BA flights and Bicycle packing

Cycle-touring, Expeditions, Adventures, Major cycle routes NOT LeJoG (see other special board)
DaveyDave
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Joined: 13 Jul 2008, 6:40pm

BA flights and Bicycle packing

Postby DaveyDave » 11 Jun 2011, 8:11pm

Hi All,
Has anyone any recent experience with BA (and SAS) with respect to their acceptance to certain forms of bike packaging?. The nature of my proposed tour is such that I cannot use a box or fabric bag so I was going to go for CTC's polythene travel bag approach. The BA website says:
'We will accept non-motorised bicycles of all dimensions provided they are packed in a recognised bicycle bag.'

However, I am concerned that BA will not recognise my polythene-wrapped bike as a 'recognised bicycle bag' even though that's what it is. To all bystanders it basically looks like a bike in a large clear polythene bag. I have tried having this conversation with them on the phone but on the rare occasions that I can get through to a human being, they just quote (literally reading!) the text on the website at me!. Has anyone any recent good/bad experiences relevant to this?.

Ta in advance,
Dave

lisap
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Joined: 16 Jan 2007, 2:29pm
Location: On the edge of the Cotswolds

Re: BA flights and Bicycle packing

Postby lisap » 12 Jun 2011, 1:58pm

Dave, I only ever fly BA with my bike and they have been brilliant and I wouldn't use any other airline. Having said that I always use a soft bag which gets padded with panniers and other stuff. It then folds down to an A4 size pack and fits into the trailer or pannier easily.

HarryD
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Joined: 9 Jan 2007, 5:44pm

Re: BA flights and Bicycle packing

Postby HarryD » 12 Jun 2011, 2:42pm

lisap

Silly question. But what do you put your trailer in when flying? Or do you hook it onto the back of the plane?

H

lisap
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Location: On the edge of the Cotswolds

Re: BA flights and Bicycle packing

Postby lisap » 12 Jun 2011, 3:14pm

Hi Harry

If I take the trailer (it's a BOB) I take the hitch arm and wheel off and put them in the bag with all my camping kit. The quick release bit that juts out at the wheel end is well padded so as not to damage any other baggage in the hold and then the bag goes in the trailer and secured with those straps that have metal cleats on the end.

It is quite obvious it is a trailer but as long as it is under the weight they are fine taking it off me. It doesn't even go through oversize baggage.

Baldric
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Joined: 13 Jan 2007, 3:38pm

Re: BA flights and Bicycle packing

Postby Baldric » 15 Jun 2011, 8:49am

Don't know about BA but recently did Ryan Air from Montpellier to Leeds Bradford, was going to use the European Bike Express and had planned the whole holiday around there departure date and then about 2 months before they cancelled on me. Bl**dy great!!!!!! Anyway I digress - we got to the airport in Montpellier and I packed the bikes up in said CTC plastic bag - checked in panniers and took the bikes to the oversized luggage area where we were then told the bikes couldn't be taken as they were too big, a slightly more helpful luggage handler then appear and suggested we lower the saddles, so I dutifully unpacked the bikes and lowered said saddles - they tried again but said they still wouldn't fit through the machine, could we take the front wheels off - so unpacked the bikes again and removed the front wheels. Eventually we managed but if they had given some dimensions in the first place it would have been more helpful. The only damage at the other end was a smashed back light and a destroyed bell, oh and the plastic nut cover on the front wheel axle was missing.

The only other worry was I couldn't get the bikes insured for air travel as the insurers said the bikes had to be in suitable protective packaging, which on further investigation was a hard case. I then called the air line and asked them what their insurance was but they said they don't cover sports equipment. Anyway decided to run the risk and go for it and luckily the bikes came through almost in one piece.

Cheers

Paul

pal
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Joined: 22 Mar 2008, 11:49am

Re: BA flights and Bicycle packing

Postby pal » 15 Jun 2011, 9:04am

Has anyone any recent experience with BA (and SAS) with respect to their acceptance to certain forms of bike packaging?


