packing a bike correctly (ryanair)
Replies: 9 - Last Post: May 4, 2012 12:41 PM Last Post By: tomtonks
Apr 1, 2009 8:06 AM
packing a bike correctly (ryanair)Hi all,
this summer I'll make a cycling trip to the highlands of scotland. I booked my flight on ryanair, but I'm not sure how to pack my bike for this transport. The HP doesn't say too much about it (just remove the pedals and turn the handle bar 90°), and I'm wondering whether it would be enough to wrap the bike in several layers of a plastic film (just like the stuff you use for covering the floor when you have to do some painting work on your walls). I don't want to make my way to the airport just to realize that they won't take my bike because it's not in perfect transporting condition.
I hope someone can help me, I already searched dozens of web pages, but I didn't find too much.
Apr 1, 2009 10:58 AM
1hi, if you paid extra to take a bike then you only have to remove the pedals and turn the bars with ryanair. no need to wrap the bike, and i can't see any advantage in doing so. i suppose you could put some pipe insulation around anything delicate though - the shifters, even the frame) if you wanted. you've paid extra to carry it so (HOPEFULLY) it will be treated like a bike by the loading staff and have its own secure place in the hold.
however if you didn't pay extra for the bike then you would have had to fully dismantle and package very carefully in a large box, as it will be checked in as just another 'case' and probably chucked around a bit - though you can ask check-in to put a fragile sticker on it too. if they ask what's in the box then i would just say 'a couple of bike parts' or something, as they could (though probably wouldn't) get funny if they thought you were trying to evade the fee for carrying a complete bike! there's no reason why you can't do this though - none of the contents are on the prohibited list. obviously check the weight carefully if you're going down this money saving route!
Apr 1, 2009 12:47 PM
2The Ryanair Baggage page is pretty clear - the bike must be in a protective box or bag.. Any bike shop should give you a box for free. Otherwise, the CTC do a plastic bag thats pretty cheap. I have taken a bike with Ryanair without a bag before, but you are taking a chance if you do anything different than it says on the website. Always print the relevant web page out when going to the airport so you can wave it at any recalcitrant desk staff, they usually make things up as they go along.
Apr 1, 2009 2:17 PM
Those boxes are too small for a built bike - they're for partially/fully dismantelled bikes. The whole point of paying the extra 30 for a bike is so you can take it with the minimum of fuss, without taking it apart. If you're going to dismantel it then you should check it in as a standard piece of luggage (sub 15kg) like I detailed above, and save the 30. To cover a complete bike with cardboard is nonsense; for starters it makes lifting it in and out of the hold much harder for the loaders. Same with the plastic cover, which I suspect is mainly so you don't dirty their plane too much. How are they going to secure the frame in the hold if it's covered in card/plastic? Anyway, I suppose you could get one of those plastic bags since they're not that much. What airport are you flying from? I've seen people taking bikes from Stansted without even turning the bars or removing the pedals. RyanAir rely on fast turnarounds, though I suppose this could work for or against you if your bags aren't up to scratch...
Apr 1, 2009 10:29 PM
4Just because you pay extra for the bike doesn't mean it will be treated with any extra respect. That said, I haven't had any difficulties with my bikes on planes, preboxed or not. I think that because it is bigger and more awkward than other bags handlers are forced to treat it a little kinder. It is more difficult to throw. But I have never flown with Ryanair.
Apr 2, 2009 12:37 AM
5Thank you for your advice,
ao course I already checked the ryanair HP for the information and I already found the passage "The bike should be contained in a protective box or bag", which left me a bit confused.
As already mentioned by joshwaller81, a box is too small for a built bike, and I have to confess that I don't want to rebuild my bike on the airport at 11pm. So I was thinking about the option of using a plastic bag, and that's why I thought of the alternative with the plastic film.
Or is it even not mandatory at all to pack the bike in the box or bag, as the paragraph says "should be" and not "has to be"?
Apr 2, 2009 7:56 AM
I think baggage handlers are employed by the airport rather than the airline. The same baggage handlers could load, for eg., a BA plane and a RyanAir plane. If we are talking about a complete bike (with maybe the bars turned and the pedals removed) then I honestly think it would be easier for them to load an unwrapped bike.
OP, I suggest you show up with your bike unwrapped but have with you one of those plastic bike bags ^ or some cling-film in case they ask you to do so. Check-in early.
Apr 2, 2009 7:16 PM
7I usually wrap the entire frame with cheap pipe insulation like this before putting it in a bag. I also twist the front wheel so that the fork faces backwards (shortens the wheelbase a few inches) and tie the wheel to the frame. My regular airline (Air Canada) usually provides large bike bags but last year when I flew out of Alaska, United only had smaller bags so I used two to cover the bike like so .
Apr 3, 2009 11:55 AM
8Many times in RyanAir and just do what #7 advises. No damage because they earlier throw a box than a partly packed bicycle in an old beachtent or whatever plastic bag.
(don't put your pedals in your carry-on luggage, they seem to be dangerous and you have to check them in extra, same story for lowriders if you take them off)
May 4, 2012 12:41 PM
9Hi there guys,
Thank you very much for the information on this thread, i have found it very useful. I am planning to take my bike to Estonia this summer and from my research it looks like the easiest (and cheapest) way to do this is by plane. I do have one question though... do Ryanair allow you to attach bags/panniers to the bike before you check it onto the plane? Thanks very much.
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