Travel 101: How to Fly with Your Bicycle in Australia
April 8, 2022
With great adventure comes great responsibility. Will it be expensive to travel with your bike? Will your bicycle be safe? And, what happens if it’s damaged or lost?
It’s natural to be stressed for your first time traveling with your bike, but a little preparation and planning go a long way in giving you peace of mind and making the journey as smooth as possible.
Whichever airline you’re flying with, make sure to familiarise yourself with their policies. The last thing you want is to have to repack your bike box at check-in or pay surprise overweight baggage fees.
Don’t overpack your bike box. Even if you manage to fit everything in, most airlines have weight restrictions along with size restrictions.
Hard bike boxes are heavier and more expensive than soft ones, but provide much more protection for your bike.
Add foam pipes or bubble wrap to protect your frame and vulnerable components.
You’ll almost always have to deflate your tyres, but leave a little air in them to protect your rims.
Make sure your bike box is labelled with your name, address and contact number in case it gets lost during transit.
If you’re flying with Qantas your bicycle must be packed inside a bike box.
Often, you can buy a bike box at Qantas terminals in the airport, but we wouldn’t recommend it - standing off to the side in a corridor while trying to pack up your bike and stay out of the way can be a pretty stressful situation.
Unless you like living on the edge, we’d recommend buying a suitable bike box yourself. Keep in mind that Qantas does have maximum dimension specifications you need to follow:
When packing your bike, make sure you follow Qantas guidelines:
Deflate your tyres
Remove your pedals
Your handle bars must be fixed parallel to the frame
Remove your front wheel and fix it beside the rear wheel, inside the bike box (if your bicycle’s length exceeds 140cm)
If you need to, you can also purchase an additional baggage allowance - but remember to do this online before your flight to save on costs. It’ll be a lot more pricey if you have to buy extra baggage allowance while in the airport!
Flying with Your Bike on Rex Airlines
The maximum dimensions for carry-on luggage on Rex Airlines is 56cm (height) x 36cm (length) x 23cm (width), which is much smaller than standard bike boxes - so your bike box will need to be part of your checked baggage.
Your checked baggage allowance weight depends on which class fare you’re flying:
All regional fares (except Flex): Maximum 15kg
Flex: Maximum 23kg
Economy (Promo & Saver: Maximum 23kg
Economy (Flex): Maximum 23kg
Business Class (Biz Saver): Maximum 32kg
Business Class (Bix & Biz Plus): Maximum 32kg
If your checked baggage falls within the weight allowance, you can carry your bike for free. If your total checked baggage exceeds the allowance, excess baggage charges will apply.
Pedals and front wheel must be removed and strapped to the rear wheel
Your chain must be suitably protected
Flying with Your Bike on Virgin Australia
You can only take your bicycle with you on Virgin Australia flights if it forms part of your checked luggage (not carry-on) and is in a hard or soft bike box.
The weight guidelines for Virgin Australia checked baggage are as follows:
Lite: Not included. Add bags for a fee.
Choice: 1 x 23kg
Flex: 1 x 23kg
Business: 2 x 32kg
Virgin Australia Reward Seat: 1 x 23kg
If you don’t have a bike box, you can purchase one at the Virgin Australia check-in counter for $25.
To disassemble your bike and pack it into the bike box, you’ll need to:
Turn handlebars sideways, and secure to frame
Remove the front wheel
Lower or remove your seat post
Deflate your tyres
Place any loose accessories into a bag then place in the box
Seal the box, and label it with your name, and contact phone number
No part of the bicycle should protrude out of the box
If you have an e-bike (electric bicycle), you will have to follow additional instructions to ensure you can travel with your battery.
The lithium battery must not exceed 160Wh (watt-hours)
Batteries over 160Wh are not permitted
Your battery must be switched off (not in hibernation or sleep mode)
Batteries that are damaged, distorted, leaking, or showing signs of corrosion are not permitted
Flying with Your Bike on Jetstar Airways
If any single side of your bicycle is 1 meter or longer, you will need to pay an oversized item handling fee - remember, this doesn’t increase your baggage allowance and is a separate charge to your additional baggage fee.
The easiest way to pay for your oversized baggage is to do so while you’re purchasing your flight ticket, but you can also do it after buying your ticket by managing your booking online or calling the call centre.
You’ll need to pack your bicycle in a bike bag or box. Unlike some of the other airlines on this list, Jetstar doesn’t provide bike boxes at check-in so make sure you have your own in preparation for your flight.
To check your bike in, you’ll need to:
Deflate your tyres
Remove the pedals
Fix the handlebars parallel to the frame
If your bike is longer than 180cm, you’ll need to detach the front wheel and fix it inside the bike bag with the rear wheel
Did you know that you can cover your bike for travel both domestically and internationally with Velosure? Make sure that you’ve got bicycle insurance before you head out on your next away-from-home adventure with a quick, obligation-free quote now.
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