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Travel

Travel 101: Flying with Your Bicycle in Australia

One of the best things about cycling is discovering new terrain – and every now and then, you’ll get the opportunity to pack up and enjoy flying to new lands with your bicycle. Lucky you!

Before you take off on your next adventure, here’s everything you need to know about flying with your bicycle on Australia’s biggest airlines.

Top Tips for Flying with Your Bicycle

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.
  • Get Velosure Premium bicycle insurance to ensure your checked-in bike is covered whilst in transit locally and for up to 90 consecutive days while you enjoy your overseas travels.

Flying with Your Bicycle on Quantas Airways

You must pack your bicycle inside a bike box if you’re flying with Qantas. 

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:

  • Length: 140cm
  • Width: 30cm
  • Height: 80cm

When packing your bike, make sure you follow Qantas guidelines:

  • Deflate your tyres
  • Remove your pedals
  • Your handlebars 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)

Your bicycle can be included as part of your checked baggage allowance, subject to space availability. 

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 Bicycle 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.

Here are some more of the rules Rex outlines on their website:

  • Bicycles are limited to one per passenger
  • Bike boxes are the preferred method of packaging
  • Handlebars will need to be turned in
  • You must remove your pedals
  • Your front wheel must be removed and strapped to the rear wheel
  • Your chain must be suitably protected

Flying with Your Bicycle 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
  • Remove pedals
  • Lower or remove your seat post
  • Remove accessories
  • 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 Bicycle 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

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