On this page we attempt to make available the experience of individual bicycle tourists who have travelled with Air New Zealand (you can share your experiences here).
Bikes on Air Canada & Air New Zealand, Vancouver to Auckland
We flew with 2 bikes in March 2005 on Air Canada and Air New Zealand, from Vancouver to Auckland via LAX, and return from Auckland to Vancouver via SFO. There was no charge for the bikes; they each counted as one piece of checked baggage, and two panniers inside a plastic bag counted as the second piece of free baggage.
I prepared each bike by: removing the pedals, removing the handlebar mirror, turning the handlebars by 90degrees, covering the chain and derailleurs with plastic bags secured by cable-ties, by lowering and reversing the saddle, and by partially deflating the tires.
At the check-in at Vancouver, Air Canada suppied us with plastic bike-bags and a roll of tape, and we bagged the bikes at the counter. We didn't see the bikes at LAX.
On arrival at Auckland, the NZ Customs asked if the bikes were clean (I had washed them before leaving home, including the insides of the mudguards), and wanted to see our bike shoes (which we were wearing), and we were waved through. We then found the 'Bicycle Assembly Area' (what a great idea) near to the 'taxi' exit doors, and prepared the bikes for riding. Following other advice on this forum, we rode from the airport into Auckland: George Bolt Memorial Drive, Kirkbride Road, Wallace Road, Church Road, old disused Mangere Bridge (now for pedestrians and cyclists only), Onehunga Harbour Road, Onehunga Mall and north into the city. A 'piece of cake', and really nice to get some exercise after the long flights. For an online map go to http://www.wises.co.nz/map/ and select 'Auckland'.
On our return from Auckland, Air New Zealand did not require us to bag the bikes, and they went on board as I had prepared them (see above). At SFO, we had to clear the bikes through US Customs (why?), and then recheck them in with Air Canada (at a different terminal); Air Canada again provided us with plastic bike-bags and a roll of tape, and we bagged the bikes at the counter.
On all flights, the bikes arrived promptly, and almost undamaged (just one bike with a bent derailleur and a bent brake-handle - easily fixed).
AirNZ now charges for Bicycles
I called Air New Zealand this morning (26 Aug 04) and was told there is a NZ$20-00 charge per bicycle (at least on domestic flights), they also prefer that they are booked in a few days in advance to make sure there will be room.Ray, August 24, 2004
Flying with bike
Wanted to share my experience after the trip.
I flew to New Zealand (Vienna-Frankfurt-Tokyo-Christchurch) with Lufthansa, ANA and Air New Zealand with my bike. Did not box it and everything was fine. I only deflated tyres.
On the way back in Christchurch I was only asked to cover the chain with provided plastic bag.
At Sydney airport I was given a tape to wrap front wheel to the frame so it would not move.
Bikes on Air New Zealand
I had a pretty ordinary experience when taking my bike from Broome to Christchurch via Perth, Melbourne and Auckland (don't ask). Broome to Perth via Qantas was fine ... no charge, no hassle. The local bike shop had boxed up the bike for me. In Perth, had to travel to the international terminal on the bus (dodgey). Perth to Melbourne on Air NZ (well, Qantas masquerading as Air NZ) I was slugged for excess weight (All up I was carrying 45kg), but at least it was all booked through to Auckland where I changed terminals again.
Coming back, I had to pay excess again on the Air NZ legs.
I was a bit surprised as I had been led to believe that bikes travelled free on Air NZ.
Air New Zealand
I had no trouble shipping my bike Auckland-Sydney with Air New Zealand.
Very friendly and helpful at check-in.
Asked me to estimate bike weight and no charge to carry as luggage.