Simon Calder's Holiday Helpdesk: Can I source a bike box free for my easyJet flight?
Every day our travel guru answers your travel questions
Simon Calder’s career in travel started at Gatwick Airport, where he cleaned aircraft for Laker Airways and later worked as a security officer. He became The Independent’s Travel Correspondent in 1994, and is known as “the Man Who Pays His Way” because he does not accept free travel facilities. He writes across the Independent titles, as well as for the Evening Standard.
Thursday 15 November 2012
Q I'll be taking my bicycle on an easyJet flight from Luton to Istanbul next summer. It'll be my first time and I've already paid the £25 fee, but I need a bike bag or box. Can I source one for free anywhere? Any other tips?
A Oh, for the days when easyJet (in common with other airlines) would fly bikes for free, with no stipulation beyond reducing its size, letting down its tyres and wrapping it in a bin liner or similar to avoid damaging other luggage. BA still does. I have even been able to take a folding bike as hand luggage on KLM, and wheeled a full size bike on to an Aeroflot jet, but that was in the pre-9/11 golden days of air travel.
These days, easyJet levies a “Sports Equipment Fee” of £25, and requires that “The bicycle must be packaged in a bicycle box or bag,” which adds to the cost and complexity. The best bet is to turn up at a local bike shop and ask if they have any unwanted bike boxes from stock they have sold.
Having procured the box, your problems are only just beginning, because you need to get yourself, bike, box and any other luggage to Luton. The train (outside rush hour) is probably your best bet because of the generous allowance – but don’t try cycling up the hill from Luton Airport Parkway station, take the transfer bus instead.
Finally, in my experience bikes tend to go missing more frequently than other baggage, so don’t plan an immediate cycling trip when you reach Turkey.
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