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You have various ways to get a bike into Europe for your cycling event or holiday. You can of course rent a bike for when you’re out there, but most people prefer to ride their own bike, especially for events and for longer touring holidays. To travel with your own bike, you can either stick it in the car of course if you are driving or if you are flying you can use a courier or an overland transport service. You can of course fly with your bike.
All airlines will require you to pack your bag into a bag or case these days and different airlines have different rules and costs for flying with your bike. It always pays to look at the entire cost of flight plus additional costs like these before booking your flight. Find a summary below of costs for flying with a bike for the major European airlines.
Airlines are not legally obliged to compensate you any more than £1100 as per an agreement called the Montreal convention. You can insure your bike for more but only if you do a declaration to the airline in advance. See excerpt from the Montreal convention below.
In case of baggage delay, the air carrier is liable for damage unless it took all reasonable measures to avoid the damage or it was impossible to take such measures. The liability for baggage delay is limited to 1000 SDRs (~€1,220). The air carrier is liable for destruction, loss or damage to baggage up to 1000 SDRs (€1220). In the case of checked baggage, it is liable even if not at fault, unless the baggage was defective. In the case of unchecked baggage, the carrier is liable only if at fault. A passenger can benefit from a higher liability limit by making a special declaration at the latest at check-in and by paying a supplementary fee.
A bike is charged as a “speciality” item; the same charges as applicable for tandems will apply. Customers will no longer be able to check-in a bike as part of their ticketed baggage allowance. Because of limited space on our aircraft, you need to reserve for the transportation of some types of special baggage as early as possible – no later than 48 hours before departure. It is not possible to arrange for special baggage online. You need to contact the KLM Customer Contact Centre. Make sure that the reservation is confirmed before departure to ensure that you can take your special baggage with you.
Within France – 40 Euros per flight
Within Europe incl. Israel – 55 Euros per flight
More information on flying with a bike with KLM can be found here
Jet2 will carry bikes for free if they have space and if you stay within your overall baggage weight allowance but you must get in there quick. E-bikes are excluded and the max dimensions and weight are: weight 32kg – Max size 6ft x 3ft (182 x 91cm). Must be carried in a suitable bike box or wrapped in stiff cardboard with the pedals removed and the handlebars turned in line with the frame. Tyres must also be partially deflated.
All of the above items should be pre-booked either when you book your flight online or via their Call Centre. Because space on board an aircraft is limited, they say that they may not be able to accept these items if they have not been pre-booked before travel. Any items that exceed your weight allowance will be charged for in line with our excess baggage policy, subject to space and availability. Please see the Hold Baggage Allowances and Excess Baggage section of these FAQs for more information.
Bikes can be pre-booked for a fee when you book your easyJet flight, or added to your booking (online or via their customer service centre) before you travel. It’s possible to ‘pool’ your hold luggage and sports equipment, so long you’ve purchased enough checked bags to cover it and no single item weighs more than 32kg, but you can’t pack clothes in your bike bag. See the easyJet website for more information.
Ryanair charge to take bicycles on the plane separately from your standard luggage allowance (which needs to be purchased per item with most fares anyway). See Ryanair’s website for more information or take a look at our guide to Ryanair’s baggage rules.
If you’re checking in your bicycle at the airport, bicycles will be taken on stand-by basis, so allow at least 90 minutes at check-in before the scheduled departure time. Most flights have a maximum limit of ten bicycles per flight, although selected European airports will only take 6. See our roundup of the Aer Lingus baggage rules for more details or go to the Aer Lingus website.
You’ll need to book 48 hours in advance with the customer service department at Air France. See our article on Air France baggage rules for more information.
British Airways allows you to take your bike for free, as long as it doesn’t exceed your BA allowance. Some fare classes do not include a baggage allowance (so you will need to purchase checked bags if you want to put any luggage, including bikes, in the hold) and some allow for a more generous baggage allowance. See the website for more details. In the event you exceed your baggage allowance, the fees below apply to your booking:
Cost for one-way flight
Weight and size limit – Height 90cm x 75cm x 43cm, weight 23kg.
Bicycles are carried as part of your free baggage allowance on Lufthansa flights. Register bicycles at least 24 hours ahead of your flight, once you’ve booked. See the Lufthansa website for more information. If sports baggage exceeds the maximum 32kg per item weight, it will be treated as cargo, with these additional charges:
To take a bike on a TUI flight, you need to give 2 months notice and go through their call centre (0203 451 2695). Regardless of fees paid, no item must exceed 23kg. See the Thomson website for more information.
Virgin accepts sports equipment, including bicycles, as part of your hold baggage allowance for bookings made as of August 2016 onwards. If your bike falls within the size and weight restrictions, there’s no need to pre-book. See the Virgin Atlantic website for more information.
Published February 2021. Any prices are subject to change; please check with the airline for full details baggage policy and fees.
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