Airline Choices - CycleBlaze

Bicycle Travel Forum

Airline Choices

Bob Koreis

It's looking like the wife and I will have to fly commercial to Europe this spring and the only times we've done that it's been without the bikes and on Condor, which only has one free checked item when flying from North America.

As I check the air fair websites, it looks like British Airways and Air Canada are our two best options. Both would be less than Condor and traveling Premium Economy, both include two checked bags per person. This way we would not have to try to make our panniers work as carry-on luggage. Travel time is not significantly different, but BA is more expensive with one stop, AC less but involves two stops.

Comments pro/con about the carriers are welcomed. 

Reply    Link    Flag
1 month ago
Scott AndersonTo Bob Koreis

The paint jobs on Condor’s planes are attractive, but that’s not enough.  I doubt we’d Eve fly with them again.  We were very happy with our experience on Air Canada though.

Reply    Link    Flag
1 month ago
Jacquie GaudetTo Bob Koreis

Hi Bob

We've been pleased with Air Canada, which we've taken on all our previous trips to because we've used our Aeroplan points. Our current trip is the first *not* on Air Canada, because we didn't have enough points this time.

Air Canada doesn't want more than the bike in your bike case, but they've always been okay with a few extra bike-related things.  If you are boarding in a Canadian airport, you will likely have to open your bike case or box for inspection when you check in--unless you have a bike that goes in a suitcase and thus fits through the scanner. 

I always check bike fees before booking, which is why we always choose Air Canada when flying on points. The other option from Vancouver is Lufthansa, whose bike fees are CA$375 compared to AC's $50.  We just arrived in Malaga, having flown on a Delta ticket on flights operated by WestJet and KLM. We had to pay for our extra bag (one between the two of us) but our bike cases were accepted as our free bags with no extra fee.

As for panniers as carry-on, I have an Ortlieb backpack converter thing that I use to make one of my panniers into a backpack. It doesn't fit me very well so I only use it for travel and it stays with my bike case. 

Reply    Link    Flag
1 month ago
Bob KoreisTo Scott Anderson

I read your entry on the flight back with great interest. I've seen the Delta KLM flights from SEA to BLQ on Kayak. We've been done with Delta for a long time, but had the impression KLM was better than your repeat experience. 

Reply    Link    Flag
3 weeks ago
Scott AndersonTo Bob Koreis

Actually, we were quite pleased with the flights themselves and would fly KLM/Delta again.  The only problem with KLM was the issue with preboarding through their website, and who knows what that was about.  The issue with paying for your baggage is unique to Italy’s airports, I think.  It wasn’t specific to this one carrier.

Reply    Link    Flag
3 weeks ago