Author Topic: Bikes on Ryanair flights  (Read 1257 times)

gibbo

  • Riding for fun, cake and beer.
    • Boxford Bike Club
Bikes on Ryanair flights
« on: 12 December, 2021, 04:46:01 pm »
Forming a plan of some description to do the Eurovelo 15 route along the Rhine, or at least part of it. Thinking of flying to Frankfurt then eventually catching the ferry back to England.

My question is has anyone successfully tried flying on Ryanair with bike box etc and got any tips of what worked and what didn’t?

TIA.

Re: Bikes on Ryanair flights
« Reply #1 on: 12 December, 2021, 07:29:49 pm »
We did - but it was in 2009! I suspect the rules have considerably changed since then with Ryanair's determination to sting passengers for as much as they can on baggage handling fees and other ticket hassles/scams (judging by my daughter's latest experiences). But yes, six of us from the RCTL flew Limoges-Liverpool and the return in 2009 with the bikes in boxes cut down in height tp pass through the oversize luggage scanner (at Liverpool, they do things completely manually at Limoges). We just followed the instructions on the web site and got stung but otherwise unharmed! Two of the group had already done the job extensively on trips to eastern Europe so had experience to call on!
But I would emphasise that Ryanair are bandits of the first order and that the rules have undoubtedly changed a lot and not to your advantage since we did it!

IanDG

  • The p*** artist formerly known as 'Windy'
    • the_dandg_rouleur
Re: Bikes on Ryanair flights
« Reply #2 on: 12 December, 2021, 07:38:01 pm »
I flew Prestwick to Pisa (and back) in 2011 for L'Eroica. Had no problems. IIRC there was a weight limit for the bike and I was way under so loaded the bike box up extras.

At Pisa Airport heading home
Leaving Pisa by ian, on Flickr

Karla

  • car(e) free
    • Lost Byway - around the world by bike
Re: Bikes on Ryanair flights
« Reply #3 on: 12 December, 2021, 07:54:41 pm »
Yes, several times, most recently Athens to Luton this October.  You should have zero problems: book your bike and pay the fee on the website when you buy your ticket, then turn up at the airport with the bike packed in your box of choice (custom or cardboard will both work), they'll take it with zero fuss and fly it to your destination.  They run a tight ship.

Re: Bikes on Ryanair flights
« Reply #4 on: 14 December, 2021, 09:33:24 am »
Thinking of flying to Frankfurt ... flying on Ryanair

TIA.
Do Ryanair fly to Frankfurt? Or is it Frankfurt Han, which makes Stanstead look like a central London location.

Eddington  100miles

Salvatore

  • Джон Спунър
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Re: Bikes on Ryanair flights
« Reply #5 on: 14 December, 2021, 11:09:41 am »
Thinking of flying to Frankfurt ... flying on Ryanair

TIA.
Do Ryanair fly to Frankfurt? Or is it Frankfurt Han, which makes Stanstead look like a central London location.

wikipedia:
Quote
In 2001, Ryanair began flying to the airport, using it as a second base for its European operations.[6] At the request of Ryanair, the name of the airport was officially changed from Hahn Airport to Frankfurt–Hahn Airport. Lufthansa began legal proceedings against Ryanair in 2002, claiming the usage of "Frankfurt" in the name to be false advertising. Ryanair was allowed to keep the name but was forced to clarify in its advertising that the airport is actually 120 kilometers (75 miles) by road from Frankfurt.[7]
Quote
et avec John, excellent lecteur de road-book, on s'en est sortis sans erreur

gibbo

  • Riding for fun, cake and beer.
    • Boxford Bike Club
Re: Bikes on Ryanair flights
« Reply #6 on: 14 December, 2021, 02:36:34 pm »
Seems, after a fair amount of Googling, that Ryanair flights from London Stansted go into Frankfurt FRA, which is the one closest to the city.

Stansted suits me since it's around an hour's travel and Frankfurt FRA is close to Eurovelo 15.

Re: Bikes on Ryanair flights
« Reply #7 on: 14 December, 2021, 08:47:33 pm »
My question is has anyone successfully tried flying on Ryanair with bike box etc and got any tips of what worked and what didn’t?

I've flown extensively to Europe with budget airlines, most recent a few weeks ago was on Ryanair.

