Author Topic: Best Airlines for Bikes: US to EU  (Read 5127 times)

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Offline gderita

Best Airlines for Bikes: US to EU
« on: February 20, 2018, 06:20:47 pm »
Planning my dream trip for July, flying from US to Europe, and looking to book my flight in part based on the airlines friendliest to bikes.

I know many discussions focus on price, but my concern is also the general friendliness of an airline to bikes and cyclists. This is important since I want the bike to arrive without being totally mangled, and I imagine support for cyclists may also be reflected in less-than-outrageous prices for flying with them.

So, grand community of global cyclists, which airlines have you had the best bike experience with? Not only cost, but customer service?
Also, any airlines to avoid or terrible experiences would be equally valuable.

Thanks for contributing your knowledge for the benefit of all.

Offline BikeliciousBabe

Re: Best Airlines for Bikes: US to EU
« Reply #1 on: February 21, 2018, 11:10:41 am »
Five years ago, U.S. Airways charged $400/bike round trip. The round trip ticket was only $1,500. So a 27% premium.

Offline Inge

Re: Best Airlines for Bikes: US to EU
« Reply #2 on: February 22, 2018, 01:22:12 am »
Depends where you are flying from and to. I am travelling into the other direction this summer and am flying KLM because of the direct flight to both Vancouver and SFO. Bike costs 250 euro return. I like the security of not having to change flights and therefor IMO making the chance of something happening to the bike a lot smaller.

Offline geegee

Re: Best Airlines for Bikes: US to EU
« Reply #3 on: February 28, 2018, 09:55:23 am »
The way your bike is treated is more on the part of the airport baggage handlers than the airline. Try to fly into a city that has a cycling culture, your bike might have better chances of being treated better. I've flown into Amsterdam, Brussels, Paris, Dublin, Munich and Hamburg with no issues. Some airports even have bike assembly areas .

I think airlines that charge more than $75 for a bike each way are asking too much. I usually fly Air Canada because it's my local airline and they only charge $50. Some charter flights charge as little as $25 to $30 if your bike counts as part of your baggage allowance. They all publish their fees online, so it's not too hard to factor in when you're shopping for your ticket.

Offline Léo Woodland

Re: Best Airlines for Bikes: US to EU
« Reply #4 on: March 19, 2018, 01:42:50 pm »
Try British Airways and Virgin. BA allows you one bag free and another for, from the Europe end anyway, something like 40 euros. Virgin was cheaper still last time we flew with them, though that was to Cuba. British airlines generally are far cheaper than American ones.

happy days


Offline Brian Phelan

Re: Best Airlines for Bikes: US to EU
« Reply #5 on: March 20, 2018, 05:27:49 am »
"US to EU"

With the UK set to leave the EU in 12 months time and exit any transition period at the end of 2020 this will soon mean flights to either the Republic of Ireland or mainland continental Europe.

The only trans-Atlantic flight I've taken with a bike was on Virgin from Gatwick (London) to Havana and found them good.

Another thing to remember is that airlines like Aer Lingus, British Airways and Iberia are all subsidiaries of the IAG group.

Had a Warmshowers guest about ten years ago who flew from the U.S. to Ireland on Aer Lingus specifically because they were the most 'tandem friendly' airline flying to Europe.

Offline gderita

Re: Best Airlines for Bikes: US to EU
« Reply #6 on: April 03, 2018, 05:18:12 pm »
All good inputs, thanks everyone!

Looking like my starting point city is Rome, I`ll be investigating airlines that serve Rome as a destination & checking websites for bike prices.