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best airline for bikes

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best airline for bikes

We are planning on taking our MTBs to London from Cairns Australia in 2015. Has anyone had any experiences on airlines that they would like to share? We know about packing them in cardboard boxes.

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BA my choice

I had great experience flying last oct London-Mumbai and back in march, on board of British Airways. They are very generous about hand luggage and even more, checking in bike box for free..highly reccomended!

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good airlines for bike travel

Thanks Marcin. I will keep this in mind when I start my serious research.

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Lufthansa is also great

Lufthansa is also great because you don't need do to anything to your bike: you can ride it to the airport, hand it to Lufthansa staff and take it back in perfect shape at the arrival.
All you have to do is to check with them, when you do the booking, if the plane has space for bikes

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German love bikes

no wonder, German loves bikes ! and the have dedicated road for bikes.

Moreover, they construct the best bike : FahradManufaktur ( T400) SilkRoad ToutTerrain.De with Rolhof ...

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BA Recommendation Seconded

Since you are going to London, BA is likely your best bet.

We also had good experiences with British Airlines and SAS when we flew with our bikes; however our bikes are folding bikes from Bike Friday that can fit in standard size luggage (62 linear inches). I used soft shell bags for the bike and had no problems from either airline after the flight. We tagged it as 'fragile' just in case but I doubt they were handled as such, yet still no issues with our gear.

- British Airways have bigger sizes for their luggage allowance.
- SAS has standard sizes for their luggage allowance (62 linear inches) that match other airlines.

We flew BA from Vancouver->London->Stockholm and Gibraltar->London->Vancouver
We flew SAS from Stockholm<->Ostersund (middle of Sweden)

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I flew Singapore from LAX to

I flew Singapore from LAX to NRT, bike flew for free and arrived in one piece in a bike bag...2 checked bag limit so a bike and a box with your gear. Service is great as well.

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Bikes on a Plane!

We've flown a few airlines and places with bikes.

From our experience, it's not so much the airline as the airport.

Don't depend on only needing plastic bags for airline /X/, even if you originally flew from A to B with them, and did not need boxes on that leg.

We were forced to buy 30 euro airport boxes at Frankfurt by the Lufthansa check-in desk (for a Singapore airlines flight) despite SIA's written policy stating this was not necessary. Sydney to Singapore bags were OK, Singapore to Schiphol bags were OK too.

And FWIW, IMHO it's best to box your bike to protect it. Yeah it's a pain to unpack, but getting the (aluminium) frame repaired is more hassle.

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Bike packing for airlines to and within Australia

I've flown Virgin, Qantas and Air Asia for both international and domestic flights into/out of Australia.

My best experience was with Air Asia- no need for special boxes, just your own bicycle bag was fine. But be pedantic about the weight limits. If you travel several legs, however, the additional sport equipment charge adds up. I bundled panniers within the bike bag as one item, so that halved my costs.

Virgin were next best (providing the bicycle is bagged).

Qantas were generous with their luggage limits, but fussy with their boxing requirements. If you bring your own packing tape, you may be in luck if you peruse the arrivals terminal before departures and find a recently disposed of bicycle box. This gift from the bicycle gods saved me $50 (or one day's budget) on a NZ tour!

In general, I've found that clothes filled panniers packed with the bike are excellent buffers against transit damage and have never suffered broken spokes or other damage (apart from a couple of scratches) for the past 10 years since using the above airlines and methods.


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BA is good

Recently flew

BA from Newcastle UK to Heathrow UK to Seattle USA and then on to Boise USA with Alaska.

BA just treated Bike bag as a normal Bag - I paid for a 2nd bag. 65 GBP about 100 USD. Alaska just followed BA and did not charge any extra.

On way home Alaska accepted the BA extra bag charge and passed it on to BA and did not charge any money themselves.

BA and Alaska do not have a automatic interface so unfortunately one can not pay in advance and thus get a discount.

Bike was in soft bag but with high density building foam added to protect bike.

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