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Cyclists being ripped off by budget airlines?

The Other McHoyThe Other McHoy Posts: 161
edited February 2010 in Tour & expedition
Airlines regularly charge cyclists more for sticking their bike in the cargo hold than for the ticket for the actual passenger. Ryan Air is now looking for 80 pounds for a return trip for a bike to Europe - how in the hell can that be justified? Bike box 20 kilos, average passenger 70-80 kilos - why the excessive penalty to stick something in the cargo hold?

So which airlines are the worst culprits and is there any cycling body or consumer group trying to do anything to redress this blatant ripping-off? Any of our big-selling magazines and favourite websites joining forces and lobbying the airlines ?

If you add skiers, golfers, surfers etc. to the equation then we are talking about a massive group of passengers, millions for sure, who are being hammered by the airlines. Perhaps with an effective campaign by the likes of Bike Radar and Cycling Weekly some airline might see there is a competitive advantage to treating cyclists fairly.

Posts

  • andymillerandymiller Posts: 2,856
    Hmm. Shop around, work out which airline offers you the better overall deal. Vote with you wallet and fly with them.
  • andymillerandymiller Posts: 2,856
    edited January 2010
    Deleted duplicate post.
  • Not so easy when they are basically all pulling the same stunt.
  • I've found Easyjet are the best for value.
    You pay £18.50 each way if you pre-pay, or £26.00 each way at the airport.

    Just remember that if you do it at the airport, there's no guarantee that there will be room for your bike. I suppose at least if you pre-pay, they're aware that they will be carrying your bike.

    Easy jet also say - Each passenger is allowed a maximum hold baggage weight of 50 Kgs including any sports equipment, subject to available space. The maximum weight for any single piece of baggage is 32 kgs.

    So you can stash a load in your bike bike.

    They've also managed to get my bike to Geneva and back 3 times without incident. Or rather, the airport baggage handlers have (didn't help at Liverpool when I saw one handler walk down the line of bike bags going up the ramp into the planes hold, especially as he walked over mine !!).
    "There are no hills, there is no wind, I feel no pain !"

    "A bad day on the bike is always better than a good day in the office !"
  • warpcowwarpcow Posts: 1,448
    I haven't used Ryanair in a few years (they charged abaout £15-20 then), but compared to ticket price I wouldn't be so bothered with £80 return. NO matter what BA advertise, I've never flown with them for less than about £200 (short-haul, European destinations). Easyjet aren't really an option for me where I currently live.

    On another note, Ryanair are supposed to have the best record for not loosing luggage too. I've never had them lose anything. BA once lost one of my wheel bags for a couple of days, which seriously messed up my trip. They have 'misplaced' my suitcase at least twice.

    Do what CumbrianMan says: pack your bike box with everything else and save yourself the hold baggage charge.
  • hdowhdow Posts: 172
    Paying EasyJets bike surcharge increases your total hold allowance from 20kg to 32kg. This total can be spread over up to 9 items of lugage. Needless to say anything over the bike +1 will incur a charge.

    Go over 32kg & you pay £10/kg. If you go up to 50kg you will pay an extra £180. 32kg is also the weight limit per item for baggage handlers. Who needs anywhere near 32kg when cycling anyway.
  • APIIIAPIII Posts: 2,010
    Ryanir don't want passengers with hold luggage, they've been quite explicit about this in the past. Unfortunately, they are one of the best options for flights into the Pyrenees, so you really are left without a choice. Like others have said, though, look at the whole price you are paying. Is a couple of hundred quid really unreasonable for a return flight to Europe?
    BA used to be good. I've flown into lyon with my bike on a £100 return before, but whereas BA used to be a leader, they are now just a follower, charging for bikes now 'just because the others do'
  • jibberjimjibberjim Posts: 2,810
    Airlines regularly charge cyclists more for sticking their bike in the cargo hold than for the ticket for the actual passenger. Ryan Air is now looking for 80 pounds for a return trip for a bike to Europe - how in the hell can that be justified? Bike box 20 kilos, average passenger 70-80 kilos - why the excessive penalty to stick something in the cargo hold?

    Because they have to pay money to the baggage handlers and airports for handling the bags, passengers are just their own costs. So they can squeeze their own costs as much as they want to get those costs down, but they can't squeeze the cost the parts they don't control. All the airlines you're talking about also charge simply for any baggage that is not a bike, so even your small 5kg checked bag costs lots.
    Jibbering Sports Stuff: http://jibbering.com/sports/
  • GarrigouGarrigou Posts: 145
    If (including bike box & taxes) it's possible to fly to the South of France/Alps for GBP50-60, where's the 'rip-off'? Try doing it for that price in the car / on the train / on foot.
    Between me & Eddy Merckx we've won pretty much everything worth winning on a bike.
  • Garrigou wrote:
    If (including bike box & taxes) it's possible to fly to the South of France/Alps for GBP50-60, where's the 'rip-off'? Try doing it for that price in the car / on the train / on foot.

