Travelling with a bicycle on KLM

Old Apr 24, 19, 8:50 am
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Feb 2014
Programs: BAEC Gold
Posts: 185
Travelling with a bicycle on KLM

I am new to KLM and unlikely to be using them again after learning about their pathetic policy on carrying bikes. I have booked business class for SIN-DPS and had intended to take my bike. I have a proprietary hard bike box that I have flown all over the world with. Outside of budget airlines I have never had to pay for it in recent years. KLM in their wisdom penalise cyclists above other types of sport for some reason to the tune of 55USD each way on this flight. So be it, I pay it and I never fly them again.

I read the small print, oh no, every bike box on the market falls outside the KLM max dimensions, specifically no hard bike boxes are 23cm and under. Am I to understand that KLM do not take bikes at all if they are properly packed in a hard case. I cannot get a straight answer from the 'KLM Service Centre'.

Any advice gratefully received. I suspect it's a case of just turn up and hope for the best.
MrCheapSeats is offline  
Old Apr 24, 19, 9:06 am
  #2  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Netherlands
Programs: Gold: A3, KL Silver: AZ, BA
Posts: 23,956
Originally Posted by MrCheapSeats View Post
I read the small print, oh no, every bike box on the market falls outside the KLM max dimensions, specifically no hard bike boxes are 23cm and under. Am I to understand that KLM do not take bikes at all if they are properly packed in a hard case. I cannot get a straight answer from the 'KLM Service Centre'.
Now, I've never taken a bike on a KLM flight, but I think you have misinterpreted the regulations.



176.5 * 23 * 101.5 cm are the dimensions of the KLM bike boxes you can purchase at Schiphol. This does not mean that a bike box of your own has to have the same, or smaller dimensions. They are just telling you the dimensions of the box available at AMS, as clearly not all bike types will fit these boxes. (But this blogpost indicates that L+B+H must be less than 300cm)



My understanding is that you can use your own hard-walled bike box, as long as the total weight is 23kg or less.

And I wouldn't just turn up; you're supposed to request a place at least 48 hours in advance, giving the dimensions of the bike.
irishguy28 is offline  
Old Apr 24, 19, 9:14 am
  #3  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Feb 2014
Programs: BAEC Gold
Posts: 185
Thanks but the regulations i'm looking at read differently.

Bicycles and tandems

You can take a (foldable) bicycle or tandem (non-electric) of max. 23 kg (including the bike box) with you for a fee, provided that it is packed in a box, container or bag that is specifically designed for bike transportation. The maximum dimensions for this bike box are 176.5 x 23.0 x 101.5 cm (69 x 9 x 40 in). The best way to protect your bike is by using a hardcover casing. However, a softcover casing is also allowed if it includes an internal protective packing material.
  • The handlebars should be turned lengthways along the frame, pedals and other protruding parts should be removed, and tire pressures should be reduced.
  • Special KLM bike boxes are available at Amsterdam Airport Schiphol for EUR 20 each. They are within the maximum dimensions. The KLM bike box weighs 4.5 kg / 10 lbs.
  • Please note: due to international regulations you cannot take an e-bike or electric bicycle with you.
  • Reserve the transport of your bicycle or tandem as early as possible and no later than 48 hours before departure online in My Trip or by calling the KLM Customer Contact Centre. You’ll need to provide the dimensions and weight of your bike and bike box when reserving the transport via telephone.

Read more about taking special baggage or check the bicycle and tandem rules and fees per KLM flight.
MrCheapSeats is offline  
Old Apr 24, 19, 12:42 pm
  #4  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Feb 2000
Location: London, UK and Southern France
Posts: 16,065
It always pays off to do one's homework before booking a flight ticket but this is especially true when traveling with a bike as policies and charges vary significantly from one airline to another.

I suspect that the page is clumsily phrased and that the dimensions are those of the box that KL offers rather than max dimensions. Since you will need to phone KL at least 48 hours before the flight to "book" space for your bike and will need to provide dimensions at this point, it won't be a case of "just turn up and hope for the best". If you have booked your ticket already, there is no reason not to phone and book the space right now. Arm yourself with patience and forbearance, however, as I would not be surprised if the agent you speak to is not particularly well-informed. Unless they have done it before, the odds of the agent not really knowing what to do are fairly high as I doubt that special baggage handling procedures are part of the standard training for customer service agents.
NickB is offline  
Old Apr 24, 19, 9:34 pm
  #5  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Feb 2014
Programs: BAEC Gold
Posts: 185
I've spoken to KLM to reserve a space for my bike. I now have to wait 48 hours to find out! Never again will I be flying KLM.
MrCheapSeats is offline  
Old Apr 24, 19, 10:22 pm
  #6  
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: Wisconsin
Programs: DL Skymiles, AGR, Club Carlson
Posts: 64
I just flew with my bike with KLM, I packed it in a cardboard box measuring 110 x 28 x 82 cm. I
sent them a facebook message 2 days before my flight reserving space for the bike. 55 is the price for short haul flights, I had to pay 100, the long haul bike transport fee, at the airport. They lost my bike in transit but delivered it to me 2 days later. Return flight was with Delta, no advance notice needed to be given, but they charge $150 and the TSA cuts open the box to test for explosive residue and does a shoddy job taping it back up.
gliere is offline  
Old Apr 25, 19, 9:01 am
  #7  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Feb 2014
Programs: BAEC Gold
Posts: 185
Brilliant!

KLM Reservations UK have said I can take it. The KLM service centre has said I can't.

Back to turning up and hoping for the best! How can there not be a proper procedure??? I could do the old trick of remove the pedals, chain and seat from the box and say it's not a bike but bits of a bike. It worked with Swiss Air after a bit of a battle...
MrCheapSeats is offline  
Old Apr 30, 19, 12:23 am
  #8  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Feb 2014
Programs: BAEC Gold
Posts: 185
After 5 days, the Service Centre has finally confirmed my bike on the flight even though the dimensions are clearly outside the KLM limits. A long and painful process that would be so easily avoided if KLM had a coherent policy.
MrCheapSeats is offline  
Old May 27, 19, 11:30 pm
  #9  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Feb 2014
Programs: BAEC Gold
Posts: 185
After all this I successfully argued, at SIN and DPS that it was not a bicycle but parts of a bicycle and so not covered by KLM's charge for bicycles. I removed various components so it could not be assembled or ridden and carried them in my other checked in bag.
kprrr and NickB like this.
MrCheapSeats is offline  
Old May 29, 19, 8:50 am
  #10  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Netherlands
Programs: Gold: A3, KL Silver: AZ, BA
Posts: 23,956
Originally Posted by MrCheapSeats View Post
I could do the old trick of remove the pedals, chain and seat from the box and say it's not a bike but bits of a bike. It worked with Swiss Air after a bit of a battle...
If you lose some teeth, are you no longer a person, but bits of a person? ;-)
NickB likes this.
irishguy28 is offline  
Old May 30, 19, 9:15 am
  #11  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Feb 2000
Location: London, UK and Southern France
Posts: 16,065
Originally Posted by MrCheapSeats View Post
After all this I successfully argued, at SIN and DPS that it was not a bicycle but parts of a bicycle and so not covered by KLM's charge for bicycles. I removed various components so it could not be assembled or ridden and carried them in my other checked in bag.
Ceci n'est pas une bicyclette.
NickB is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread