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Flying to NZ with bikes

skipper_nz's picture

By skipper_nz - Posted on 12 January 2015

Ladies and gentlemen
I am going to NZ in April for 2 weeks with my girl and would like to take our 29er bikes with us, (mine is an XL of course!!!)
I know a few of you have flown to NZ with your bikes, so who is the best to fly with?
Air NZ has total 158cm linear limit before excess charges apply, which seems rather small, qantas bike box seems huge but the airfares are plenty more, Virgin don't have dimensions on their website that I can find, and are pretty cheap.
Any thoughts and comments would be great

Matt P's picture

I flew with Virgin to AUK with a Dakine bag containing an XL FS bike (wheels, fork and cockpit removed).

I didn't have any issues with dimensions but I had to do some shuffling between the bike bag and my hand luggage to be sure.

I would happily use them again.

ae93gti's picture

Used a bike box which the bike came in, did try to borrow/rent a bike bag however my bike was a couple inches too long.

Flew Air NZ, bike is classed as an extra bag (whether in a box or bag) and was $55 there and $55 back although you have too prepay this prior to going otherwise they'll hit you for excess baggage if you rock up with it. Limit of 23kg which was easy enough using bathroom scales.

Not sure on the size of the box (it's a medium Stumpjumper EVO but is longer in wheelbase than a L Giant Anthem I think it was) No one checked the size though.

It travelled to Christchurch in good condition, however when we got back to Sydney, it was pretty buggered but all bits and pieces still there thankfully.

At both ends it was opened (they have a knife) and it was checked fairly thoroughly (in the box) for mud/dirt etc so do make sure it's clean.

Not sure where you're going (or hiring a car) but the box fitted perfectly in a Toyota Highlander (Kluger)right down the middle and kept the kids apart. If it hadn't, I would've had to take the bike out and folded the box up or thrown it aawy something like that.

I met up with Brakeburner (on here) and he and his partner took their bikes too but I forgot to ask them how they got theirs there. It may have been because I had a fall and cracked 3 ribs 2min into our ride...........

Anyway, enjoy when you head over.

Slash's picture

I have flown to NZ with all 4 airlines, Air NZ, Qantas, Jetstar & Virgin, although most Virgin flights are codeshared with Air NZ!
Qantas had the highest luggage allowance of 32kg, & can be made up of 2 bags, but Air NZ normally has the best deals on fares & as previously mentioned, only costs $55 for extra bag each way if prepayed. Bike bag size wasn't really checked by any airline, but customs both ways checked cleanliness of bikes drivetrain!

The good thing about flying to NZ, you can even fly different airlines to & from, good way to get best deal.
Have fun.

hawkeye's picture

Direct flights to Rotorua crase some time in April

Paldini's picture

I am flying to Auckland with my bike next week with Quantas. 30kgs luggage allowance inclusive of bike at no extra charge though I have prebooked it. I was going to use a Giant brand bike box but is huge and actually exceeds the quantas requirements which are below. I have now biught a Ground Effect Tardis bag to use.

To be accepted for carriage on Qantas operated services, bicycles must be suitably packed in a bike box. Bike boxes can be purchased from most Australian Qantas Terminals. Customers can travel with their own bike box, however it must not exceed the dimensions and must be properly and securely packed.
Qantas bike pack dimensions are:
Length: 140cm (55in)
Width: 30cm (12in)
Height: 80cm (32in)
Before bicycles can be accepted they must be packed as follows:
Tyres must be deflated
Pedals must be removed
Handle bars must be fixed parallel to the frame
If the bicycles length exceeds 140cm (55in), the front wheel should be removed and fixed beside the rear wheel, inside the bike box

skipper_nz's picture

We are flying into Christchurch, and out of Wellington, we have a camper van for the 2 weeks which will be pretty nice.
I have booked with Virgin on the way there, and AirNZ on the way back both are AirNZ planes. I have paid the extra $55 per person for the extra bag and will pack the bikes in boxes as per normal. I am nervous because AirNZs linear limit is 158cm, and obviously the bikes will be bigger than that. But I am thinking if get the official Qantas box we should be sweet.

hawkeye's picture

I flew Air NZ both ways and all they cared about was the weight.

The bike boxes go in a fragile goods wire walled trolley.

You need to be quick on the pickup at the end though. We had some doofus woman mistake my luggage bag for her own, so we were delayed getting away from the airport until she brought my bag back.

Pete B's picture

Do you have time to ride in CHCH? If so, let me know and I'll hook you up with my bro for a local tour around the Porthills. Miles of epic riding around there.

Simon's picture

If you have time Craigieburn / Broken Hill is worth it too, about an hours drive away into mountains from Chch

Pants's picture

Virgin and AirNZ were fine. Went before they charged extra for the bike and just made sure the box was 23kg and had my carry on maxed haha!

try to check in early and there wont be a problem.

Went to Queenstown once with a big group and the check in people hassled us a lot about the bike boxes and extra luggage and said we may not be able to get them on the plane but it was all good in the end.

Ive used the same box to go to NZ twice and Canada once and its still in good nick, never had it smashed or damaged.

Boxes are better than proper bags as they are lighter. Bags are better if you are driving them in a ute tray as they can get wet!

brakeburner's picture

Both ways and borrowed our friends bike bags, I didn't even look for dimension size, what with people taking surfboards and such, kept under weight and had no trouble either way, the south island is crazy good!!
It was an extremely early and unlucky one Richard!

ae93gti's picture

Yeah, and on a super easy bit where it just shouldn't have happened.....

On a better note, took bike out of the box and put together 30min ago. Might get out for a gentle ride come the weekend, happy about that, it's been two weeks today!

brakeburner's picture

Once I've found Lana's through axle I'll be back in the good books and ready to ride ha!
If anyone does go to Wanaka, deans bank is well worth a visit, great track!

skipper_nz's picture

I have flown Singapore and AirNZ before with no dramas, but I didn't really look up the rules and it was a few years ago now so things have changed I am sure.

At the moment we don't have a plan in terms of timings, but am keen on ideas, would defiantly be keen to check out any riding you guys suggest, but I do keep getting reminded that this is not a riding holiday, and I only plan on riding 3-5 times during the holiday, , still going to do other tourist activities too!

amarkie's picture

I was once told by a guy in a Giant shop that all bike boxes are the same size .. hmmmm. I have 5 Giant brand boxes from this guy, and they are all different sizes. Smiling The dimensions are on the top end flaps.

My biggest support of the cardboard bike box is that they are light. Bike bags and plastic boxes can be bloody heavy. If you only have 23kg (domestic) and 30kg (international) you don't end up with a lot of weight for your clothes and tools once your bike is inside.

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