no more bikes in CTC poly bags

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  • no more bikes in CTC poly bags
  • Premier Icon leffeboy
    Subscriber

    🙁 that was a great way to travel without having to carry a huge bag with you

    Premier Icon Onzadog
    Subscriber

    That will stop all them damage won’t it. It’s all down to the bag not being good enough. Nothing to do with baggage manglers generally not giving a toss.

    Premier Icon oldnpastit
    Subscriber

    Kind of annoying, makes lots of things impossible.

    So far at least I’ve never had a bike damaged.

    Premier Icon leffeboy
    Subscriber

    I thought it might have protected then a bit more as the handlers could actually see what was inside. I wonder if it is just Heathrow?

    sixpotbelly
    Member

    Has there been any official statement on this from Heathrow (rather than a comment from one of their baggage handlers)? What are they going to do with bikes that arrive in Poly bags on flights from other airports?

    Premier Icon mikewsmith
    Subscriber

    well you certainly wont be getting them from the Aussie airlines, you get a nice box to put it in (for a small fee)

    Premier Icon oldnpastit
    Subscriber

    They implied there would be an official notice soon and I should watch out for it.

    Premier Icon oldnpastit
    Subscriber

    I’ve just been informed by the baggage handlers at Heathrow T5 that in about a month or so they will no longer accept bikes in giant plastic bags. They will need to be in a “proper” bike bag.

    Apparently too many people claiming for damaged bikes.

    (I was dropping off my bike, wrapped in a giant plastic CTC bag).

    Premier Icon ibnchris
    Subscriber

    Last time I travelled with my bike it was such a faff ( ended up taking an old bike bag and donating it to a bike shop) and then wrapping in cardboard on way back) that I spent a lot of time thinking about a biz to solve it. Basically a bike bag hire with a few key airlines. Thing is, don’t reckon that many of us actually fly with our bikes do we? I think I’d pay £30 each way if I knew bike was safely packed and meant I could do trips in to one place and out of another.

    What do you reckon would be an acceptable amount? Maybe I could make this work 😉

    thecaptain
    Member

    S&S couplers is one approach that’s worked for us over many years. However it costs a lot of money and to be honest the huge suitcases are still a pain in the arse to travel with (and hard to get under the 22kg limit).

    samunkim
    Member

    What are we expected to do with huge bike bag whilst touring round another country.

    markwsf
    Member

    Do collect+ do international? Arrive at airport, fold/roll back up and sent via collect+ from a local shop to another shop close to your destination airport – they hold for a while. If flying in/out the same airport if local storage (hire a locker?) is not available then post back to yourself so the shop stores it. Daft or a genius plan?

    trail_rat
    Member

    Most international airports are next to cities. Most cities have a bike shop

    For my last big tour I flew in and bought a bike and then sold it cheap at the end. – 6months tour.

    Flying out to Vancouver next week with bike in a box. It’ll be disposed of . I’ve arranged to collect another box in Calgary for the return leg in 5 weeks time.

    What are we expected to do with huge bike bag whilst touring round another country.

    I suppose the counter argument is “what’s the airline supposed to do with a bike”, they’re not exactly easy to stow in the hold even if they are relatively lightweight. And tightening restrictions are inevitable.

    Propper bag and post it onto whatever Hotel/B&B you’re aiming for at the end.

    TheBrick
    Member

    Cardboard box and packaging tape. Doesn’t need to be a bike box. Tape several boxes together.

    Think outside the box….

    km79
    Member

    You should be able to get a hold some of that corrugated plastic sheet stuff (or heavy duty cardboard), a roll of duct tape and some lightweight wooden battens close by most airports. You could easily knock up a suitable bike box in no time and recycle or bin it when you get to where you’re going if you can’t store it.

