Bringing A Bicycle On A Wow Airlines Flight - USA to/from Europe
Nervous To Fly With Your Bicycle?
In September 2015 my partner and I caught a connecting flight from Boston Logan International Airport to London Gatwick Airport, transporting two bicycles. We were thrilled to be going on our first bicycle tour.
It was my first time bringing a bicycle on an airplane, and I didn't know what to expect. Wow Airlines website provides a fair amount of useful information, but I wanted to hear from someone who had done it before. I wasn't able to find that person, and it was frustrating to bounce from site to site piecing together the information. This article should be comprehensive enough to answer all relevant questions.
Here is a step by step guide to bringing your bicycle on a Wow Airlines flight, based on my personal experience.
I will tell you now that my experience was excellent, with great customer service and no problems. I am not being sponsored to write this article. I just want others to have a smooth, pleasant experience as well.
Note: Though I attempt to provide accurate and up to date (as of 2015) information in this article, I am not an official source and can not assure nor confirm the absolute accuracy of this information. Please check with your airline regarding all your questions and concerns.
Ready To Start A Bicycle Tour of Western Europe!
Fees For Bicycle Luggage
I was pleased to find that Wow Airlines charges comparatively affordable fees to transport bicycle luggage. Especially when considering that some other airlines charge 150 euros to bring a bicycle on a flight.
We flew on a connecting flight from the USA to London, with a layover in Iceland. At the time, this was a 52 euro bicycle luggage fee flight.
Below is a table detailing fees (as of 2015) from various destinations. The table is representative, though not exhaustive.
Wow Airlines currently provides connecting flights between the USA (Boston, Washington D.C.) and multiple European cities.
A greater number of European cities can be accessed by purchasing two tickets, one from the USA to Iceland. One from Iceland to your European destination. This will involve retrieving your bicycle luggage and regular luggage and checking in a second time in Iceland. Additional fees will apply as you will no longer be utilizing a connecting flight.
Fees for Bringing A Bicycle On A Wow Airlines Flight 2015 - USA to/from Europe
Price Online/Check-In (euro)
Iceland (under 4 hours)
Iceland (over 4 hours)
Before Arriving at the Airport
- For lower fees, book and pay for your bicycle luggage online. Wow Airlines charges fees for transporting bicycles, and for each piece of checked luggage. Unfortunately, they do not offer a free checked luggage allowance with your ticket purchase.
- Pack your bicycle in a cardboard bicycle box, hard case, or A CTC plastic bicycle bag.
- A cardboard box can be obtained or purchased from a bicycle shop. A hard case can be purchased online. A CTC plastic bag can be purchased through Wiggle.
- Travellingtwo.com has an excellent guide to packing your bicycle: www.travellingtwo.com/resources/packingyourbike
- Wow Airlines requires that bicycle pedals and handlebars be removed and packed flat against your bicycle or packed seperately. Their website suggests that you partially deflate your tires as well. You will need to remove your bicycle pedals with a pedal wrench before arriving at the airport, or you can take the pedals off at the airport and pack the pedal wrench in your bicycle box with the bicycle before checking the luggage.
- If using a cardboard box or hard case, you can pack other items in the bicycle box as well (i.e. clothes, water bottle).
- Weigh your packed bicycle (max 23kg) to avoid excess baggage fees.
At The Airport
Checking-in a bicycle with Wow Airlines is very similar to checking in regular luggage.
- Disclaimer: Always check with your airline regarding check-in times and procedures. This article is not an official source and is based on my experience.
- Arrive early. Wow Airlines states that check-in ends 45 minutes before the flight. I always arrive at least two hours early for a flight.
- Bring your bicycle and other luggage to the check-in counter.
- Th attendant will weigh your bicycle luggage. You will most likely be charged a fee if your bicycle luggage exceeds 23kg.
- The attendant will place a sticker on the bicycle luggage. The attendant will give you a sticker/print out that matches. I assumed this was in case there were any issues retrieving my bicycle luggage. Keep hold of that sticker/print out just in case.
- Lastly, you will deliver your bicycle luggage to the end of the counter where extra-large pieces of luggage are handled.
- Say a temporary goodbye to your bicycle. You'll see it again at your destination!
Rebuilding My Bicycle at London Gatwick
Retrieving Your Bicycle At Your Destination
Our destination was London Gatwick Airport.
Upon arrival we first went through customs, then to baggage claim.
Our bicycles were waiting for us at baggage claim, on the floor near the moving luggage belts where our regular luggage would be arriving.
I was relieved to not have to maneuver the bicycle luggage off of the moving luggage belts myself!
From there we brought our luggage to an out of the way spot, unpacked the bicycles and rebuilt them using the tools (including a pedal wrench) that we had packed in the bicycle boxes.
We sought the aid of an airport employee when figuring out where to recycle our cardboard boxes.
Good Luck With Your Bicycle Travels
Whether you are going on a bicycle tour of the United States or Europe, moving abroad, or just want to bring your bicycle on vacation; I hope this article proves helpful to you.
I loved having my bicycle with me in Europe. Navigating through city streets was exciting and breath taking. Touring between towns and on rural bicycle paths both peaceful and physically strenuous.
Dealing with the logistics of bicycle transport was surely worth the small hassles and extra planning, as it meant having my daily transportation always at my side.
Bringing Your Bicycle on a Wow Airlines Flight
© 2015 Cassady Bee