Many travellers will be looking to fly abroad with bulky sport equipment including surf boards, windsurf equipment, bicycles and diving kit. In order to help holidaymakers plan ahead and get the best deal on baggage charges when checking-in equipment at the airport, Airport Parking and Hotels has compared the cost of carrying such items on all major airlines.
The research is available in the Know Before You Go section of the website, at www.aph.com/sportsequipment.The research compares the charges on 25 airlines including Aer Lingus, British Airways, easyJet and Virgin Atlantic, highlighting the different costs for passengers flying with surf and windsurf equipment, bicycles and diving equipment.
Surfers looking to fly between Ireland and North America will be pleased to learn that this is included as part of the free allowance with Aer Lingus, however when flying to other destinations, passengers will be charged £24 per flight when booked online and £32 per flight when booked at the airport. For surfboards checked-in with American Airlines, this will be charged at £96 when over 62in or 157cm and between £85 – £96 for passengers carrying surfboards on a long-haul flight with Lufthansa. Of the other airlines surveyed, 11 will include surfboards within the free allowance and 10 always charge a fee.
For cyclists Virgin Atlantic charges no fee for transporting bicycles in addition to the standard baggage allowance. Virgin also transports surfboards and scuba diving equipment for no fee. Of the other airlines, 11 allow free transportation of bicycles if included in the overall luggage allowance; this includes British Airways and Cathay Pacific. Six airlines, including KLM, Monarch and Ryanair never include bicycles as part of the free allowance and charge additional fees to transport them. Two airlines charge depending on the route taken, for example Iberia handles bicycles as excess baggage to all flights excluding Brazil where they included in the free baggage allowance
Passengers should be aware when transporting surfboards, bicycles and scuba kit that most airlines stipulate certain rules and regulations that must be adhered to whilst packing the equipment. For example Qantas specifies that for bicycles: tyres must be deflated, pedals must be removed, handlebars must be fixed parallel to the frame and if the length exceeds 140cm, the front wheel should be removed and fixed beside the rear wheel, inside the bike box.