Specific to Ryanair:
They are the most expensive for the bike fee at £60 e/w. Others have been ramping up their prices the last couple of years. BA is no longer free as they now have a hand baggage price, but you still get the bike on at the same price as a suitcase.
Ryanair are a bunch of sharks and I will never fly with them again.
Other than that, they are much the same as all the others for taking a bike on, no problems with that side.

General tips for any airline:
Weight limit is a generous 25 kg. Rock up at the desk, put the boxed/bagged bike on the scales. Make sure there is something to tie the luggage tag around.
Try not to let them stick the counterfoil to your passport, the glue never comes off, but make sure you keep it.
Take the bike to oversized luggage.
At the destination, you will have to look for the oversized drop area, though some smaller airports just chuck it on the conveyor.
Sometimes you will be asked if you've let the tyres down, just say yes.
You are not supposed to put anything other than the bike in the box/bag. This is rarely an actual issue. Obviously you have to put tools, etc in there as they won't let them through as hand baggage. Very occasionally I've had to open the bag for an airline employee to check. When they ask what the other stuff is I just say tools, bike kit/spares. It has been fine.
Quote from: tiermat
that's not science, it's semantics.

gibbo

  • Riding for fun, cake and beer.
    • Boxford Bike Club
Re: Bikes on Ryanair flights
« Reply #8 on: 14 December, 2021, 09:03:21 pm »
Thanks for all your responses  :thumbsup:

Re: Bikes on Ryanair flights
« Reply #9 on: 15 December, 2021, 09:21:14 am »
I did notice when I was looking in to flying with bike via easy jet that their terms say you can't have anything other than the bike in the bike box

"Bicycles are permitted for carriage provided that specific criteria is met:
The bicycle must be packaged in a bicycle box or bicycle bag
Only one bicycle per box/bag is permitted
No other items can be carried in the bicycle box/bag (i.e. clothing)
The handlebars must be flush with the frame.
Pedals must be removed or flush against the frame"

Which I find quite ridiculous, what difference does it make to them if clothes are in my rigid bike box as well, what are they going to do? open the box and check. what about my frame pump? pretty sure they won't want me taking that as hand luggage, so is the aim here to get people with bikes to book a second case into the hold as well?

Eddington  100miles

Re: Bikes on Ryanair flights
« Reply #10 on: 15 December, 2021, 09:23:17 am »
Seems, after a fair amount of Googling, that Ryanair flights from London Stansted go into Frankfurt FRA, which is the one closest to the city.

Stansted suits me since it's around an hour's travel and Frankfurt FRA is close to Eurovelo 15.

Yes it seems like they changed at some stage in the past, maybe because slots became available in the covid times.

Eddington  100miles

Re: Bikes on Ryanair flights
« Reply #11 on: 15 December, 2021, 09:45:13 am »
I did notice when I was looking in to flying with bike via easy jet that their terms say you can't have anything other than the bike in the bike box

Most airlines have this in their policy but in reality don't enforce it.  I've never had the bag checked for extra items (never used Ryanair though).  I usually fill the bag up with everything I need for a tour - panniers, clothes, etc.  All that stuff helps to protect the bike, which is what I'd say if challenged!
The sound of one pannier flapping

Re: Bikes on Ryanair flights
« Reply #12 on: 15 December, 2021, 05:58:47 pm »
They do all have it in the conditions, and as above I have been asked to open the bag and been questioned on the contents. This is *extremely* rare though, and they are happy for you to have tools, pump, lock etc in there as they are not allowed in the cabin. They did not ask me to open the pannier to prove the contents, though they did squeeze the tyres and saw I was lying when I said I'd let the air out.  :P
Quote from: tiermat
that's not science, it's semantics.

Kim

  • Timelord
Re: Bikes on Ryanair flights
« Reply #13 on: 16 December, 2021, 12:42:40 am »
Presumably the objection to putting clothing in with the bike is that it prevents them charging you extra for carrying it as normal luggage...

