Bicycle Touring Experiences from Singapore

Singapore

On this page we attempt to make available the experience of individual bicycle tourists who travel to Singapore (you can share your experiences here).



Emirates airlines - taking bikes

Flew with Emirates from London to Singapore, via Dubai, with bike-in-a-bag. This was a homemade bag made out of shower curtain. Padded vital bike parts with cardboard and removed rear gear shifter and taped to frame.

Emirates do NOT give any extra weight allowance for bicycles - so the max checked luggage weight is 20kg. Initially quite alarming because bike weighs 16kg. But fear not!

Managed to stuff all the non-cabin stuff in a pannier weighing just over 4kg, including items like spare spokes, dodgy sharp tools, etc.

Rammed (and I mean rammed!) everything else in large Ortleib pannier which I took as hand luggage, plus a bar bag which qualified as a "laptop bag" in airline-speak. Also wore nearly all my clothes, including 3 T-shirts, 2 pairs of trousers, jumper, jacket and waterproof (most of which were promptly removed the other side of check in). Looked like Michellin man.

It was going well - until they insisted on weighing my hand luggage, which should have been 6.5kg, but was more than twice that. I think this was just a random check, as I saw loads of other people were carrying much more hand luggage than me and not having it weighed. However, with a bit of friendly banter, they allowed me to decant some hand luggage into the checked baggage (so it was quite over-weight - but she didn't seem to care?!?). In the end all OK.

Summary: Slight kerfuffle at airport, but good reliable airline and by far the cheapeast tickets I could find.

Chris Weeks, April 15, 2009

EMIRATES - BEWARE

EMIRATES AIRLINE – BEWARE.

We flew with them from Singapore to UK May 2007. They wanted $SGD2500.00 (About $US1,650.00) for the bikes... OR $US56.00 per kilogram! There were many large people on our flight from Australia, one was at the very least 150kg.. If Emirates charged him a per kilo ticket at those rates he would pay $US16,800.00 (About $21,000 + Australian Dollars) for his ECONOMY CLASS ticket.

This is clearly punitive and is meant to do as much damage to a passenger as is allowed by international law. I have often heard of the “legendary” Arab hospitality, from my own experience this is VERY true.. I can cite examples that would humble many. This Arab Airline is a disgrace to this wonderful heritage and it's obscene “greed” is an insult to the Islamic roots of it's home country.

They are relatively new to my country, but, one can guess they are already “greasing” the right palms with charity/sponsorship(s) donations and courting the influential, so that they can continue this plunder with impunity. Finally (for the moment) I challenge anyone to find their excess baggage rates on line – I have little doubt that these will be secret... or extremely difficult to find. I was unable to find the “rates” chart despite an extensive search. Of course hiding stuff like this is indicative of a company that does NOT value transparency.

All this happened despite me letting our booking agents know we were traveling with bikes; clearly they have not done their job... Of course hidden in the bowels of the “Lawyer Speak” they will have every contingency covered, except the important human one... their own morality.

Mal, May 13, 2007

Singapore Air, Sydney-Delhi via Singapore

Just had quite a good experience flying with Singapore Airlines. I had gotten different stories each time I rang their customer service line before flying. One lady said that flying out of Sydney the normal allowance is 25kg (true) and an extra 6kg allowance is given free for sports equipment such as bicycles (probably correct).

On check my gear came to 45kg total, including the bike in box with racks and one light packed pannier which came to 26kg, I am touring with all camping gear etc.

Anyway, she said that for sports equipment a special excess rate applies, you pay for 6kg and get 15kg extra. I still don't know how the maths of it all worked out, but I ended up paying just for the 6kg (at AUD $30 per kg), I am guessing she let me through with 5kg more free. So, thumbs up for Singapore Airlines!

Daniel, June 28, 2006

Singapore (SIN) to San Francisco (SFO) on United

Have taken my bike twice to SFO (San Francisco) from SIN (Changi Intl) and back on United now. I bought a Scicon bike bag (the blue softcase one with the steel frame to fix the bike to).

No extra costs charged by United (as long as only one other bag and total checked baggage is under 64 lbs). No problem either way (ok, on the second trip the Scicon bag had one new smallish hole near the bottom which I have yet to find an explanation for).

