Traveling with a bike – be aware!

20 03 2009

A couple days ago I had a post describing my unpleasant experience booking a flight to the Ironman France. I have to say, I wasn’t happy at the time, but I got the issue solved, so I decided to remove the posting. Here is a summary of what happened.

Sun 3/8/2009 – Booked flight online Toronto-Munich-Nice

Mon 3/9/2009 – Send an email to follow up with charges regarding a bike that I would bring in a box:

I´m traveling to from Canada (Toronto) to Europe (Nice) and taking my bike in a case (120 cm x 78 cm x 27 cm – 26 kg). I would like to know if that is considered one item of luggage or if there is any special charge.

Tue 3/17/2009 – Received a response “Please contact our Lufthansa General Number 800 645-3880”.

Tue 3/17/2009 – Called Lufthansa and I were told that it would be a charge of $100 to $150 at the airport, and I was also told that I should declare the bike, which I did. It was confirmed for Toronto-Munich, but I was also told to call back next day as the Munich-Nice flight had not been confirmed.

Wed 3/18/2009 I called again and I was then told the airplane from Munich to Nice could not carry the bike. When I asked for an alternative, I was told that I could take a flight to Frankfurt instead, but there would be a charge of $8 per passenger (airport fees are different) and another $150 per passenger for the change. When I called again, I was told $100…

After all that I sent a complaint to Lufthansa Customer Relations department and they were kind enough to wave the change fee.

Now, the lesson learned is that not every plane can carry a bike and you should call first to make sure the aircraft you’re flying will allow a bike. Not sure about you, I never heard about that. Well, next time I’ll be more do better.

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