    Nice if you can get it - you wouldn't get to Alicante or Palma or the Pyrenees with Ryan Air for anything close to that.

    My gripe is that the airlines charged a fair price for baggage a few years ago (in fact sports equipment used to be free) but they soon realised that they could hammer people for carrying baggage while advertising eye-catching low fares that in reality now only apply to those carrying a wash bag. It costs much less to have a new bike couriered from the UK than it does to stick it in a plane - don't try and tell me that the 80 euros for a bike is to cover handling costs, it is a cash cow for them and they are milking it big time.
  • sampras38sampras38 Posts: 1,917
    warpcow wrote:
    I haven't used Ryanair in a few years (they charged abaout £15-20 then), but compared to ticket price I wouldn't be so bothered with £80 return. NO matter what BA advertise, I've never flown with them for less than about £200 (short-haul, European destinations). Easyjet aren't really an option for me where I currently live.

    On another note, Ryanair are supposed to have the best record for not loosing luggage too. I've never had them lose anything. BA once lost one of my wheel bags for a couple of days, which seriously messed up my trip. They have 'misplaced' my suitcase at least twice.

    Do what CumbrianMan says: pack your bike box with everything else and save yourself the hold baggage charge.

    You do realise that the baggage handlers aren't actually employed by BA?
  • GarrigouGarrigou Posts: 145
    Bristol to Toulouse on Easyjet for GBP55.49 (inc 20kg suitcase AND a bike). GBP18.50 for the bike. Dunno how much cheaper you expect for an 800 mile journey? Road tolls are GBP45 and petrol would be GBP100, let alone the ferry/tunnel cost. And that's 5-6 hours instead of 13 hours.
    Dear Stelios - do I qualify for any freebies?! :D
    Between me & Eddy Merckx we've won pretty much everything worth winning on a bike.
  • sampras38sampras38 Posts: 1,917
    sampras38 wrote:
    warpcow wrote:
    I haven't used Ryanair in a few years (they charged abaout £15-20 then), but compared to ticket price I wouldn't be so bothered with £80 return. NO matter what BA advertise, I've never flown with them for less than about £200 (short-haul, European destinations). Easyjet aren't really an option for me where I currently live.

    On another note, Ryanair are supposed to have the best record for not loosing luggage too. I've never had them lose anything. BA once lost one of my wheel bags for a couple of days, which seriously messed up my trip. They have 'misplaced' my suitcase at least twice.

    Do what CumbrianMan says: pack your bike box with everything else and save yourself the hold baggage charge.

    You do realise that the baggage handlers aren't actually employed by BA?

    Also, not sure if you guys/gals know but BA started charging for sports equipment around Sept last year. I went to France in June and they didn't charge me, but some friends went later in the year and they've changed their policy.

    My misses works for BA which is the only reason I use them.
  • sampras38sampras38 Posts: 1,917
    Garrigou wrote:
    If (including bike box & taxes) it's possible to fly to the South of France/Alps for GBP50-60, where's the 'rip-off'? Try doing it for that price in the car / on the train / on foot.

    Nice if you can get it - you wouldn't get to Alicante or Palma or the Pyrenees with Ryan Air for anything close to that.

    My gripe is that the airlines charged a fair price for baggage a few years ago (in fact sports equipment used to be free) but they soon realised that they could hammer people for carrying baggage while advertising eye-catching low fares that in reality now only apply to those carrying a wash bag. It costs much less to have a new bike couriered from the UK than it does to stick it in a plane - don't try and tell me that the 80 euros for a bike is to cover handling costs, it is a cash cow for them and they are milking it big time.

    It is a cash cow but it's business. All the airlines are losing money hand over fist so they're looking at ways to make money. We all suffer yeah, but that's the bottom line. And I know BA have been looking into charging for sporting goods for years, but only just started doing it.
  • PokerfacePokerface Posts: 7,960
    I was recently looking into going from Manchester to Dublin with a bike and a bag. RyanAir charge you £40 each way for the bike, plus the ticket, plus an admin fee, plus a check-in fee, plus a bag check fee each way. What starts out looking like a good deal ends up costing close to £200 for a 45 min flight to Dublin!

    Car and ferry - also £200.

