FLYING WITH BIKES

Cycle-touring, Expeditions, Adventures, Major cycle routes NOT LeJoG (see other special board)
tressell69
Posts: 67
Joined: 2 Jul 2009, 10:12pm
Location: Strathclyde

FLYING WITH BIKES

Postby tressell69 » 18 Mar 2010, 12:12am

Myself and Bobs are travelling with bikes on easyjet from Edinburgh to Munich in April.
After reading numerous blogs weve decided to chance it and bought a couple of CTC clear bags.
We'll turn bars , remove pedals and possibley put bits of pipe lagging around stays.
Fingers crossed that they treat with care and itll not end up like something for the Tate Modern.
Has any body had any recent flight journeys, either good or bad.
Were hoping to salvage bag , fold it and retain for the return flight.
As we are going end of April we dont think the hold will be that stocked with cases and the bikes will have a bit of breathing space.
So for any baggage handlers reading this , I've always thought you do a sterling job and were extremely low paid for the service you deliver.....SUPPORT THE BAGGAGE HANDLERS
Last edited by tressell69 on 19 Mar 2010, 11:22am, edited 1 time in total.

MartinBrice
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Re: FLYING WITH BIKES

Postby MartinBrice » 18 Mar 2010, 10:05am

I've flown a couple of times and the bike was perfect on each occasion, not a scratch. and i know someone in my local CTC who has flown all over the place for 30 years and only had one piece of damage to a bike, once. it's not the horror story you hear about.
Remember to put the derallieur on the biggest cog - so it is closest to the wheel and may not get bashed quite as much, or maybe use gaffer tape to tape it to the chainstay where it will be out of the way.
i put some pipe lagging on the frame for the way out but didn't bother on the way back.
when i arrived at the other end i just left the whole packing stuff in a pile in the arrivals hall and went away.
and try not to make the same mistake i did - check bike in, wrap bike in plastic, cut gaffer tape with knife, put knife in pocket, put bike into outsize baggage, walk into security....

Lone Rider
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Joined: 15 Dec 2009, 3:50pm

Re: FLYING WITH BIKES

Postby Lone Rider » 18 Mar 2010, 3:51pm

Don't Easyjet ask you to put the bike in a box?

Cyclepath
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Joined: 20 Feb 2007, 7:31pm

Re: FLYING WITH BIKES

Postby Cyclepath » 18 Mar 2010, 9:47pm

http://www.easyjet.com/EN/Planning/baggage.html

Sporting equipment

(1) Carriage of bicycles:
The bicycle must be packaged in a bicycle box or bag
Only one bicycle per bicycle box or bag will be permitted
No other items can be carried in the bicycle box (e.g. clothing)
The handlebars must be flush with the frame
The pedals must be flush against the frame or removed
Passengers travelling with bicycles are strongly recommended to check-in 2 hours prior to departure in order to guarantee carriage.

At one time Easyjet had a photo of bike wrapped in CTC poly bag on its website.

bikepacker
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Location: Worcestershire
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Re: FLYING WITH BIKES

Postby bikepacker » 18 Mar 2010, 11:09pm

Pauline and me have recently returned from a trip to Mallorca taking the bikes on Easyjet. We packed them in CTC polybags with bars turned and pedals off. No problem going out Bristol, check-in accepted the bikes and at Palma they were handed over with no damage. Coming back was a different story. Palma check-in did not want to accept them. I stood my ground asked to see a senior person and the desk clerk relented and accepted them.

Adding to what others have said: I used a cable tie to strap the rear mech arm to the chainstay. Also I found it easier to just remove my handlebars and cable tie them to the crossbar.

Also I used an Exped 90 litre Lite Tote bag to hold the four panniers, save checking 4 seperate bags. The tote is light and easy to carry around if you have to.

If you need to know anything specific or to see a picture of the packed bikes, let me know.
There is your way. There is my way. But there is no "the way".

tressell69
Posts: 67
Joined: 2 Jul 2009, 10:12pm
Location: Strathclyde

Re: FLYING WITH BIKES

Postby tressell69 » 19 Mar 2010, 9:17am

I suppose the more you stand your ground the more accepatable things get.
As for panniers containment, I bought a 60 litre Para bag from Ebay for £9.99
Strong, light and folds very small on arrival

MartinBrice
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Joined: 13 Nov 2007, 9:57am

Re: FLYING WITH BIKES

Postby MartinBrice » 19 Mar 2010, 9:17am

Also - when I went from Gatwick to Montpellier with Easyjet as we boarded I asked a stewardess if my bike was on board. just after take-off she came to me and told me that yes, my bike was on the plane. I can't imagine that happening with BA can you? At montpellier on the return leg I watched as the bike was taken up the loading ramp so i knew it was on board.

sir_lozz
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Joined: 21 Jul 2008, 5:54pm

Re: FLYING WITH BIKES

Postby sir_lozz » 19 Mar 2010, 10:43am

I took mine on flybe and it was excellent.

the flight was booked last minute (the day before at the airport) we then went and found 2 huge plastic sheets and some carboard boxes, purchased some gaffer tape from carrfour and bodged a "bike carrier" together.

no issues at all, we watched the bikes go on last and come off 1st and were waiting for us at Southampton airport after collecting our luggage.

Cannot speak highly enough of the whole experience - stress free and cheap!
real men don't need engines

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frank9755
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Re: FLYING WITH BIKES

Postby frank9755 » 19 Mar 2010, 11:46am

I asked the same question last year before using Easyjet.

I got some reassuring replies, and had a good experience. Here's the thread:
http://forum.ctc.org.uk/viewtopic.php?f=16&t=28614&p=231920&hilit=+easyjet#p231920

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Helen
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Location: Lancashire

Re: FLYING WITH BIKES

Postby Helen » 19 Mar 2010, 5:41pm

I took mine on flybe and it was excellent.

the flight was booked last minute (the day before at the airport) we then went and found 2 huge plastic sheets and some carboard boxes, purchased some gaffer tape from carrfour and bodged a "bike carrier" together.