Re: Bikes on Ryanair flights
« Reply #14 on: 16 December, 2021, 01:56:33 pm »
We had a problem on one tour where they tore our boxes open after check in to ensure the tyres were deflated, luckily this didn't cause an issue, but it could have.  Since then I have cut a small hole in the box and written next to it (check here to see tyres deflated).

gibbo

  • Riding for fun, cake and beer.
    • Boxford Bike Club
Re: Bikes on Ryanair flights
« Reply #15 on: 16 December, 2021, 03:30:18 pm »
We had a problem on one tour where they tore our boxes open after check in to ensure the tyres were deflated, luckily this didn't cause an issue, but it could have.  Since then I have cut a small hole in the box and written next to it (check here to see tyres deflated).
:thumbsup:

Kim

  • Timelord
Re: Bikes on Ryanair flights
« Reply #16 on: 16 December, 2021, 04:36:18 pm »
You could go the whole hog and print a physics lesson on the box...   :demon:

mmmmartin

  • BPB 1/1: PBP 0/1
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Re: Bikes on Ryanair flights
« Reply #17 on: 19 December, 2021, 01:36:34 pm »
A security guard at Vienna stabbed both front wheels of our bikes when two of us flew back, he'd been told that a bicycle tyre with air in it might go bang during the flight. (In which case we should probably worry about those enormous wheels the jet lands on......)
And if you wrap the clothing around the frame (use cling film to stop it getting all oily) you can claim it as padding protection for the bike.
Besides, it wouldn't be audacious if success were guaranteed.

Salvatore

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Re: Bikes on Ryanair flights
« Reply #18 on: 07 January, 2022, 01:23:41 pm »
Seems, after a fair amount of Googling, that Ryanair flights from London Stansted go into Frankfurt FRA, which is the one closest to the city.

Stansted suits me since it's around an hour's travel and Frankfurt FRA is close to Eurovelo 15.

No more Ryanair flights to Frankfurt FRA after March. https://www.walesonline.co.uk/news/uk-news/ryanair-close-base-germanys-frankfurt-22674890
Quote
et avec John, excellent lecteur de road-book, on s'en est sortis sans erreur

gibbo

  • Riding for fun, cake and beer.
    • Boxford Bike Club
Re: Bikes on Ryanair flights
« Reply #19 on: 07 January, 2022, 01:24:49 pm »
Seems, after a fair amount of Googling, that Ryanair flights from London Stansted go into Frankfurt FRA, which is the one closest to the city.

Stansted suits me since it's around an hour's travel and Frankfurt FRA is close to Eurovelo 15.

No more Ryanair flights to Frankfurt FRA after March. https://www.walesonline.co.uk/news/uk-news/ryanair-close-base-germanys-frankfurt-22674890
Bugger!

GdS

  • Ship of the Fens
Re: Bikes on Ryanair flights
« Reply #20 on: 13 January, 2022, 12:31:49 pm »
I did notice when I was looking in to flying with bike via easy jet that their terms say you can't have anything other than the bike in the bike box

"Bicycles are permitted for carriage provided that specific criteria is met:
The bicycle must be packaged in a bicycle box or bicycle bag
Only one bicycle per box/bag is permitted
No other items can be carried in the bicycle box/bag (i.e. clothing)
The handlebars must be flush with the frame.
Pedals must be removed or flush against the frame"

Which I find quite ridiculous, what difference does it make to them if clothes are in my rigid bike box as well,

I think that generally only applies to if the bike isn't boxed ie sandwiched between 2 bits of cardboard.

I haven't use Ryanair for taking bikes recently because I live near Gatwick so use easyJet and occasionally BA.  But even with Ryanair I just used a Halfords box that they get their bikes shipped in, Usually you can get away with removing the front wheel and turning the dropped bars under the frame or just unbolting them. Usually the front wheel and pedals stay in situ

just putting the bike in the box (with maybe some tools which might get impounded in hand luggage) doesn't cause me a problem as all my clothes have to fit in the Carradice anyway which I take as hand luggage

also check Ryanair's hand luggage policy, easyJet now charge you for anything bigger than 45x63x20 cm that won't fit in the little cage at the gate, they are very efficient at taking money off those whose bags are too big to fit under the seat with a portable contactless machine, they then take the bag and put it in the hold. I haven't actually tested this with a helmet although they can't stop you wearing it!

Re: Bikes on Ryanair flights
« Reply #21 on: 13 January, 2022, 01:24:19 pm »
Irrespective of policy, I would always remove pedals.  Bikes van be very roughly handled when loading/unloading.  I've seen bikes dropped from the hold (from considerable height) directly onto the tarmac at small airports.  Heavy baggages may well be placed on top of your bike. Pedals sticking out could easily force the cranks inward under compression.

No measures are foolproof (not even a rigid case) but you can significantly reduce the odds of damage in your favour.  Removing the pedals would be top of that list IMO.
The sound of one pannier flapping