Travel Tips

The 10 Best Airlines to Fly with a Bike

September 3, 2014

Remem­ber that video Unit­ed Breaks Gui­tars?

One of these days I’m going to make a sim­i­lar video for cyclists. Air­lines rou­tine­ly dis­repect us, charg­ing exor­bi­tant rates to bring a bike, toss­ing bike cas­es around indis­crim­i­nate­ly, los­ing our bikes, etc…

Thank­ful­ly not all air­lines are bad. We recent­ly did a com­pre­hen­sive review of air­lines around the world and came up with a list of the top 10 air­lines for trav­el­ing with a bike. 


1. Qatar Air­ways: Qatar Air­lines is a great choice if you’re fly­ing to Asia from Europe or North Amer­i­ca, and bikes are free to bring with you.

2. Fron­tier: Free for “Clas­sic” or “Clas­sic Plus” tick­et hold­ers. “Econ­o­my” tick­et hold­ers are charged the reg­u­lar $75 bag fee. 

3. West­Jet: $20-$23 for your bike if it’s your 2nd piece of lug­gage. Bonus: their staff is funny.

4. Air New Zealand: Excess bag­gage fees vary depend­ing on where your flight begins and ends (Cana­da and US = $150). 

5. LAN: Bikes are free if with­in weight and size restric­tions. LAN flies all over South Amer­i­ca and has sev­er­al North Amer­i­can hubs. 

6. Sin­ga­pore Air­lines: Con­sis­tent­ly rat­ed one of the world’s best air­lines, and no charge for bikes (but they count towards bag­gage limit)

7. Thai Air­ways: Bikes are free if with­in weight restric­tions — counts as one checked piece of lug­gage. Thai Air­ways flies all over Asia, as well as many air­ports in Europe and Los Ange­les in the USA.

8. Air Cana­da: $50 each way for bikes, and Air Cana­da flies all over the world from most major air­ports in Canada.

9. Vir­gin Amer­i­ca: $50 to bring bikes as checked bag­gage, but you may run into Richard Bran­son on your flight. 

10. Alas­ka Air: Bikes are free when packed in a prop­er bike bag (not a box), and under the 62inch/50lbs size and weight requirements. 

please note: this infor­ma­tion is cur­rent as of Sep­tem­ber 2014. Air­line poli­cies have a ten­den­cy to change with­out warn­ing, so be sure to check details before you book your flight. If you’ve expe­ri­enced bike-unfriend­li­ness or lack­lus­ter ser­vice from any of the fol­low­ing air­lines, please let us know in the com­ments below.