So gone are the days when you’d load a bike in a box and check it in as a normal piece of baggage under the magic 23kg with any non low cost airline. As airlines look for ever more ways to extract cash from passengers it has changed and some fees are through the roof, many could be more than the ticket price (when you remove taxes at least). Is it the airport or baggage handlers passing it on, as some say? Well I spoke to Edinburgh Airport and they charge £0.50 to £1 per oversized item in total, so it seems the air lines keep it for no reason than they can get away with it!
Now we could be accused of being hypocritical that we complain we can’t fly for cheap and create a huge carbon footprint. It’s fair to say isn’t this a good reason to stay at home or ride from the door and not destroy the world around us? It has been said that in the UK Jet Fuel is only piped to airports underground because it removes the visual impact of the millions of trucks required to carry it on the roads which would horrify us into never flying! However we are limiting our longer trips and always exploring our doorstep as much as possible. However if you still do want to fly on a longer trip to experience somewhere that you’ve always wanted to ride, then have a read of the below fees and charges as well as the winning airlines that still charge you absolutely nothing extra!!
Winners are those where bikes are included within standard luggage allowance;
Air New Zealand
Aeroflot (They put most airlines to shame with new planes and free bikes!)
KLM/Air France – They no longer list the fees as too high! However when you enter flights they come up as €100 per flight to €150 to USA (aren’t the Dutch meant to like bikes?)
Lufthansa – €80 to an unbelievable €250 per flight (I expected more from you)
Air Lingus – €50 fee
Norwegian – £35-£70 from short to long haul and online to airport.
Iceland Air – £66 – £92 per flight from Europe to other continental destinations
Turkish – €30-€60 special charge
Air Canada – $59 USD handling fee per flight and flight leg on multi leg
Ryanair £80 (They had to feature here in a worst offender list!)
Thanks for the useful info. I recently flew alItalia and Royal Jordanian and both were free for the bikes, although AlItalia took a bit of insisting at the check-in counter.
That’s good to hear about Royal Jordanian, we’ve never used them but sounds like you were lucky not paying with Air Italia!
LOT (Polish national carrier) is also cycling-friendly, no extra fees, just it’s good to announce bike instead of a suitcase at call center. I’ve carried my bike with Lot many times. Also Qatar, Sas, Austrian and Virgin Atlantic seem to be OK, as well as Iberia on long-haul flights, however I haven’t try any of them yet. Swiss seems to be terribly expensive. The other problem is that many airlines’ websites are extremely unclear in terms of their sports baggage policy. I’m going to try Aeroflot soon:-) Greetings to all cyclists:-)