“Yes, you heard us right- free!”
When travelling with your bike 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 travelled 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 an easy-to-use guide to European airline bike baggage fees to help you spend less and avoid any nasty surprises.
Who’s the cheapest?
Let’s get stuck right in! British Airways, TAP Portugal, AirBerlin/Belair/Niki 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 a saving overall. You do need to make sure that your bike fits into their weight and size limits (see the table below). 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 one-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! 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 rock up on the day.
– 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 one of our how-to-pack videos on our youtube channel here.
These were correct as of 15th November 2015 for flights within Europe. 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|
|Air France||No||€40-100 each way||23||More info here.|
|Brussels Airlines||No||€50 each way (€100 for intercontinental)||Depends on route and ticket type||Priced each way. More info here.|
|Easyjet||No||€35 each way if prepaid||32||Must be in a bag or box. More info here.|
|Flybe||No||€13-40 depending on flight operator. Excess baggage charges apply if over 20kg||20||Stand by basis only, only if space on flight after all check-ins. More info here.|
|KLM||No||€55 each way||23||Advance booking required. More info here.|
|Ryanair||No||€60-€70 each way||30||Cheaper if booked in advance. More info here.|
|Swiss Air||Yes||Free unless over basic baggage allowance||30||More info here.|
|Aer Lingus||No||€50 each way||23||Max 10 bikes per flight- must prebook. More info here.|
|British Airways||Yes||€40 each way if over 23Kg||23||Max 190cm in length and must be in recognizable bike bag or box. More info here.|
|Finnair||Yes||Free if witthin dimension restrictions. €75 each way if over 190cm in length||23||Must be in protective case for flight. More info here.|
|Iberia||No||€75 each way||31||More info here.|
|Jet2||No||€43 each way||30||Needs to be pre-booked. More info here.|
|Monarch||No||€31.99 each way if pre-booked (€40.99 if paid at the airport)||30||More info here.|
|Norwegian||No||€37-75 each way depending on route||25||More info here.|
|SAS||Yes||Free unless over your basic baggage allowance||23||Don’t have to use bike carry case, but have to register in advance if don’t. More info here.|
|TAP Portugal||Yes||Free||32||More info here.|
|Thomson Fly||No||€20-54 each way depending on route and excess weight is charged per kg||23||Must pre-book at least 2 months in advance and bike must be in a bag or case. More info here.|
|Lufthansa||No||Free or €50 each way (€100 for intercontinental flights)||Depends on ticket type||More info here.|
|AirBerlin/Belair/Niki||Yes||Free or €50 each way if exceeds 23kg and under 32kg depending on route||23/32||More info here.|
|Wizzair||No||€40 each way||/||No weight allowance shown on website. More info here.|
|Turkish Airlines/ Anadolujet||No||€30 each way||32kg||Dimension allowance may vary depending on aircraft. More infohere.|
Once you’ve succeeded in getting the best deal for flying with your bike, the last thing you want is to get there to find that your bikes have been trashed in transit.
So, make sure that you buy a top quality bike bag or box, Scicon are the leader in bike transportation and are available worldwide. For more info click here.