    Premier Icon ampthill
    Subscriber

    I did free bike box from a UK shop to get to Tunisia and then mde abox there from card board. That does costs time at the end but its hardly impossible. I a European city I think bike boxes would be OK to source

    markwsf
    Member

    A few years ago I went touring in Spain for a week – in and out of differnt airports. I took a CTC polybag and kept it with me. My mate took his out in a cardboard bike box he got from a shop – ditched it and we called in at a bike hire place a few miles before the the airport we were flying back from – worked a treat, despite his having to cycle 2 miles with a bike box strapped to his pannier rack.

    stevextc
    Member

    Thing is, don’t reckon that many of us actually fly with our bikes do we? I think I’d pay £30 each way if I knew bike was safely packed and meant I could do trips in to one place and out of another.

    I fly a lot and I’m somewhat sceptical due to experience about ever getting anything back that’s checked-in baggage. I never flown with a bike .. but a part of that is I wouldn’t have an expectation of getting it back at the other end at all and partly undamaged …. and from experience when things do go missing the airlines are adept and practiced at not compensating or compensating minimally.

    I’m sure for many its a case of the amount off faff and expense. I did briefly look into it last summer but in the end it just seemed to be too much work and uncertainty. If I’d had an option of some pre-booking then get the bike to the airport etc. I’d have pursued this a lot further.

    That aside for a couple of trips a year £30 would be an absolute bargain … with the provisor I get it back and it’s undamaged.

    Price wise I guess its got to be less than hiring a bike for the same period … or even buying and selling as someone else mentioned for longer stays. Most places I go on holiday I can at least hire a bike for me (it might not be exactly the bike I’d have taken but good enough but for family holidays I can’t even find a place that rents (proper) kids bikes (except US/Canada) so this would be even better for family holidays (not to mention shipping 3,4 or 5 bikes would be even more of a logistical nightmare than just 1 ).

    Premier Icon mikewsmith
    Subscriber

    I fly a lot and I’m somewhat sceptical due to experience about ever getting anything back that’s checked-in baggage. I never flown with a bike .. but a part of that is I wouldn’t have an expectation of getting it back at the other end at all and partly undamaged …. and from experience when things do go missing the airlines are adept and practiced at not compensating or compensating minimally.

    Fly a lot with mine, only drama was when it missed the last leg home with me and it arrived later that evening. Packed in an evoc which actually protects it, packed and unpacked in under 15 mins most days and ready setup when I get somewhere.

    Part of the ease is the decent bag to move it in and travel with

    trail_rat
    Member

    Who do you fly with Stevextc ? – air Gabon (say it backwards)

    I fly lots for work over last 10 years (30-40 flights a year)and my bags not arrived at the same time as me 3 times .

    Ok one of those times was a bike but it was also the one time I used easy jet for a personal holiday where as work only fly real airlines.

    mikey74
    Member

    I didn’t realise people still did this. Ive flown a fair bit with my bike and never seen one in a poly bag.

    The decision is perfectly understandable: bagged/boxed bikes are far easier to handle and stack.

    If you are touring, just store the bag/box at the airport (there are usually luggage storage facilities) or a hotel near the airport.

    Premier Icon Sandwich
    Subscriber

    Think outside the box….

    It won’t go unless it’s in the box!

    stevextc
    Member

    Who do you fly with Stevextc ? – air Gabon (say it backwards)

    Whomever is the absolute cheapest (company policy) …

    I fly lots for work over last 10 years (30-40 flights a year)and my bags not arrived at the same time as me 3 times .

    My ratio is about the same… but to me that’s way unacceptable.

    I think the most expensive was AlItalia so that is over a decade ago but they spent so long trying not to pay anything I gave up. They even refused to refund the excess baggage!

    I had a whole 120l rucksack go missing after a month and a half camping.
    Worse it was a mix of stuff with my other bag which I did get back but for example the tent canvases were not much use when the poles were in the other bag etc.

    trail_rat
    Member

    its between 1 and 0.75% depending on which figure i use .

