What is it with easyJet? Upon returning from a few days riding in Menorca, the airline operative did everything in her power to make it difficult for me to put my bike on the plane.

I had pre-booked and paid for a bicycle, a suitcase and a few quid extra for preferential boarding so that I could check in first and would be spared ‘the hold is too full for a bike’ saga of a few years back.

I wasn’t prepared for the deluge of nonsense that greeted me on my exit from Mahon airport. “We don’t take bikes!” was the first one.

I insisted they did. “It’s too heavy!” was next, even though the bike hadn’t been on the scales. I argued it wasn’t. “We can’t take it if there’s air in the tyres!” was a third stab at rejection.

And that wasn’t all. My ticket now wasn’t showing preferential boarding, so I was in the wrong line. I produced my receipt for so-called Speedy Boarding and my easyJet friend agreed that the upgrade had not been saved on the system.

The solution? I’d now have to go to the airline desk in another part of the terminal and pay again unless I wanted to return to the back of the line and start the check-in process again!

I contacted easyJet’s press office last week, but have not had a response.

Robert Garbutt is editor of Cycling Weekly

  • David G

    Sorry Guys,

    But I’ve had nothing but plain sailing with my bike, I’ve flown to Lyon, Nice, Alicante, Murcia and Gran Canaria, multiple times using Easy jet, Jet 2 and the now defunct XL . These airports are used to bikes to are geared up to them so that’ll help. I’ve probably put a spanner in my travelling works now. Be polite firm and have the paper work, plus keep your bike box to a reasonable weight. And keep your fingers crossed too!

  • Frederick58

    Well, I’m all just booked up for the Pyrenees next July, taking the caravan. I know it’s a lot of driving but making a holiday of the journey. Hopefully, I won’t suffer any of the grief mentioned above!!

  • Guido

    that part of your trip is managed by easyJet’s handling agents, usually menzies or swissport or the like. One day they will contract out to easyjet and the next day they will be working for ba etc. it seems that easyjet need to have a word with them.

    As an aside it can happen that luggage is offloaded from an aircraft, any aircraft, whether ba, easy, bmi can not always take a full load of pax, full baggage load and the fuel it requires, epecially on longer flights, also some runways/airports affect the aircrafts performance negatively so offloading is even more likely.

    therefore baggage is often offloaded and also this is where you may get to the aircraft and there is no catering on board as these have been offloaded so that the required fuel can go onboard. this is where bikes might be at risk due to their weight.

    It has not been the case here, here the handling agents seem to have been very very lazy and rude and i think easyJet would take a dim view of thier actions, as you’ve pointed out, it reflects badly on them.

  • Gary P

    I am not surprised you encountered this at Mahon airport with Easyjet.

    The attitude of the staff there stank when i flew with them from the same airport. I found them to be rude and ignorant to say the least. Even trying to be courteous and speak to them in their own language just gave them reason to sneer.

    Easyjet at London Gatwick where the best check in staff I have ever encountered I could not believe the difference.

    I know Easyjet use contract staff but they really need to monitor their performance.

  • Jason

    Sounds like a predictably miserable experience. I got a bike to Spain last month by tricking the damn fool airlines: I took a Bike Friday folding bike. Ok, so it’s not the world’s greatest road bike, but it fits in a standard size suitcase so at least the idiot jobsworth airlines don’t know that it’s a bike. And I got to ride mountains in warm temperatures in October = great!

  • Dave G

    I am planning my first cycling trip to Europe next year, and found the issues raised from this article have given me plenty to think about. If that was its intention, then it would seem from the responses here, that Robert has done this. If this is perceived as abusing his position as editor, then I hope more abuse is forthcoming. From TW`s comments it seems he has some personal axe to grind, Easyjet employee maybe? Could he not be more constructive,or just add a further A and T to his initials?

  • dave williams

    If you book a ticket and have your bike with you, if you have paid for your bike prior to arrivimng at the airport, then the carrier has made a cotract with you to carry your bike on that plane at the said time. if they refuse to take your bike then they are in breech of contract. In which case you have a claim. If they tell you your bike will be arriving in a few days due to space then there is nothing stopping you hiring a bike and sending easy jet the bill.

    best wishes
    Dave

  • Barry Gregory

    Easy-Jet, Ryan Air, etc.etc. had so many problems with travel with a bike, Turkey, Spain, Majorca, Ireland, etc. soo fed up I have almost decided not to travel abroad with bike ever again, shame is’nt it to pay the price they ask, and still get hassel, I’m sure a lot of us bikies are put off by Airlines screwing us for ‘special’ items and not delivering their promise, rant over, still dont fancy running the guanlet again.

  • dave

    my advice is to check double check and then check again all airlines have a different procedure for carrying bikes take a copy of your booking and any advice to are given to the check in and be prepared for the unexpected be polite at all times and things will work out. remember all is not bad I went on a cycle tour to Indonesia in the summer I was told it would cost $300 for the bike in the end I was charged nothing

  • Ken Evans

    British Airways weren’t much better,
    I booked a bike case from them,
    but upon arrival at the airport they knew nothing about it,
    it was the same on return.

    Just as well that I had guessed this might happen,
    and had a bike-bag with me,
    and had put foam pipe insulation on my frame tubing.
    I removed the front wheel, and sticky-taped everything on the bike together,
    so as not to come loose in flight or by handling.

    For an expensive carbon frame, I think a hard shell case is needed.

    Renting a bike at the destination is also possible.

  • tazman57

    I think TW is wrong to have a go about Robert abusing his postion of Editor, in this case………I would say it is a fantastic way of raising public awareness to problems that we as cyclists could encounter when dealing with certain carriers. They have been given the opportunity to respond and most of us will be interested to hear what Easyjet have to say if & when they do reply.

  • stuart

    Robert, you should revert to Eurostar, mate, most cycle friendly company I have come across Just take your wheels off , put into lightweight cycle bag – one you can roll up and strap to the seatpost – with frame. carry onto train and away you go Happy Holiday!!

  • ChrisB

    I was rather surprised to read this. I’ve not taken a bike on a plane often, but it’s always been with Easyjet, from/to Bristol, Gatwick, Toulouse, Geneva and Marseille, and always in a hard case. I’ve never had a problem – on the contrary, the staff have usually been very helpful, and have been intrigued by the hard case. Not only this, but when I first booked with Easyjet, I e-mailed their customer care dept. to point out that the info on the website about the way booking a bike affects your overall baggage allowance was unclear – and they actually changed the wording as a result!

  • T W

    so you think posting it here on your website is something cool to do, abusing your position as editor, that’s the issue with this comic, it’s all me me.
    how about cleaning up the journailsm, i don’t care what your opinions on issues are, your an editor not a pro cyclist!

  • Thomas Guest

    Was it in a bike bag? My experience taking bikes on planes has been very positive – though I haven’t tried it with easyJet.