Flying with a bike
Unfortunately, more and more airlines charge extra for traveling with a bike. Prices and conditions vary greatly from one company to another and it is therefore wise to take a good look and compare the rates for bike transport before buying your ticket. Indeed, a cheap flight can be much more expensive once added the transport costs of a bike while some companies may include bike transport in their baggage allowance.
1/ Become familiar with the policy of the company that will operate your first flight: considering alliances, a partner company may have a different policy from the main airline. In general, it is therefore recommended to print a copy of the terms of sale or to keep a digital version if necessary to avoid possible problems at the airport.
In case of doubt or employee too meticulous or misinformed, this document will be the only proof that your bike is well supported with your ticket.
2/ In case of stopover, make sure that your bike is registered to your final destination to avoid any additional cost at the time of the second registration. For this reason, we recommend buying a full flight with multiple connections than purchasing multiple separate tickets for each connection. This allows, where possible, to avoid additional costs
3/ If, despite everything, a supplement should be applied to you at the time of boarding, do not hesitate to ask the staff of the company to measure the size of your bag or suitcase. In fact, in many cases, we were able to avoid additional costs because the staff did not have the means to measure the bicycle box and was thus unable to prove that the baggage exceeded the authorized limits.
Protect his bike
No matter the value of your bike and unless you pay a substantial premium, the insurance of airlines - or railways - (and even your personal civil insurance) cover only a tiny part of the total price of your bike. It is therefore important to protect your bike very well for transport.
We advise you to take a suitcase specially designed for transporting bicycles. Several models (rigid or flexible) are available on the market, for you to see which one is best for your bike! Beyond the purchase, you can also consider a rental for the duration of your trip. Many specialized shops now offer this possibility.
Whatever your choice, purchase or rental, it is important to take into account the dimensions of the luggage (height / length / width) and to make sure that it falls within the limits allowed by your airline company. Also pay attention to its curb weight, the protections and mooring of components, the transportability (we strongly advise you to take models with wheels to facilitate transits), as well as the ease to open (you may be asked to open the box at the security checks).
We recommend protecting your frame with styromousse, remove pedals, handlebars, saddle and rear derailleur. For disc brakes, lock the pistons to prevent them from closing during transport and also disassemble the wheel disc to store them in a place where they will not bend. Install spacers on the front fork and rear stay to prevent crushing. Prevent moving parts or the frame from moving inside the box or box: for example, you can stall small bags of clothing in empty spaces or bubble wrap with a thickness of from 5 to 15 cm. Finally, do not forget to deflate your tires and do not carry bottles of compressed air that can be banned in airplanes.