On this page we attempt to make available the experience of individual bicycle tourists who have travelled with Turkish Airlines (you can share your experiences here).
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Turkish Airlines is not bicycle friendly
For our last flight from Italy to Nepal Turkish Airlines charged us an extra fee of 80â¬uro per bicycle (30â¬ for the Italy - Turkey stage + 50â¬ for the Turkey - Nepal stage) even if our bicycle bags where whthin the checked baggage limits (20kgs and 193cm L+W+H).
Whyo do we have to pay extra fees for bicycles, considering also that the additional cost does not include any sort of insurance for damages during transport and that our bicycles received exactly the same treatment as ordinary checked luggage?
Turkey: airlines and airports
Turkish airline do take bikes - free if it is within the luggage allowance (23 kg from Heathrow) Any extra is charged if the total weight of bike and luggage is over the 23kg, at normal excess baggage rates of Â£7 per kilo. I was travelling light with only one pannier, so took that on board as hand luggage, no problem.
The bike needed to have its wheels taken off and secured to the frame, them "packaged." Not having a box, they were happy that bubble wrap only, be used.
In Istanbul, the metro from the airport had plenty of room for wheeling on a bike, no charge. I suspect that on a bad day one may have to pay another token (a few cents) for the bike. Also, from the surprised look of the ticket seller, I suspect that he had never had to deal with the issue before. Same with the guy when I transferred from the train to the tram. A bike would not get on a tram during busy hours. In the train, the place to get on is the back of the back carriage. However, the tram is straight down one road all the way to Sultanahmet, so one could easily ride that route without getting lost.
Turkish Airlines is not our friend
A quick update. We just flew Bangkok to Istanbul and had to pay $60 US for each bike. We explained that it was free.....international flight and all of that. But to no avail.
They did let us send them not boxed, with pedals off. They also let all of the air out of our tires, somewhere between check in and baggage claim. They politely (?) walked them down to us, from who knows where, on totally flat tires.
Turkey loves bikes
We did an October (2002) bike trip to southern Turkey via Turkish Airlines (Vancouver-Chicago-Istanbul) and paid Zero $ for domestic and international connections, including United Airlines. United Airlines in Vancouver looked up the rules, found that if Chicago-Istanbul flight was on same ticket as United, we flew free.
Turkish Air honours international tariffs and charges zero. We used plastic bags (which are better than boxes both for baggage handlers and bikes). Only removed the pedals. Because we booked the bikes through to southern Turkey on domestic flight, again no charge.
On return domestic flight inside Turkey we didn't bother to bag the bikes, just removed the pedals and wheeled them to the counter.
Bikes were treated well and there was a weak effort to charge $20 but when we said were were international there was no charge. And Turkish Airlines was one of the better experiences in other ways, including service, food and schedules.