Checking the bike at SIN was no issue. At SFO you get it at the oversized baggage claim, which may take a bit longer (if you are lucky to breeze through immigration. Else it is likely to be there already when you claimed your other baggage).

Returning, at check-in you may have to bring it to the oversized check-in yourself (after checking your other stuff), or be lucky to have the attendant call for someone to fetch it. In Singapore, there is an 'odd-size baggage belt' but both times the bike was out waiting at the main belt when I cleared immigration.

Since I took my biked bagged each time (and assembled it only when arriving at the Hotel) I have no info about bike-access at either airport.

Mathias Körber, May 13, 2005

Singapore Airlines Policy on Bikes 10 09 2004

I recieved this response to my query today....


Thank you for your online enquiry of 10 September 2004.

Please may we inform you that for certain sporting equipment such as
bicycles, a standard charge of 6 kgs will be applied on the item if,
together with the customer's other checked baggage, the total weight
exceeds the free allowance entitled to him. This will apply up to a
maximum of 15 kgs, after which normal excess baggage charges will apply.

Example: If a passenger travel on Economy Class, the total checked baggage,
including the bicycle comes to 30 kgs (ie. 10 kgs excess ) a charge of 6
kgs will be levied. However, if the total baggage weight is 40 kgs (ie 20
kgs excess), the excess baggage charge to be levied will be 6 kgs (for
total applied weight up to 35 kgs) plus 5 kgs ( the balance beyond 35
kgs), which sums up to 11 kgs.

This special charge is only applicable to one sporting equipment per
customer. Any additional equipment shall be charged according to the
standard excess baggage charges.

Please ensure that the bicycle is properly packed for transportation, with
the handle bars fixed sideways and pedals removed.

Thank you for writing to us, Miss Burgess. We look forward to the pleasure
of welcoming you onboard our flights.

Yours sincerely

Shamady Matnin
Manager Customer Services

Ruth Burgess, September 09, 2004

Singapore Airport

From the airport we got a London style cab to the centre of town. These cabs will fit a Qantas Bike Pac box (longer than a solo bike box) in the passenger area. It cost about 35 Singapore Dollars.

Alistair Morris, February 28, 2004

Singapore Subway

I was in Singapore with a Brompton this year. When I started to enter the subway with it unfolded I was stopped by the courteous and effecient attendant. I told him to wait a minute and proceeded to fold the bike up. Once it was folded I got a big smile. It was also a conversation starter on the train.

I went out to the only natural island accessable to the public, Pelau Ubin. When I got on the "Bum Boat" ferry I was told it would cost a full ticket price to get on with a bike so I folded it again and got it on for free. I met another fellow with a bike who rides on Pelau Ubin all of the time and he took me on a tour of the island including new year's prayers in the jungle in a Buddhist temple.

Mike Orbon, December 20, 2002

Singapore Airlines (Sydney, Australia / Singapore / Taipei, Taiwan), Taiwanese taxi.

I flew Sydney, Australia / Singapore / Taipei, Taiwan in June 2002 on Singapore Airlines.

No bike box required. No handlebar straightening required. No pedal removal required.

Just had to ride-on-up and let down the tires.

The woman at the counter wasn't very happy or helpful, and neither was the oversized baggage loading guy (where I dropped off my bike). The former tried to convince me I should have boxed it, but I told her I had rung up and been informed that I would be able to ship it regardless however any damage would be my problem... she grudgingly labelled it and sent me onward to latter's post at the corner of the terminal.

When I arrived in Taipei, it was just sitting there 'upside down' in the middle of the baggage-retrieval area, next to the assigned carousel.

Got a taxi in to the city from the airport, seemingly this hasn't been done before. After taking the front wheel off, the taxi-assignment official calmed from an initial 'no way' attitude, and an enterprising cabbie dashed up from halfway down the rank and helped me out.
Its a pricey trip .. maybe NT1800 (USD45) or so in to the city!

Walter, June 29, 2002

Silk Air / Singapore Airlines (Chiang Mai, Thailand / Singapore / Sydney)

I flew Chiang Mai, Thailand / Singapore / Sydney, Australia in 2 hops in May 2002.

No bike box required. No handlebar straightening required. No pedal removal required.

Just had to ride-on-up and let down the tires.