No experience with BA, but I've flown with SAS with an entirely unpacked bike (just removed the pedals and turned the handlebars) with no problems at all.

Dudley Manlove
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Joined: 18 Jun 2009, 10:41am

Re: BA flights and Bicycle packing

Postby Dudley Manlove » 15 Jun 2011, 10:17am

Flew a few times on BA with the bike and just the CTC poly bag has been fine. The lastest was last December, afaik their policy has not changed since.

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

Re: BA flights and Bicycle packing

Postby simonhill » 15 Jun 2011, 12:41pm

I don't fly BA or SAS, but have flown lots of others and my advice is to take as much evidence as poss of their policy (copy website, etc). Also get there early.

The reason is that it is often the local staff who are the problem - not knowing the rules, having local rules, etc. I have had the same airline insist on a box, accept wheel on, weigh, not weigh, etc, etc.

hillspecial
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Joined: 22 Mar 2009, 1:12pm
Location: Geneva, Switzerland.

Re: BA flights and Bicycle packing

Postby hillspecial » 16 Jun 2011, 8:09pm

lisap wrote:Dave, I only ever fly BA with my bike and they have been brilliant and I wouldn't use any other airline. Having said that I always use a soft bag which gets padded with panniers and other stuff. It then folds down to an A4 size pack and fits into the trailer or pannier easily.


Yo Lisa, can you give me more info on the bike bag u speak of that folds up into an A4 size pack ?

Thanks,

Paul

vjosullivan
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Joined: 31 Oct 2010, 12:06am

Re: BA flights and Bicycle packing

Postby vjosullivan » 16 Jun 2011, 8:47pm

simonhill wrote:The reason is that it is often the local staff who are the problem - not knowing the rules, having local rules, etc. I have had the same airline insist on a box, accept wheel on, weigh, not weigh, etc, etc.

That's a good point. At many airports, particularly outside the UK, the check-in staff are airport employees, not airline employees. In some cases, particularly on routes that have only one or two flights per day or less than seven per week, then the staff may be contract staff - employed, dressed and working for the airline one minute and changed and working for another as soon as the flight departs.
E23

sergissimo
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Joined: 12 Sep 2011, 11:48pm

Re: BA flights and Bicycle packing

Postby sergissimo » 12 Sep 2011, 11:51pm

Hi

How did you go about this? I am flying with BA at the end of the month and still not too sure what to do


Thanks

Sergio

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bigjim
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Location: Manchester

Re: BA flights and Bicycle packing

Postby bigjim » 13 Sep 2011, 10:59am

Flew twice with BA last week using plastic bag, no problems. They did not even weigh it, just asked me what the weight was. One desk even produced a fragile sticker to attach to the bag.
Nothing left to prove.

vjosullivan
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Joined: 31 Oct 2010, 12:06am

Re: BA flights and Bicycle packing

Postby vjosullivan » 14 Sep 2011, 12:22am

sergissimo wrote:I am flying with BA at the end of the month and still not too sure what to do

You could take a look at the BA web site. The bike will be counted as part of your normal weight allowance. Get a bike bage from an LBS, mail order, or the CTC.
BA wrote:We will accept non-motorised bicycles of all dimensions provided they are packed in a recognised bicycle bag.

Preparing bicycles for travel:

•bicycle pedals must be removed (or fixed inwards)
•handlebars must be fixed sideways
•the bicycle must be contained in a protective case or bag
•you may wish to deflate the tyres to reduce risk of damage.
E23

sergissimo
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Joined: 12 Sep 2011, 11:48pm

Re: BA flights and Bicycle packing

Postby sergissimo » 20 Sep 2011, 11:09pm

Thanks guys
One of my problems is that I have 2 big panniers.One of them would be taken as a hand luggage.However, Does anyone know if i could check-in the bike with the other pannier attached??

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bigjim
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Location: Manchester

Re: BA flights and Bicycle packing

Postby bigjim » 20 Sep 2011, 11:16pm

Yes.
As long as total weight is less than 23kg.
Nothing left to prove.