Safely transporting your bicycle on an airplane requires a bit of preparation and forethought. You will need to consider what type of container to pack your bicycle in, how you, your bicycle, and your additional luggage will travel to and from the airport, and of course what regulations and costs you should expect at the check-in counter.
Packaging your bicycle for a safe trip in the friendly skies comes down to what you feel comfortable doing, what your budget allows, and what the airline carrier you are using requires.
At a minimum most airline carriers will require that all of the air be let out of the tires before being loaded on the aircraft.
In addition to letting the air out of the tires some carriers will require that the handlebars be turned, and/or the front wheel be removed in order to make the bicycle as compact as possible. Loosening the stem and rotating the handlebars along with removing the front wheel and reattaching it to the bike using large zip ties makes for a rather compact bicycle that can either be loaded as is or wrapped in plastic. Most airports now have baggage wrapping stations where oversize luggage can be wrapped in cardboard and plastic.
Here are the current bicycle as baggage policies and pricing of four (4) major airline carriers in Thailand.
- Bicycle charged as excess baggage per kilo if weight above allowable checked baggage limit of one adult passenger. New “Bike on Board” policy released Oct. 2014.
- Bicycle must be collapsible or suitably packaged.
- Passenger must give advanced notice 24 hours to departure time.
- Bicycle charged as 200 THB sports equipment fee. The weight of sports equipment items is not included in normal checked baggage. New Bicycles Fly Free policy released Oct 2012.
- For domestic flights, Nok Air allows you to load your bicycle whole. Bicycle tires must be deflated and bicycle can be ‘rolled on’ to aircraft without packaging. No need to remove the wheels and the pedals or adjust the handle bar. Nok Air will ask you to pay a special handling fee of 200 baht for the bike, and its staff will take care of the rest. The weight of the bike is not added to your normal baggage allowance.
Thai Airways International
- Bicycle charged as excess baggage (USD 119, THB 3,700) if weight above free baggage allowance of one adult passenger.
Thai Airways Domestic
- For domestic flights, Thai Airways allows you to load your bicycle whole. Bicycle tires must be deflated and bicycle can be ‘rolled on’ to aircraft without packaging. No need to remove the wheels and the pedals or adjust the handle bar. Thai Airways does not charge extra if the combined weight of the bike and your other checked luggage is within the limit. Excess baggage weight is charged by the kilo.
- Bicycle charged as sports equipment fee at a rate of approximately USD 25 (THB 770) for up to 45 lb (20 kg).
- Bicycle must be suitably packaged and container must be less than 109 linear inches/277 cm (length + width + height) and no longer than 80 in/203 cm.
SPORTING EQUIPMENTS – Sports equipments are included in passenger checked baggage allowance, any exceed weight resulting from such inclusion shall be assessed at the normal excess baggage charge, 1.5% of the highest published normal Y class adult one way fare per one extra kilo.
Bicycle – Due to type and limitation of aircrafts, the dimension of bicycle required should be,
- ATR (70 seats) is 50x100x50 centimeter
- Airbus319 (144 seats) is 145x160x110 centimeter
- Airbus320 (160 seats) is 145x160x110 centimeter
Bicycle must be collapsible and suitably packed. Please advanced notice 24 hours prior to departure time at reservation center 1771 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Items Require Special Handling – Such items as diving equipment, surfboard, archery equipment, bicycle, fishing equipment, which require special handling, are entitled of THB 200 per piece even though total weight does not exceed 15 kg. (the weight of these items will not be included with normal checked baggage).
Other checked items (To/ from USA and Canada ) – Additional Items as checked baggage that may have extra handling charges. The following items are subject to a special handling fee based on itinerary. All fees listed are per item.
Bicycles – A bicycle may be included as part of your free baggage allowance. For a bicycle above your free baggage allowance, normal excess baggage rates apply: USD119 (approximately THB 3,700)
There is a Sports Equipment Fee applicable to Surfboards, Snowboards, Bicycles, Scuba, Golf and Skiing gears. Any other sporting equipments will be accepted as part of the baggage allowance and subject to any associated fees. This fee is approximately $25 for up to 45 lb (20 kg). Each additional kg over 20 will be charged at a rate of approximately $15 per kg. All articles must be less than 109 linear inches/277 cm (length + width + height) and no longer than 80 in/203 cm.
Disclaimer: The information on this page is true and correct at the time of publication (March 31, 2012). Because airlines reserve the right to change policies at any time please confirm this information prior to your travel dates by contacting the airline carrier directly for official and up-to-date baggage restrictions.