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You could go for traditional international bike shipping and send your bike via a luggage-forwarding company. But do be aware that you’ll need to send it well in advance – meaning you could be without your wheels for as many as 9 business days before you leave. And then, when you land, you may have to do even more waiting around, as most luggage forwarders only offer 12-hour collection slots Monday-Friday.
We believe it’s far simpler and quicker to take your bike with you on your flight. Which is why at AirPortr we’re happy to help you do just that – whether we take your bike across London for you and leave it at departures or, if you’re flying British Airways, we can check your bike in for you on your doorstep.
However you decide to transport your bike overseas, there are a few things worth considering if you want a trouble-free trip:
- You’ll need to package your bicycle properly – either in a bike shipping box, bag or case. You can pick these up easily at cycling shops, such as Wiggle.
- Get a non-stop flight, if you can, to minimise the risk of damage to your bike.
- If you’re worried that bicycle shipping will damage your bike, remember to take out insurance that will cover your bike while it's in transit.
Visit Cycling UK's website for a comprehensive guide on flying with your bike.
British Airways’ bike policy
If you’re flying with your bike on British Airways, you can use our Bag Check-In service and check it in from home. Then you won’t need to worry about it again, until you reach your destination airport. All you have to do is make sure your bike is within your BA luggage allowance. Here’s a quick summary of BA’s policy on flying with a bike:
- Make sure you pack your bike in a protective case or bike bag. You’ll also need to remove the pedals (or fix them inwards), fix the handlebars sideways and deflate your tyres to reduce the risk of damage.
- Your case or bag must clearly labelled with your details on the outside and inside (fastened to the bike frame).
- Non-motorised bicycles of up to 190cm (75 inches) in length can be part of your checked baggage, but make sure you check your total weight allowance (usually 23kg or 32kg).
- You might need to pay an overweight baggage charge, unless you're flying without many other things.
If you’re flying with any other airline than BA, AirPortr can pick up your bike from any London address and deliver it to airport departures for you to check in with your airline. Simply book AirPort Delivery.
We don't have any weight restrictions but you will need to make sure your bike is packaged properly and that it doesn't exceed your airline's weight restriction. Different airlines have different luggage policies for flying with a bike; so please check with your chosen airline about what they’ll let you bring.
- American Airlines charges $150, unless your bike and case are under 62 inches long, and under 50 lbs.
- Emirates will accept your bike as checked baggage and as part of your standard baggage allowance. The total dimensions (length + width + height) of each piece must not exceed 150cm (59 inches). An additional fee applies to bigger items up to 300cm (118 inches).
- KLM always charges a fee for bicycle shipping and the amount depends on your destination. You can check online to see how much you’ll be charged.
- Virgin Atlantic will accept your bike as checked baggage and as part of your standard baggage allowance. Standard dimensions of 190cm x 75cm x 65cm (75" x 30" x 26") and 23kg will apply.
- Qantas will accept your bike as checked baggage and as part of your standard baggage allowance. The size restrictions are: a length of 140cm (55in), a width of 30cm (12in) and a height of 80cm (32in).
- Air France always charges a fee and the amount depends on your destination. You can check online to see how much you’ll be charged. It’s worth noting you must always get prior approval from their customer service, at least 48 hours before your flight departs.
- easyJet charges £40 online and £50 at the airport for bicycles up to 32kg.
- Ryanair charges £60 online and £70 at the airport for bicycles up to 30kg.
For other airlines’ policies, please check on their individual websites.
Visit American Airlines’ website for more details of their bike luggage allowances.