    Shit happens we all make mistakes

    Top tip is to ensure we are Insured for flying . Frankly it was my only concern with the canada trip. Pedalsure insurance cover bikes in flight as standard with their cover so long as they are boxed or in a suitable bike bag…. the poly bag isnt deemed suitable- we were planning on using it for the return leg from calgary for ease but i wasnt overly comfortable with the idea hence i checked we would be insured

    stevextc
    Member

    its between 1 and 0.75% depending on which figure i use .

    Shit happens we all make mistakes

    It depends where you fly… I know when I lost my bag on alitilia it wasn’t a mistake .. it was well known and documented (with security video) of the baggage handlers using the X-Ray equipment to decide what to steal.

    Equally they lost a 120 litre ruck-sack …. completely…. and I get shit happens but they didn’t… they even refused to repay excess baggage.

    I lost loads of stuff like camera chargers … half a tent (poles were in other bag) and even a few half pairs of socks and they basically started off by saying that if I had 1 sock they would only pay 50% and if I hadn’t lost a whole tent they wouldn’t pay etc. (if I still had the poles I couldn’t claim for the tent – with was a bloody good tent…)

    They rejected a WHOLE letter as it has one spelling mistake … (I was living in France and my letter with the French office had to be in French, I missed one accent… and they rejected the whole letter… which was just another delaying, make it too hard tactic…

    In the end they made it too much trouble to actually get anything at all. They had literally dragged the whole thing on for months and kept asking for more and more information that was downright stupid (lie receipt for a pair of socks) .. but in-between they would spend a week doing nothing then send some further demand a week later… and who keeps sock receipts ???

    I had a receipt for my camera but no the charger… so they simply refused to pay as it was only the charger gone missing (but was about £50 to replace)

    I’ve had delayed luggage a few times… and that has actually been well handled… but lost/stolen both times was a real hassle.

    I also had carry on stolen (from the hanging place for coats/jackets) and got a terse reply saying all carry on is my responsibility, even if they insist the coat is taken away from me.

    Equally I left my iPad on a internal flight and had it back the same day… it’s not ALL bad it’s just the 0.75-1% times a year is too many when you fly on average once a week … (It’s also the fact you are then not around to follow this up – which was the other reason I gave up on Alitalia as I was travelling pretty much every week at the time and could then only follow up when I was home

    Top tip is to ensure we are Insured for flying .

    Yep if I do fly a bike then I’l definitely do that but 90% of my flying is work.

    The 1% is one thing when the items are some beachwear etc. but its another matter if its your bike

    Premier Icon aracer
    Subscriber

    mikey74 wrote:

    The decision is perfectly understandable: bagged/boxed bikes are far easier to handle and stack.

    Easier for them to stack other things on top of it 👿

    If you are touring, just store the bag/box at the airport (there are usually luggage storage facilities) or a hotel near the airport.

    You’re assuming people are flying in and out of the same airport – and haven’t read the comments from people who aren’t doing that? I don’t think I’ve ever flown in and out of the same airport when bike touring – but the last time I did was over 10 years ago. We used to take the tandem to France with Ryanair, who flew into a variety of regional airports. Was always checked in as a bike with just the handlebars turned and a bit of pipe wrap protecting the frame – apart from the hassle of having any other packaging I figured an obvious bike would be taken care off better, and leaving it like that actually made it a bit easier for the baggage handlers as they could wheel it. Presumably you can’t do that any more?

    Premier Icon D0NK
    Subscriber

    Easier for them to stack other things on top of it

    this! Speaking from absolutely no experience but using the “it’s common sense” argument, bagged bikes can be thrown around/stacked up etc etc, bikes in placky bags can’t, so unless they are intentionally mistreating them coz they hate cyclists (or atleast plastic bag travelling cyclists) I’m wondering where all the damage claims came from.

    I’ve only flown with a bike 3 times, once with a cardboard box, twice with a soft bike bag, went ok but lot’s of dis/reassembling required at either end totally unsuitable for touring, plastic bag sounded like a reasonable work around but as I said never tried it.

