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Transporting bicycle on KLM Airlines & Air France in plastic wrap?

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Transporting bicycle on KLM Airlines & Air France in plastic wrap?

Hello,
Does anybody know if KLM Airlines & Air France let you transport your bicycles in plastic wrap?

Thanks so much!
Meilani & Philip

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I can't think why you'd want

I can't think why you'd want to use plastic wrap. Bike shops always have boxes to give out - or tell you where their skip is. More protection the better I'd say...

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Cycle transport

That was our first thought initially but we have read that bikes come out fine. The thought is that they will be taken care of better because nothing can be stacked on them. They are also clearly visible and handlers will be more inclined to handle them better.

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One of the few times my bike

One of the few times my bike arrived totally fine is when I just used foam on the derailleurs and plastic wrap elsewhere. As you say, they can easily handle them better and I think that helps.

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I assume you use plastic wrap

I assume you use plastic wrap rather than the CTC type plastic bag. Many airports have the revolving plastic wrap machines now, though they can be expensive for a bike. I imagine using one of those it would be accepted. personally I take a 300g £6 bicycle bag purchased from e-bay. The bag is covered with pictures of a bicycle and there is no argument it is not a bike bag. It offers minimal protection but gets you past the check-in guards.

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link to bike bag

Hi James.
Can you provide us with a link to the ebay bike bag you use costing £6 please?
Polly

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bike cover

Hi
This is the one. http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Bike-Bicycle-Cycling-Dust-Rain-Cover-Waterproof-Outdoor-Scooter-Protector...

There are a few sellers of these. I got two for £7 last time but that seller does not have them now. Worth looking around e-bay. Be aware they offer little protection. I flew back last week from France using one but padded the bike with bits of cardboard first. On arrival in Manchester the cover was torn in a couple of places but I just tear it off and throw it. It's use for me is to avoid arguments at check-in. Plus it is so much lighter than the CTC bag. Beziers check-in last week, as usual never questioned it. Some check-ins are still refusing the CTC bag saying it is not a bike bag. Plastic wrap could suffer the same fate.

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Hi James Thank you for the

Hi James
Thank you for the links and tips on how to pack the bike using protection.
Polly

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Plastic Wrap Good

My wife and I have gone to and from Australia/Europe 3 times with folding trikes. We always wrap our cycles and have had no damage yet.
Why wrap?:
Wrapping saves a ton of weight. Wrapping adds about a kilo (2.2 pounds) whereas a box can weigh ten times that.
It's easy: Once we hunted through Vienna for bike boxes when all you have to do is go to any grocery store and buy a couple rolls of plastic wrap used to wrap food (shrink wrap, Saran wrap, Glad wrap, etc.) And you can wrap the cycle at the last minute at the airport.
It lets them see it's a cycle. If the jug heads who load the planes see it's a bike they might be more gentle.
It's cheap. Cost is a couple rolls of shrink wrap and a roll of tape.
It's convenient. Wrapped up inside the bike we put all sorts of camping gear and stuff to bring the total weight right up to the maximum allowed by the airline.

How to do it: Buy shrink wrap and tape a grocery store. Do the usual things to your bike to make it compact and airline ready...like deflate the tires, turn the handle bars. Pad all the pointy bits with cardboard, etc. Wrap around and around the bike like a spider wrapping up an insect. Totally enclose your cycle so none of the gear stashed inside can fall out. Make every place 3-4 layers thick so it's hard to pop your finger through. Lastly use the tape to secure any loose ends, weak spots or bits that might unravel. Go heavy with the tape to reinforce any place a gorilla might grab your cycle.

I think the airline freight industry pioneered the use of shrink wrap bundles so they are quite happy with the stuff. Just insure there are no loose ends...baggage conveyor belts love to eat loose ends. The check-in staff is another issue. Once they have said the shrink wrap was unacceptable. Then you have a few options. First ask to see the supervisor...that often fixes it. Tell them you phoned ahead to head office and got approval (a lie). Tell them their own fine print says that the passenger accepts responsibility for any "poorly protected items" (true). Tell them you already did this before on there very airline (a lie). We have always gotten through and in truth only got hassled once.
Twice we wrapped our cycles with the wheels exposed so we could roll them through the airport...even that was ok with the airline. However it was disconcerting to see our cycles freewheeling wildly down a baggage chute!!
Good luck.
JV

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Which airline.

Hi James
Thanks for the information. I wondered which airlines you flew with to Australia?
Polly

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Plastic wrap

Hi Polly,
We fly on Emirates Air because they allow 30 kg for baggage plus 7 kg carry on. With that we can pack our cycles and all our camping gear. We have made three trips to Europe (6 one ways) with no damage to our cycles. This time I weighed the plastic wrap and padding after I took it off and it weighed all of 680 grams for one bike!
JV