    I opted to walk onto the ferry with my bike for £75. Fortunately I have someone collecting me on the other side.

    I remember the days (not that long ago) when you could take a bike/golf clubs/skiis, etc with you for free.

    RyanAir is great if you're traveling for business, with no bags checked in, etc.

    Otherwise it's as big a rip-off as the rest of them.


    (And I wouldn't book a BA flight simply because you never know when the next strike is coming!)
  • priorypriory Posts: 743
    Easyjet:
    (1) Carriage of bicycles:

    * The bicycle must be packaged in a bicycle box or bag
    * Only one bicycle per bicycle box or bag will be permitted

    * No other items can be carried in the bicycle box (e.g. clothing)

    * The handlebars must be flush with the frame
    * The pedals must be flush against the frame or removed

    So be careful what you put in with it. It has to be justifiable as padding or part of the bike or you might have to fill your pockets with it.
    Raleigh Eclipse, , Dahon Jetstream XP, Raleigh Banana, Dawes super galaxy, Raleigh Clubman

    http://s189.photobucket.com/albums/z122 ... =slideshow
  • sampras38sampras38 Posts: 1,917
    priory wrote:
    Easyjet:
    (1) Carriage of bicycles:

    * The bicycle must be packaged in a bicycle box or bag
    * Only one bicycle per bicycle box or bag will be permitted

    * No other items can be carried in the bicycle box (e.g. clothing)

    * The handlebars must be flush with the frame
    * The pedals must be flush against the frame or removed

    So be careful what you put in with it. It has to be justifiable as padding or part of the bike or you might have to fill your pockets with it.

    Only time I would ever fly with them was on a trip where I had no luggage.
  • nick hansonnick hanson Posts: 1,655
    sampras38 wrote:
    priory wrote:
    Easyjet:
    (1) Carriage of bicycles:

    * The bicycle must be packaged in a bicycle box or bag
    * Only one bicycle per bicycle box or bag will be permitted

    * No other items can be carried in the bicycle box (e.g. clothing)

    * The handlebars must be flush with the frame
    * The pedals must be flush against the frame or removed

    So be careful what you put in with it. It has to be justifiable as padding or part of the bike or you might have to fill your pockets with it.

    Only time I would ever fly with them was on a trip where I had no luggage.
    Cut your nose off to spite your face,would you?
    I flew with them from Liverpool to Nice,so I could ride to the Ventoux for the TDF.
    They were by far & away the cheapest all in option.
    Unfortunately my bikebag came around the carousel with a boot print on it,& the bar tape scuffed.
    I was told by the guy on check in,as has been mentioned above,that you cannot put other luggage in with the bike,though i did wrap my ground mat (I was camping) around the bike,& on the way back also dropped the sleeping bag in as well!
    so many cols,so little time!
  • sampras38sampras38 Posts: 1,917
    sampras38 wrote:
    priory wrote:
    Easyjet:
    (1) Carriage of bicycles:

    * The bicycle must be packaged in a bicycle box or bag
    * Only one bicycle per bicycle box or bag will be permitted

    * No other items can be carried in the bicycle box (e.g. clothing)

    * The handlebars must be flush with the frame
    * The pedals must be flush against the frame or removed

    So be careful what you put in with it. It has to be justifiable as padding or part of the bike or you might have to fill your pockets with it.

    Only time I would ever fly with them was on a trip where I had no luggage.
    Cut your nose off to spite your face,would you?
    I flew with them from Liverpool to Nice,so I could ride to the Ventoux for the TDF.
    They were by far & away the cheapest all in option.
    Unfortunately my bikebag came around the carousel with a boot print on it,& the bar tape scuffed.
    I was told by the guy on check in,as has been mentioned above,that you cannot put other luggage in with the bike,though i did wrap my ground mat (I was camping) around the bike,& on the way back also dropped the sleeping bag in as well!

    Easy tiger..

    My reasons are more practical than that. I live near Heathrow and the misses works for BA so I tend to fly staff.
  • andymillerandymiller Posts: 2,856
    sampras38 wrote:
    the misses works for BA so I tend to fly staff.

    Given the threats from BA management about withdrawing staff flights if the staff insist on being bolshie ...enjoy it while you can.
  • sampras38sampras38 Posts: 1,917
    andymiller wrote:
    sampras38 wrote:
    the misses works for BA so I tend to fly staff.

    Given the threats from BA management about withdrawing staff flights if the staff insist on being bolshie ...enjoy it while you can.

