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Bike Air Transport - KLM and Airfrance

Dane7Dane7 Posts: 22

My GF and I and going to Cape town for 3 weeks warm weather training over the xmas period (she is a pro triathlete).

We will be flying with the bikes from Manchester - Schipol - Paris - Cape Town,

does anyone have any experience taking bikes with KLM or Air france?

This is the luggage plan:

1 Case for clothes and other stuff

1 Bike bag (big and light) with both the bikes in, packed with foam, towels etc and Duct tape

2 x rucksacks for everything else (hand luggage)

We have 23 kg of baggage allowance each and a bike counts as a pc of baggage (hence taking 1 case)

The bikes are about 16 kg together, what else realistically can go in the bag? track pump, shoes, tools etc?

There is also a size requirement of 170 cm l+w+h, does anyone know how well enforced this is? as the bike bag is quite a bit bigger than this... It can be squashed and duck taped to a smaller size.

Any help greatly received. :)


  • Suggest you speak to both your carrier and the luggage handling company at the airport. Bare in mind whatever you are told will change depending on the date, who is working and who you speak to. Pack the bikes as if they have to survive a trip through Hades and back again. Bagage handlers like throwing and walking on bike bags. Insure everything as best you can.
    (I speak from horrendous experiences of me, my hubby & my brother. Least damage was a mangled Q/R, worst was brother who was not allowed to check his bike in having checked 3 times that it would be ok and what was required. On one flight they even managed to break (mash completely) a hard shell bike case. Admittedly SAS did pay for a new one, and the bike though scratched survived.....
  • amaferangaamaferanga Posts: 6,789
    What kind of bike bag fits 2 bikes in it? Do you mean one of the giant plastic bags? I'd be careful using one of these as I believe some airlines/airports have rejected them for not being 'proper' bike bags (having said that I've used one of these twice flying with BMI and BA with no problems).

    With 2 bikes in a bag it'll be really awkward to handle, which I guess could be viewed as a good or bad thing. Since you seem to have 2 transfers though I'd say its a bad thing. I'd go for a regular bike bag or box each with some stuff in up to the 23kg limit with everything else as hand luggage.
    More problems but still living....
  • Dane7Dane7 Posts: 22

    I will be packing them as well as is physically possible, although if they can break a hardshell box then maybe my hard work will be all for nothing!

    I am a bit conscious about how well size and weight restrictions are enforced.

    Thanks for your help
  • Dane7Dane7 Posts: 22
    Yes that is a good Idea about having 2 bike bags and packing them up to the weight with clothes etc, would this be allowed?

    Are they checked in aas normal luggage and come out the normal carousel?

    Sorry for the daft questions!
  • Dane7Dane7 Posts: 22
    is this any good?

    or this ... elID=15325

    I already have a rubbish one that cost about £25 from PBK that has no padding that I can shove foam and bubble wrap, clothes and towels etc in

  • Dane7Dane7 Posts: 22
    Just ordered the CRC one for my GF's bike. mine will go in the custom padded PBK one along with loads of clothes and other stuff.

    I have access to loads of packaging material at work, so will be doing my best.

    Cheers for the help.

    Will let you know how it goes!

    wish me luck
  • sheffsimonsheffsimon Posts: 1,282
    Dane7 wrote:
    Yes that is a good Idea about having 2 bike bags and packing them up to the weight with clothes etc, would this be allowed?

    Are they checked in aas normal luggage and come out the normal carousel?

    Sorry for the daft questions!

    Taken to the normal check-in where they are tagged, and then taken by you to the out of gauge desk where they are taken from you.

    Doubt they will come out on the normal baggage carousel, too big to fit (I work for a company that installs baggage handling systems and spend too much time at airports :) )

    WTF are you flying via both Schipol and Paris, not just one or the other?
  • eheh Posts: 4,854
    Yeah I flew KLM/Delta earlier this year to the US. I paid for the bike to go as extra (think I had too, as it was to the US; the rules change according to destination). KLM/Delta seemed to make up the rules as they went along, and I wasn't the only one as an american coming back from riding in the alps had a similar experience. You do need to inform the airline in advance of the bike.

    Still the bike made it fine both ways, with some pretty lazy packing by me in a Planet-X bag. But I would have taken more care if it had been my fancy CF roadie, rather than my beat up mtb.

    Two tips:

    1) Get some fork and rear drop out spacers, to stop them being crushed. Bike shops often will give them free, as they get them with new bikes.

    2) Carry your helmet hand luggage, either in your bag (if its big enough) or just clipped to the outside.
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