't deflate the tyres. This required me to lie at Luton but at Montpellier they didn't ask.
On the return flight there was a party of seven who just used plastic bags, turned their bars and did nothing else (front wheel in). This seemed to work fine for them.
I'd feel more confident about flying with my bike in future.
Thanks to all for your stories and advice.

Frank

vrnwy73
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Re: Easyjet

Postby vrnwy73 » 10 Oct 2009, 12:00pm

I flew my Roberts tourer to Geneva with EasyJet using the CTC bag. Handlebars turned, pedals off & jockey wheels zipped up to the chainstay. Tyres deflated. I left the wheels in place, which was a mistake as it meant the bag was too big for the belt-scanner and had to be hand-scanned. It survived fine, minus one bar-end plug.

Having dumped the bag before the Alps, I flew back from Nice using a box from Culture Velo.
This time I removed the front wheel and the bike went into the box ok. Again the bike survived fine.

Most European bike shops seem to close noon Saturday and re-open Tuesday, so if you need anything or any help it is probably best not to fly Saturday am. My mini-pump failed me and I got to Garufi cycles 5 mins before they closed.

MartinBrice
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Re: Easyjet

Postby MartinBrice » 10 Oct 2009, 8:31pm

Bar-end plug missing? What a coincidence. I lost one flying back from Norway - I think they remove it to stick their "sniffer" thing in the bars to check they're not full of naughty things. My LBS (Everndens in Paddock Wood - recommended) gave me a replacement for free. Might be worth removing one and putting it in your pocket before you fly.