Walter, June 29, 2002

Fleeced for bike boxes at Frankfurt Airport

Found on: touring@phred.org

We got an unpleasant surpurise at Frankfurt airport a couple of days ago...

According to Singapore Airlines, bicycles do not have to be in a box, bars turned, no pedals, seat lowered, but not in boxes. We flew Sydney->Singapore and Singapore->Amsterdam with them wrapped in plastic. Everyone was happy.

However when we go to leave from Frankfurt, the SIA checkin ladies say the bikes MUST be in boxes, no exceptions. If we had known we could have had free boxes from any of the plethora of bike shops around, but when you turn up to fly home with 2 bikes, 2 infants and camping gear, you can't really rush out of the airport and find a bikeshop.

So we had to buy two cardboard boxes from a luggage office that somehow lived inside the customs area. They charged us 30 Euro per box! These are just big boxes, not particularly strong or anything (after 2 flights they're just about stuffed), and they want AU$60 each... But what could we do except fork over the cash. So AU$120 later and a little packing we were allowed to check-in our bikes.

I've been constructing a letter of complaint to Singapore Airlines in my head for a few days now, but I know I'll probably not get around to it.

--
Kingsley Turner, http://MadDogsBreakfast.com
- Travel Tales: The good, bad, and down-right ugly

kingsley Turner, June 19, 2002

Singapore Airlines - new bike policy

Update to my earlier article:

Singapore Airlines has changed their policy for taking bicycles. You no longer get 10kg extra luggage allowance so now the bike will have to fit in your ordinary 20kg. The 10kg extra are now only available for divers who can present a valid diver's certificate.

So if you're a diver they might transport your bike as their reservations office told me but of course that deal is risky. I wouldn't be too sure about the guys at the counter believing you that this larger box behind you contains your "diving equipment" ...

Unfortunately they told us about that change after issuing our tickets so we're now looking for an option. Normal rates for excess baggage would be 34 Euro/kg for a flight from Germany to New Zealand but using SIA Cargo seems to be an option as you get a 50% discount on the cargo rates if you fly yourself as well.

I'll post an update when I know the details.

Matthias, May 14, 2002

Singapore Airlines

Flew from Manchester UK to Penang Malaysia

Used VK bike box which contained bike with pedals turned inwards, bars turned in and wheels removed.

Used pipe lagging on bike tubes. Packed case with other luggage/clothes. No problem checking in - was sent through on transfer.

Absolutely perfect -
Singapore airlines are A1!

spooky, April 20, 2002

IronCase

I spent months trying to hunt down and decide on the most appropriate packaging for my bike. I was leaving Canada to travel to Asia and then to Australia, returning to Canada. I wanted to make sure I bought something sturdy, long-lasting (I live between Australia and Canada), and secure. Finally, I decided to buy an IronCase, and I'm glad I did. It has offered me piece of mind, over and over again.

On arrival in Bangkok, I checked my bike (I'd dismantled the bike to fit...it's a big downhill bike, and had packed towels and armour around the deraillers, etc.) and it was in perfect condition. Granted, the clips on the case were a bit scratched, but otherwise, it was OK. I used two small pad locks to secure each end and slapped THIS WAY UP all over it. Oh, and I flew with Singapore...great airline and will consider the bike case your second piece of luggage (you're allowed 2 x 30kg items). The bike does not cost extra (make sure you remind them of that...it's free for bikes).

Although it cost me CDN$500 (including shipping, taxes and international duties), I am relieved that I bought it and that it has already served it's purpose.

I highly recommend the IronCase! Oh, and buy it directly from the manufacturer. It's the cheapest option I could find, both in the US and Canada.

On another note, I stored my bike case at Bangkok Airport's Left Luggage for 30 days. It cost about CDN$120 and was in perfect condition.

Vanessa, April 03, 2002

Singapore Airlines

We flew with Singapore Airlines with our bikes from Melbourne to Zurich via Singapore & then from Vienna via Zurich back to Melbourne in 2000. After reading your website & some thought we decided not to box our bikes especially as we were returning from Vienna. We removed the pedals, turned the handlebars & deflated the tyres (not completely). On arrival at the airport they were quite helpful though not very knowledgeable - we were asked if we had removed the chain to which we just answered yes. The bikes were loaded on a separate cart. They arrived in good condition.