I've always been put off by Flybe because their conditions state that the front wheel must be removed:

http://www.flybe.com/flightInfo/baggage.htm

"Bicycles
Bicycles must be prepared as follows: Handlebars must be turned and locked in line with the frame, pedals must be removed or turned inwards, the front wheel must be removed and securely attached to the frame and the tyres must be fully deflated. The bicycle should then be bagged or boxed."

Does anyone find they adhere strictly to this? I'd expect more damage with a removed wheel and fully deflated (as opposed to semi deflated) tyres.

When I flew to Cork a few years ago, the website said we should remove both wheels, so we also removed the front mudguard before packing in a bag. What a palaver. Coming back it wasn't necessary.

A couple of years ago flying to Helsinki from Manchester via Amsterdam with KLM we thought we had to box the bikes. My friend had one, but I was unable to purchase one at the desk, as I'd been promised. It was wheeled on board uncovered without problem. Then I felt guilty in case anyone's suitcase got mucky.

AndrewClark
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Joined: 6 Jun 2007, 7:46pm

Re: FLYING WITH BIKES

Postby AndrewClark » 19 Mar 2010, 10:44pm

I've flown many times using the big poly bag method. A few times I've had to argue that it is a proper bike bag. Take a printout of the page from the bikeshop showing it in use, or even better one from the airline, if you can find one.

An Arno strap is useful for sealing the end of the bag. Pipe lagging or bubble wrap for protecting the frame, I rode Geneva to Nice with the main triangle covered in pipe lagging, it weighed nothing, didn't interfere with pedaling so why remove it?

A big stuffsac to put your panniers in is a good idea, some airlines charge per item. I've got around this by lashing things together in the past but the bag is easier.

If you are doing a circular tour, try to find somewhere (campsite/hostel) to dump the packing on the first day and pick it up when you return.

An assembled, bagged bike can be too big to fit throough the X Ray machine. No problem at Manchester, they gave it a manual swab for explosives then sent me on my way. Geneva insisted I removed the from wheel so it woud fit through the machine. That was the only time I had damage, someone put something heavy on top and the rim dented my frame.

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shane
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Re: FLYING WITH BIKES

Postby shane » 19 Mar 2010, 11:06pm

Hi,

Should you decide to use a bike box here's some tips on how to pack your bike, despite the best efforts of baggage handlers my bike is still intact after 4 flights. My next bike will have S+S to make the box a better size.

http://vimeo.com/5978804

Good luck

sir_lozz
Posts: 37
Joined: 21 Jul 2008, 5:54pm

Re: FLYING WITH BIKES

Postby sir_lozz » 22 Mar 2010, 11:21am

[

I've always been put off by Flybe because their conditions state that the front wheel must be removed:

http://www.flybe.com/flightInfo/baggage.htm

"Bicycles
Bicycles must be prepared as follows: Handlebars must be turned and locked in line with the frame, pedals must be removed or turned inwards, the front wheel must be removed and securely attached to the frame and the tyres must be fully deflated. The bicycle should then be bagged or boxed."


I remeber this and discussed it at the airport. i think the reason that they ask for this is so that the handlebars are guarenteed to be turned inwards with the front wheel removed.

to be fair there were about 22 people on the plane in total so I do not think space was a concern!
real men don't need engines

eclipse
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Joined: 1 Jan 2010, 2:08pm
Location: Darlington

Re: FLYING WITH BIKES

Postby eclipse » 25 Mar 2010, 7:46pm

Flew to Malaga via easyjet in January, going I got a box off Halfords, stripped the bike down, no problems. I carried an old sail bag in which panniers and saddlebag went as one parcel, with no probs. I also cut two little lengths of wood, which fastened (screws)between the dropouts when the wheels were removed to stop crushing. On return, I wasted the best part of a day scrounging around industrial estate skips to get bubblewrap, heavy clear plastic sheeting and ( :D ) industrial cling wrap, which worked well, but it was a bit of a fart on.. Main thing was to get bike there in one piece I suppose. Next time Id probably take a ctc type bag... and probably use it on the return trip. On the return trip I kept tyres inflated with no problems (worried about damaging rims), I know, I know.... Other thing to consider IMHO is attaching some kind of a shoulder loop to the bike parcel; it aint half difficult lugging all that around on yer own! Enjoy.

Gearoidmuar
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Re: FLYING WITH BIKES

Postby Gearoidmuar » 26 Mar 2010, 8:00am

It isn't that I want to be boasting but I've been on maybe 150 flights with my bike as many of our tours involve 4 flights (2 out 2 back), and if I include my wife and friends we've had maybe 500 or more.
You will get some occasional damage, like paintwork, damaged mudguards, a very occasional damaged bar-end shifter or bent derailleur. One of my friends had to replace a wheel, and on one return flight years ago (there were 5 of us), three frames were broken, yes broken. On this rare occasion, all the bikes were in bike boxes at the airlines insistence. What actually happened (we saw it), was that the boxes fell off the luggage trolley while being carried from the plane.
However, what is most frequently damaged is the handlebar tape with loss of bar-end plugs. I used to get sheets of newspaper fold it up into long tubes and then wrap and tape these around the handlebars. This was pretty effective. Now I don't use fancy handlebar tape so I don't bother.
The insistence of some airlines on a plastic bag is a real pain as in our experience, a bike is least damaged if it's unwrapped. All I try to get away with is pedals off and handlebars turned. Most of them insist on tyre deflation, but this is total hocus pocus and a real pain if you're trying to pump them in a hot foreign airport.