When I flew with my bike this is what happened......

Cycle-touring, Expeditions, Adventures, Major cycle routes NOT LeJoG (see other special board)
MrsHJ
Posts: 442
Joined: 19 Aug 2010, 1:03pm
Location: Dartmouth, Devon.

Re: When I flew with my bike this is what happened......

Postby MrsHJ » 11 Jul 2018, 11:02pm

Colgrenfell wrote:Flew Easyjet LGW to Montpellier and back.. sort of..

Two bikes both wrapped in new Wiggle CTC plastic bags, plenty of pipe lagging and Bopworx derailleur guards.
After checking in and boarding; we wait on the plane, and then without warning due to ATC strike in Marseille, flight cancelled; we disembark.. and get to see just how much care the Gatwick baggage handlers take - the answer being not much.. ON a round trip from check-in to plane to baggage collection both CTC bags ripped to shreds, and both derailleur guards snapped.. IMG_1801.jpg

I think the problem is that baggage handlers frequently don't return bikes on the oversize luggage route, and simply send it on the normal luggage conveyor belts where the damage occurs..as bikes jostle with suitcases and sharp bends on the luggage belt.

After an enforced break of a couple of days whilst waiting for new flight out I decided I'm done with plastic bags... a very helpful guy in the Gatwick Evans Cycles gave us a couple of cardboard boxes for the outbound flight.. returning from Montpellier picked up cardboard boxes from LBS near Montpellier airport - Culture Velo.

Both flights damage free.. was boring to have to remove rear rack, front mudguard, bars from stem (and cable tied to top tube), and reassemble on arrival but have decided that on future flights this is the way forward..manufacturers use cardboard boxes to transport new bikes to LBS for good reason.. strong and cheap!


Ouch, that doesn't look good. Gatwick (and I suspect other larger airports) have long been a bit of an issue as they are managing the flow of huge amounts of luggage so it all has to blend into the standards. One thing that helps with the bigger airports (I'm sure that Colgrenfell is already aware of this but for newbies) is to make sure that the bikes can flow over any baggage belts easily so smoothing things out with bubble wrap etc helps-you don't want things getting caught. I tend to fly to smaller airports where the Gatwick issue is less of one (Exeter being my preferred choice but Bristol was ok the last time I used it and I'll use it again this summer). I, going to get a rohloff bike so derailleurs should be less of an issue but it's going to be an even more expensive bit of kit to put at risk.

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steve71ni
Posts: 18
Joined: 29 Apr 2007, 11:19pm

Re: When I flew with my bike this is what happened......

Postby steve71ni » 14 Jul 2018, 10:28am

Flying out of Belfast International. Had our bikes in wiggle plastic bags and were made to sign a disclaimer for damage as they weren't in boxes. Next issue is the outsize scanner which doesn't have the height for the bike to go upright. Packed bike will need to go in at an angle so needs to be propped up by bags or the like. The staff member was initially trying to get us to break our bikes down further to get them through but we suggested angling them with our bags and then putting the bag through the scanner again so that it could be properly checked. Bikes arrived safely at Paris CDG.

From Paris CDG. No issues at all, bike appears to be fine.

Experience of Schipol at least as recently as 2014 is that a minimum of cardboard bike boxes must be used, available from the airport at 23euro.

regards,
steve.

simonhill
Posts: 1838
Joined: 13 Jan 2007, 11:28am
Location: Essex

Re: When I flew with my bike this is what happened......

Postby simonhill » 14 Jul 2018, 12:48pm

I've had my bike chemically scanned when it wouldn't fit through the scanner. Sometimes using a swap and another time it was a sort of vacuum cleaner.

Might be worth asking if these exist at your departure airport.

MrsHJ
Posts: 442
Joined: 19 Aug 2010, 1:03pm
Location: Dartmouth, Devon.

Re: When I flew with my bike this is what happened......

Postby MrsHJ » 15 Jul 2018, 12:35pm

steve71ni wrote:Flying out of Belfast International. Had our bikes in wiggle plastic bags and were made to sign a disclaimer for damage as they weren't in boxes. Next issue is the outsize scanner which doesn't have the height for the bike to go upright. Packed bike will need to go in at an angle so needs to be propped up by bags or the like. The staff member was initially trying to get us to break our bikes down further to get them through but we suggested angling them with our bags and then putting the bag through the scanner again so that it could be properly checked. Bikes arrived safely at Paris CDG.

From Paris CDG. No issues at all, bike appears to be fine.

Experience of Schipol at least as recently as 2014 is that a minimum of cardboard bike boxes must be used, available from the airport at 23euro.

regards,
steve.


I was in schipol in summer 2016 with Flybe and bags were fine both arriving and departing. However, the arrivals baggage hall was hell on Earth.

mongoose
Posts: 10
Joined: 5 May 2017, 9:45pm

Re: When I flew with my bike this is what happened......

Postby mongoose » 16 Jul 2018, 9:42pm

Gatwick to Basle by Easyjet - bike in CTC bag, pedals removed, handlebars turned - bike arrived OK
Basle to Gatwick by Easyjet - airport wanted bike boxed but I insisted it didn't showing them the Easyjet information which they then accepted so bike in CTC bag - bike arrived OK
Gatwick to Lyon by Easyjet - bike in same CTC bag, pedals removed, handlebars turned - bike arrived OK but the handlers had torn the bag open to deflate the tyres
Montpellier to Gatwick by Easyjet - bike in same CTC bag as before but with tyres deflated this time - bike went in the oversize conveyor OK but another couple had used opaque plastic to wrap their bike and the handler insisted on opening it to check inside - our bikes arrived OK
Gatwick to Munich by Easyjet - different bike this time with carbon fork and hydro disks so pedals off, handlebars turned, controls protected by pipe lagging, forks, cranks and derailleur protected by pipe lagging, disk rotors removed, bagged and taped inside pannier rack, tyres deflated all in same CTC bag now a bit worse for wear- bike would not fit in the oversize conveyor so had to be escorted to airside security where they took swabs but were pleased to see the CTC bag as they could see the bike without opening up - bike arrived OK but took an age to re-assemble and the pipe lagging took up a lot of space in the panniers
Verona to Gatwick by BA - as for Munich but left the rotors on this time - just fitted in the oversize conveyor this time - bike arrived OK

I have a maximum cabin size flight bag into which I fit the empty Ortlieb panniers, my clothes in drybags and the rest of the touring gear. The bike tools are on the bike in a bottle pack.