I’m considering a cycling holiday in Spain next year but would like to take my own bike. Will airlines allow this? Sean, Manchester
Most airlines will allow you to take your bike on the flight, carried in the hold, but charges differ enormously depending on the airline and the type of ticket you have.
For example, British Airways will carry non-motorised bikes up to 190cm in length for free, as part of your 23kg baggage allowance, assuming you’ve bought a ticket that includes checked-in luggage.
However, they do say that cycles need to be packed in a protective case or bag with the pedals removed or fixed inwards and the handlebars turned sideways. They also recommend deflating the tyres to reduce damage – they’ll expand in the low pressure experienced in the aircraft’s hold.
Easyjet charge from £35 each way for bikes up to 32kg in weight, while at Ryanair it’ll cost you from £60 each way. That could be more than you paid for the ticket!
Another thing to consider is how you’re going to get your bike to the airport and to your final destination after your flight. If you’re on a package holiday, with transport included, check that there’s enough room in the vehicle to take your extra luggage.
And also figure in the cost of some form of bike bag or case to transport your equipment.
One alternative could be to use a coach tour company who will carry your bike on the trip. European Bike Express have pick up points as far north as Yorkshire and run four different routes between the UK, France, Northern Spain and the Mediterranean. And you can travel to one destination and return from a different one.