    Premier Icon irc
    Subscriber

    I,be always used cardboard boxes anyway. A bit more time for packing than just sticking it in a bag but as I go for 6 to 8 weeks at a time it isn’t a big issue.

    No damage from 6 transatlantic flights. One time the bike missed a transfer at Heathrow coming home. Only a 40 minute window though so I wasn’t surprised. Couriered out next day

    Premier Icon oldnpastit
    Subscriber

    Baggage collection at SFO. No problems to report, other than the rear mech being a PITA to put back on with an unsuitable multi tool (can’t blame the airline though).

    Flew with British Airways who were unfazed.

    boblo
    Member

    Plastic bags here for tandems and solo’s. First time we flew with the tandem, we used two cardboard bike boxes taped together and it was a royal PIA to move around. Since then, I’ve always used placky bags, 2 taped together for the tandems. Zero issues.

    If they enforce this it will make touring overseas even more aggro than it currently is as we don’t usually fly in and out if the same airports.

    mikey74
    Member

    Easier for them to stack other things on top of it

    Yes, absolutely. If you’re not a lazy git and pack it properly you shouldn’t have any issues**. Don’t rely on the baggage handlers to do your job for you.

    ** of course, there are always exceptions.

    Premier Icon oldnpastit
    Subscriber

    They sell cardboard boxes at geneva airport.

    Premier Icon D0NK
    Subscriber

    Yes, absolutely. If you’re not a lazy git and pack it properly you shouldn’t have any issues**.

    pretty sure even boxed new bikes packed for transit aren’t supposed to be stacked at all. We all know bike frames and wheels can be very strong in their intended use but start applying side or unusual loads and they can be rather more delicate. Stacking bikes 4, 5 or more high is not advisable, I bet even for the expensive hard cases you can get.

    Premier Icon totalshell
    Subscriber

    the business opportunity would be selling fold flat cardboard packaging at airport retailers.. might cost you 15 quid a box..

    They sell cardboard boxes at geneva airport.

    Probably all the old ones me and my mates have ditched there over the years!

    When touring I fly mine out in a box, ditch it then find a Mr Bricolage near the destination airport to buy bubble wrap and cardboard to mummify it for the way back.

    stevextc
    Member

    Speaking from absolutely no experience but using the “it’s common sense” argument, bagged bikes can be thrown around/stacked up etc etc, bikes in placky bags can’t, so unless they are intentionally mistreating them coz they hate cyclists (or atleast plastic bag travelling cyclists) I’m wondering where all the damage claims came from.

    You see logical arguments both ways… the way I see it if the baggage handler is a human* then they see the bike and handle appropriately… but if not it will end up being left to chance.

    *(As in BOTH not an automated system which a lot of it is and as in actually a homosapien that gives a **** about the traveller luggage)

    Some are just going to chuck stuff about (quite literally) regardless of if its in a box or clear bag. (In which case its best in a box/hard case)
    Others might see the clear bag and actually bother …(in which case it might be better in the bag)

    Who you get that day is down to luck… and what is automated vs manual probably down to airport

    Premier Icon D0NK
    Subscriber

    Some are just going to chuck stuff about (quite literally) regardless of if its in a box or clear bag

    true, you can’t totally mitigate for idiots/gits tho. Throwing around what is clearly an unprotected bike is an overtly knobber act, robustly lobbing a box around seems less so IMO. Even nice baggage handlers calmly going about their day may inadvertently stack up a bunch of (easily stackable) bike bags/boxes, introducing some interesting side loads to your pride and joy.

    Some of the hard cases seem to be an unusual shape which doesn’t lend well to their stackability, I bet that helps prevent damage in itself.

    Given the choice a well packed bag/box that will be stashed upright is the best way to transport your bike, not really doable for tourers or others who need to ride to/from the airport tho, so given the option of a partially dismantled bike rattling around in a 2nd hand cardboard box that could be mistreated or popping it in a plastic bag to be wheeled about and left upright I’d have hoped the plastic bag was a reasonable option.

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