Flying Domestically with a bike?

Bicycle related chatter & discussion
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Postby GregPankhurst » 22 Apr 2014, 20:58

Just wondering what input DHBC folk could offer on flying with a bike?

Is any particular carrier the carrier of choice or one that should be avoided like the plague?

And should one expect to pay a fee, or are most happy to give the bike a free ride? Or do you need to make sure you purchase additional baggage?

And do the bikes usually arrive in tact? And how does one best package them - a travel bag?

Any other insights?


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Postby Eleri » 22 Apr 2014, 21:25

Jetstar apparently puts luggage in containers so doesn't get chucked round so much. I've taken mine on a few times and nothing bad has happened. Can't remember about pricing.

I've otherwise taken mine on Qantas and I don't pay a fee. But also have an extra luggage allowance so not sure if that applies.

Never had a problem with a damaged bag or bike, currently using a soft Evoc bag.

Getting to the airport is a hassle unless you get a lift. The chances of a maxi taxi turning up seems to be remote. Getting home is fine.

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Postby Johnj » 22 Apr 2014, 22:48

Qantas and Virgin are fine, and Jetstar are ok. Flying economy your bike counts as your checked in luggage. You can pack a certain amount of stuff in the box/bag, but be careful it doesn't exceed 20/23/27 kgs (allowance depends on the airline). You can then use your carry-on allowance for a 7/10 kg 105cm bag. Mostly they don't weigh your carry-on bag, but they can. If you're travelling with other people your baggage allowance is pooled so there's less likelihood of going over the limit.

Avoid Tiger like the plague. You have to pay $60 extra, and they still give you a hard time. Their excess baggage charges are steep too (not that I've ever paid). Also Tiger and Jetstar check in counters close earlier than the others. Don't purchase a no-luggage fare, you have to have a checked baggage allowance. There are limits on CO2 canisters (can't remember what as I don't use them).

Box or bag is fine, I use a soft bag and haven't had any problems. Lindsay uses the $15 cardboard boxes you can buy at the airport. When we book a taxi we use one of the smaller cab companies. That way you get to talk to a human and you can request a station wagon (had to laugh when the "station wagon" was a Prius one time). Coming back the taxi rank attendant will get you a wagon or maxi.

Taking a bike adds a bit of bother, but a lot of fun to a trip.

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Postby mikesbytes » 23 Apr 2014, 08:21

[the other] Peter T lent me his bike box when I went down to the Australian Masters Track Champs.

Flight Down Virgin. I had 2 checked baggage allowances of 23kg each booked and the box weighed in at 27kg. I was informed that they didn't combine luggage, most annoying as it was the only bag we were checking and the excess was $60 (off memory). After a bit of winging they waved the excess fee.

Flight back JetStar. I had paid for 25kg luggage. The bike box didn't fit on the scales and they asked me how much it weighed, so I said 25kg.

Remember when determining your weight that objects such has your bike tools, pump could be considered weapons and rejected from hand luggage, so that needs to be added to the calculation

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Postby Stuart » 23 Apr 2014, 10:23

When travelling Jetstar I buy 30kg of checked baggage as my bike & bag alone weigh in at ~20kg; then add a pump, tools, spares, shoes etc and it's easy to get to 30kg. Then take clothes as hand luggage. Or buy another 10kg of checked luggage.

Travelling Qantas I have extra baggage allowance due to FF status (not for much longer unfortunately) so can check two bags. They did however send my bike from Adelaide to Melbourne back to Adelaide and then to Sydney which resulted in damage to the bag and it was actually open when it was delivered to my home as the zipper had been damaged. This was repaired at their expense but I had to deliver and pickup from repair centre.

I've never flown Virgin.

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Postby Dougie » 23 Apr 2014, 14:09

I have flown with Jetstar, Qantas and Virgin. Virgin was a challenge and I wouldn't fly with my bike with them again. Nothing wrong with the airline, just the bike part was too hard.

Jetstar, I purchase additional luggage 25Kg and all good. Qantas I didn't need to buy anything additional. I travel with the semi hard Evoc type bag and probably ten times now and all very good with no damage.

I have the taxi/bag deal down pat now and the Evoc bag with suitcases and bride and kids all fits into a standard ford station wagon taxi.

call me if you want more info.

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Postby Eleri » 23 Apr 2014, 17:38

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Postby andrewb » 23 Apr 2014, 20:13

I've done the EVOC/ jet star and EVOC / qantas.
Both times bike survived ok. Qantas I had 32kg baggage allowance which was easy. Jet star was a bit trickier - bought 25 kg allowance, but by the time I has filled the bike bag with other stuff it needed a token effort at the check-in of moving items from that bag to carry-on before they got tired of waiting and let it through.
Funnily enough, they wouldn't let me pack chain oil one time. No biggie, but wasn't a problem any other time. I don't think they like gas canisters either (but I carry one frequently as part of an inflatable PFD, which is ok. Not that surprising, because there is one under every seat, or in your arm rest if you are in business.)

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Postby Adam W » 23 Apr 2014, 21:32

I have have some advice, but you probably don't want it...

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