Avoid Excess Baggage Charges when Traveling with your Bike

An easy-to-use guide to European airline bike baggage fees.

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cover image thanks to Raúl Casañas / picture Pello Osoro
“British Airways, 
TAP Portugal, AirBerlin and SAS 
will carry 
your bike for free. ” 

 

When traveling with your bike it’s important to know what the situation is when it comes to booking in your excess baggage. However, many airlines like to make it as difficult as possible for you to find out what the additional luggage charges are, so we’ve done some leg work to keep you up to date on costs when flying within Europe.

Many of you who have traveled with your bike before will know that you’ll often find that the fees can often sting quite a bit on something as bulky as a bike, sometimes being nearly as much as the flight itself cost you.

Those of you who have traveled with your bike before will know that you’ll often find that the fees can sting on something as bulky as a bike, sometimes being nearly as much as the flight itself cost you.

Who’s the cheapest?
Let’s get straight to the point! British Airways, TAP Portugal, AirBerlin and SAS will carry your bike for free. Yes, you heard us right – FREE! However, they don’t sell the cheapest tickets, but it might work out as an overall saving depending on your destination. You just need to make sure that your bike fits into their weight and size limits (see the table below), and this is where the size and weight of the SCICON AeroComfort 3.0 bike travel bags come in handy. Finnair are also free but have strict dimension restrictions which if exceeded, will cost you a significant amount. Next up are budget airline Thomson, who only charge €20 each-way. Why even think about renting a bike with prices as low as that?

Who’s the most expensive?
Drumroll please … Iberia top the charts of priciest airline with an extortionate €75 per flight for your bike bag or box! Closely followed by RyanAir, Air France and Brussels Airlines who all charge between €40-60 each way for European flights.

Some extra tips:
– Book at least 48 hours in advance. Some airlines like Flybe only let bikes on planes on a standby basis if you just turn up on the day.
– Print out the airline’s policy on bike baggage from their webpage in case the desk clerk decides to be overly difficult. Better to be in the know and ready to prove it than left fighting an uphill battle.
– Most importantly, invest if you haven’t already in a protective bike bag or bike case such as the Scicon AeroComfort ROAD 3.0 TSA bike travel bag or the Scicon Evolution X Bike Travel Case. The last thing anybody wants is a broken bike when you arrive at your destination.

Watch one of our how-to-pack videos on our YouTube here.

Design credit Yellow Jersey.

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