When traveling with your bicycle it’s important to know what the spiel is with excess baggage, but many airlines like to make it as difficult as possible for you to find out what the additional luggage charges are.
Many of you who have traveled with your bike before will know that you’ll often find that the fees can sting quite a bit on something as bulky as a bike!
Here’s our easy-to-use guide to bike baggage fees to help you spend less and avoid any nasty surprises when travelling in and around Oceania.
Who’s the cheapest?
Let’s get stuck right in! Regional Express Airlines (REX) claim that they will carry your bike for free. HOWEVER, they have extremely strict weight and size restrictions e.g. the bag or case must be under 15kg, so unless you have a super light bike it’s going to be charged $7.70 per additional kg. This is obviously a bit of a trick to lure you and hoping that you will only see the word ‘free’ and won’t read the small print. Air New Zealand are more reasonable with flat rates from $20 each way.
Qantas now include certain sports equipment as part of your checked baggage allowance, with a limit of up to 32kg, so as long as you’ve packed right and are within the airline’s allowances Quantas could be a very good option for you and your bike box or bag. Virgin Australia also come in at a good cost, with a flat rate of $35 each way, and most importantly, with no hidden extras.
In some cases, it may actually prove cheaper or the same to fly business or first class because the airline will waive the baggage handling fee or you’re allowance is increased under these tickets. It’s definitely worth checking- save money and get more leg-room!
Who’s the most expensive?
Drumroll please… Jetstar Airways top the charts of priciest airlines with an extortionate $15-25 per extra kilo! This is also based on the fact that their allowance is so low in the first place at a mere 15kg. The average bike bag weighs around 9kg and box box is about 12kg, put your bike inside alongside the helmet, shoes etc. and you’re looking at a LOT of extra pennies that you could be spending on your actual holiday.
Some extra tips
Book in advance when possible. Some airlines only let bikes on planes on a standby basis so if you just rock up on the day you might be disappointed.
Print out the airline’s policy on bike baggage from their webpage in case the desk clerk is a doughnut. I travelled with my skis once and had a full-blown argument with the lady behind the desk because she was telling me that I couldn’t have both a checked bag and sports equipment for free despite the fact the airline’s website said that I could.
Most importantly, invest if you haven’t already in a protective bike bag or bike case. The last thing anybody wants is a broken bike when you arrive at your destination. Watch SCICON’s how-to-pack videos here.
These were correct as of 23rd December 2015. However, we do recommend double-checking with the airline before you fly
|Airline||Treated as part of normal luggage||Extra costs||Max Weight (kg)||Additional Info|
|Qantas||yes||Free up to 32kg, $35 to
$80 per kg extra each way for international routes
|32||More info here.|
|Virgin Australia||no||$35 each way||32||Pre-purchase at least 48 hours in advance. More info here.|
|Air New Zealand||no||$20- $70 depending on route||23||If over 23kg and under 32kg then an additional charge will apply. More info here.|
|Jetstar Airways||no||$15-$25 per additional kg above 15 depending on route||15||More info here.|
|Regional Express Airlines (REX)||yes||Free if under 15kg and 140 dimensional inches but charged per $7.70 per excess kg and a one-off fee of $16.50 for being oversized.||15||More info here.|