In Vienna they asked about a box & we told them that's how they came and after a slight pause they accepted that. One bike had a wrecked tube as someone fiddled with the valve. Singapore airlines were quite helpful generally & would have allowed an extra amount of luggage weight had we needed it but we did not.

A Cronin

A. Cronin , May 26, 2001

Transporting Bike from Singapore to Thailand

December 1998 : I wanted to go from Singapore to Southern Thailand to meet up with some friends for a cycling trip. They had put their bikes on the RTM goods train in Singapore the day before they themselves went on the train to Tumpat (near Kota Bharu) and then got the Thai Railways train to Hat Yai.

I could not leave until the following day so I cycled from Singapore via Johore Bharu, took a Malaysian Airlines plane from Senai via KL to Kota Bharu, and then cycled over the thai border at Sungei Golok.

I wasn't charged anything for carrying the bike so it cost me less than the train would have done. This is because internal MAS flights are much cheaper than international flights, even though the distance is almost the same. Other than letting some air out of the tyres I didn't have to do anything about the bike and it was transported unscathed. Ground staff at these provincial airports tend to be rather relaxed.

The 2-hour ride from Singapore to Senai (Johore Bharu airport) wasn't too bad other than the causeway, and the 2-hour ride from KB to Thailand was lovely. I had some suspicious looks from the customs at Sungei Golok who (looking at my passport stamps) thought that I had ridden from Singapore to Thailand in one day!

Lewis Meurig, January 06, 2001

Singapore Cycling

Finally I finished it: a website meant to give all possible information for bicycle touring in, and especially around, Singapore. Come and have a look! And of course, any comment is welcome.
the Singapore Cycling site has a new address: http://user.chollian.net/~hwayon/sing/

-- Jan Boonstra

Jan Boonstra, June 07, 2000

Singapore Airlines

We flew Berlin-Auckland, Christchurch-Berlin via Singapore. Christchurch-Singapore was operated by Air New Zealand. Singapore Airlines raises the limit to 30kg when transporting sports equipment like bicycles and they said nobody would really mind another 3-4kg. Bikes should have pedals removed, handlebars folded but they don't provide anything else than plastic bags so we got large boxes from a bike shop. Nobody ever cared about weight and our bikes got in easily both ways.

I strongly recommend Singapore Airlines as all other airlines flying to NZ via Asia told me that normal excess baggage rates would apply for everything over the usual 20kg limit.

Matthias

Matthias Steffen, February 03, 1999

Singapore Airlines

I used a "Pedal Pack" case to transport my bike .

The Singapore check-in area at Heathrow had an X-ray machine that was large enough for the Pedalpack to fit through and so saved me from opening the Pedalpack container up for a security check .

Singpore Airlines put the bike on for free as it is classified as "sports equipment" . At the baggage collection area at Singapore Changi airport there is a special luggage belt for bulky items and ground staff had already collected my container and brought it to me when I was waiting for my suitcases to arrive, which was of great help .

R.T, June 29, 1997

Singapore

I flew into Singapore on United (bike flew for free in a United box I paid $10 for). On my return flight, United had no boxes, but they accepted it unboxed at no charge. After going through customs in San Francisco, they insisted it be boxed on the domestic portion of my flight, but they gave me a free box.

We rode from the Singapore airport into the city in the middle of the night. There was a bike path which began near the airport that went about halfway into town along the waterfront. We also rode back to the airport (at dawn) for our return flight. Both trips were OK.

I flew from Penang to Singapore on Singapore Airlines. Bike flew for free, unboxed. Service was superb. Our check-in agent came running to find us at the gate, just to inform us that he had let some air! out of the tires in case of airplane depressuration. He didn't want us to be alarmed when we retrieved our bikes in Singapore! I also put my bike on a bus from Kota Bahru to Penang. It was a modern bus, air conditioned, video, etc., but I had to take the bike apart to fit it in the baggage compartment.

The biking was great along the entire East Coast of Malaysia plus the island of Penang. Only exception was first day from Singapore to Kota Tinggi, which was hellish due to unbelievable traffic. The next day to Mersing was exactly the opposite: little traffic, and sublime riding through rainforest. Saw lots of monkeys that day!

Neal Teplitz, May 22, 1996

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