    Oooooh, get her...;-)

    i'll have you know I've been flying staff for 15 odd years and both of us are nothing but nice to the staff and never have we been "bolshie", as you put it. In fact we've often got extras because we make an effort to be nice.
  • blatant ripping-off

    it's only a rip-off if you're completely naive.
  • A few years ago I few all the way to NZ and back (about 8 flights total) with a MTB in bag and didn't have to pay anything extra. Just checked it in as normal luggage.

    So I agree that charging extra just because it is a bike (or skis/golf clubs/etc) is a rip off. You are no longer a valued passenger, its just £££s. Flying is so last century!
  • bigjimbigjim Posts: 780
    For £80 it is not worth the hassle. You can hire a good quality race bike for that for a week. They will also deliver to your hotel and pick it up and sort out any breakdowns. I've given up flying with my bike. All that hassle humping it through the airport, having to go to 2 check in desks, 2 security checks. Worrying about it being damaged. Sod it!
    Plus on Majllorca I always see all these German teams on hired bikes and they are a fussy crowd so must be worth thinking about. Last time there I even got a quote for £70 for a week for a 10 speed dura ace [I think} equipped bike!

    Jim :)
  • sampras38sampras38 Posts: 1,917
    bigjim wrote:
    For £80 it is not worth the hassle. You can hire a good quality race bike for that for a week. They will also deliver to your hotel and pick it up and sort out any breakdowns. I've given up flying with my bike. All that hassle humping it through the airport, having to go to 2 check in desks, 2 security checks. Worrying about it being damaged. Sod it!
    Plus on Majllorca I always see all these German teams on hired bikes and they are a fussy crowd so must be worth thinking about. Last time there I even got a quote for £70 for a week for a 10 speed dura ace [I think} equipped bike!

    Jim :)

    I know peopl.e who hire but I;ve never found it that much hassle bringing a bike with me. Certainly no m ore than any other problems with travelling.
  • bigjimbigjim Posts: 780
    I know peopl.e who hire but I;ve never found it that much hassle bringing a bike with me. Certainly no m ore than any other problems with travelling.
    Thats good. reading some of the posts on this and other forums people ar experiencing problems travelling with bikes. Airlines are changing rules and prices on a regular basis.
    Personally, I have to order a decent sized cab for the airport and pay £25 each way. Without the bike I can travel for free on the train & metro. Plus all the other stuff I mentioned. The I do worry about it being damaged or even arriving at all. Last time I travelled my mate brought his carbon framed Scott. While we were waiting at baggage some of the brain dead Magaruff crowd thought it was good fun to sling it across the customs hall! :evil:
    I like the freedom of not having to put it together and take it apart as well. I'd love to bring my own bike but the ever increasing cost and hassle is against it for me. Different if you are touring for a few weeks and ending up at a different airport.
    Jim :)
  • andymillerandymiller Posts: 2,856
    sampras38 wrote:
    andymiller wrote:
    sampras38 wrote:
    the misses works for BA so I tend to fly staff.

    Given the threats from BA management about withdrawing staff flights if the staff insist on being bolshie ...enjoy it while you can.

    Oooooh, get her...;-)

    i'll have you know I've been flying staff for 15 odd years and both of us are nothing but nice to the staff and never have we been "bolshie", as you put it. In fact we've often got extras because we make an effort to be nice.

    Erm I think you've misread my post. This is the news story I was referring to:

    BA threatens cabin crews’ travel perks (FT.com)

    Time for a trip to the opticians? :roll:
  • sampras38sampras38 Posts: 1,917
    bigjim wrote:
    I know peopl.e who hire but I;ve never found it that much hassle bringing a bike with me. Certainly no m ore than any other problems with travelling.
    Thats good. reading some of the posts on this and other forums people ar experiencing problems travelling with bikes. Airlines are changing rules and prices on a regular basis.
    Personally, I have to order a decent sized cab for the airport and pay £25 each way. Without the bike I can travel for free on the train & metro. Plus all the other stuff I mentioned. The I do worry about it being damaged or even arriving at all. Last time I travelled my mate brought his carbon framed Scott. While we were waiting at baggage some of the brain dead Magaruff crowd thought it was good fun to sling it across the customs hall! :evil:
    I like the freedom of not having to put it together and take it apart as well. I'd love to bring my own bike but the ever increasing cost and hassle is against it for me. Different if you are touring for a few weeks and ending up at a different airport.
    Jim :)

    Yeah, it probably is getting a bit tougher now the airlines are changing their policies. I'll reserve my judgement as to how much after my trip to France in June. As for hiring a bike, I don't thinik I could relax on a bike that wasn't my own. I certainly wouldn't feel right taking risks on it.
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