On this page we attempt to make available the experience of individual bicycle tourists who have travelled with BMI Baby (you can share your experiences here).
bmi baby east midlands to palm 2006
28 Nov 2006 tljones
KeyWords: Airports, Airlines, Since, 9,11, Europe, Spain
Three of us went to majorca with BMIbaby from East Midlands to PALMA two weeks ago .I thought some people might like to know about the flights with bikes.
Before I travel I always crave specific information.There's nothing like an awkward train guard or check-in girl for spoiling your day.
The only instruction I could find said 'bicycles must be appropriately packed' which is as vague as could be. Other airlines give much more rigorous instructions.
The other two bikes were packed as in past years, with a bottomless cardboard box from the LBS (thus it pays to keep on good terms with the LBS) and the saddle and bars poking out, bars turned and pedals off. So it looks like a bike and the handlers can wheel it about. You could hardly say they were protected, but not likely to cause oil smears. They went through both ways without damage and were seen on the top of the luggage piles both ways.They were unceremoniously chucked on the conveyers into the planes, but not harmed.
So there may be something in the theory that if it is very like a bike it will get more careful treatment.I am told only two bikes damaged in 9 years of doing this in groups.
I packed mine like that but being a 25inch frame it looked rather exposed and I was afraid of being sent away from the check-in desk to try better, especially with the recent airline luggage fuss. So I took the wheels off, pedals off, carrier bag round the rear mech and chain and put it all in an Argos 25gbp unpadded bike bag with a couple of pieces of cardboard between wheels and frame. My chainwheel was rather vulnerable at the bottom of the bag.It seems someone banged it down on that rather hard because the outer chainring got bent.I rode on the inner only until finding just the right rock to beat the outer ring back to shape with.
At least with this method I was sure of not being turned away.
The panniers and backpacks went through without comment. I put each of my two pieces in a garden litter plastic bag, string tied the top wrote on the bags and tied on cardboard labels. Thus the straps and little pockets were contained in a smooth package. James Bond does not do this, because he is too self-conscious.
In the luggage hall we set up the bikes in 20 minutes. The cardboard wraps and my bag rolled up and were laid across the panniers.
I would say do not take a very valuable bike, do not take cheap allen keys, and take more than one set in the group, protect the chainwheel and rear mech (or remove them, but then you will take ages to get away from the airport). A big pump is a blessing. Travel very light. Take string and bungies. Buy a litre of water in the departure lounge.
If you're still awake let me add that cycling in Majorca is brilliant, at least off season. July/ august is probably different. Weather perfect, roads very quiet except in PALMA, drivers outstandingly careful except for the usual mobile phone problem. Our leader had a really good map from Stanfords.
Nice - Cote d'Azur
June 2003 - Flew bmi Baby (British no frills airline) from East Midlands UK to Nice. Outwards, BMI charged me Â£10 for carriage.
Homebound had considerable delay as I got the distinct impression the check-in staff at Nice had never carried that kind of freight before. After much discussion they passed me over to outsize baggage with a shrug of the shoulders, saying we have no procedure to charge for this. Pas de probleme!