If you like the idea of taking your bicycle on holiday with you, but are worried about paying for the extra kilos, you will be pleased to know that there are several ways in which you can transport your bike – and do it for free!
As long as you pack your bike correctly in a bike case or cardboard bike box, deflate your tyres, remove your pedals, and secure your handlebars sideways to avoid damage, most leading airlines will allow you to take your bike onboard, and you don’t have to pay a fortune for the privilege.
A shining example is Virgin Atlantic, one of the few airlines that allow you to take one non-motorised bicycle per person – in addition to your standard luggage allowance, free of charge! Simply pack your beloved bike and head off to the airport without so much as a call – and your bike will travel with you to your end destination.
With airlines such as British Airways and Emirates, your bicycle forms part of your luggage allowance, so providing your bike and baggage doesn’t exceed the limit (23kg in economy with BA, 30kg in economy with Emirates), it will travel free of charge too!
If your bicycle and bike box are particularly heavy – book your flights with British Airways. This leading airline offers one of the most generous hand luggage allowances (a further 23kg!), with the only restriction being that the bag/case must be small enough to fit in the overhead lockers, and you have to be able to lift it up there yourself.
Emirates allow you to travel with 30kg checked luggage, and after calling the helpdesk, I was duly informed that I would be allowed to check in 1 bike box and 1 piece of luggage, providing the combined weight didn’t exceed my ticket allowance – so another freebie there!
Some airlines, however, still have a very old-fashioned approach to travelling with sports equipment, and if you plan on flying down to Cape Town in March to cycle in the Cape Argus 2014, avoid booking your flights with Turkish Airlines, KLM or Air France… or it might be cheaper to rent some wheels when you get there!
*All of these details have been sourced from the airlines websites – so please double-check before booking/travelling – as they could well change!