Netherlands By Bike

KING THOMAS.NL

Some experiences to share...

Airlines

Delta's pricing and size restrictions for bicycles

 (updated January 2020)

✔︎

✔︎

50 lbs or less:  priced as standard baggage

51 lbs - 70 lbs:  $100 over-weight fee

71 lbs - 100 lbs:  not allowed to Europe

✔︎

Maximum Box Size Limit:  L + H + W is 115 inches.

 There is no such thing as an over-size fee for a

bicycle box. Either it complies or it doesn't.

Delta is our choice for travel to The Netherlands with a Bike

When transporting a bike to and from the US and Amsterdam, we recommend Delta due to their large presence at Schiphol and their strong relationship with Dutch KLM. They also offer the most direct flights between Amsterdam and major US cities. Delta provides a seamless experience with your bike, as long as you maintain Delta flights throughout your journey between the USA and the Netherlands. This is especially important when returning to the US, as your bike remains under their control during the entire process, including customs, to your final destination. Once you cross over to another carrier, there are no guarantees. Spend accordingly to assure the full Delta experience.

Tip: When you depart Schiphol on Delta for your return flight, you'll be checking in with KLM agents who may attempt to apply KLM excess baggage fees on your bike in the event you're flagged as over-weight. Be sure to document Delta's excess baggage policy ahead of time so you are prepared to defend any difference in policy. Usually a quick call to their supervisor for clarification settles any disputes.

Bicycles arrived without a scratch

(Hartsfield–Jackson Atlanta International Airport)

Good News:  Delta eliminated the $150 bicycle fee in the summer of 2019 so your box is now priced as regular baggage while being classified as "Sports Equipment" allowing special size and weight considerations not typical on standard baggage. Read press release here!

KLM Bike Boxes for Sale at Schiphol Airport

Don't forget to bring packing tape!

Specifications:
Length: 170 cm (66.9")
Height: 100 cm (39.3")
Width: 23 cm (9.0")
Weight: 4.5 kg (10 lbs)
Cost: €20

Returning to the USA on a foreign airline with a bike

We highly recommend that you avoid using a US airline that has a weak relationship with their foreign carrier partner. For example, be careful when returning to the US on a foreign carrier that arrives in a city that is not your final destination. This is an issue because you must claim all your baggage and clear customs and then attempt to rebook your bike box and luggage with the primary US partner which may be located 3 or 4 terminals away. You may experience a "denial of responsibility" by the foreign partner in transferring your bike box and luggage to your connecting flight. Be sure to read the fine print about responsibility to participating carrier.

Case in point is Aer Lingus, which will get your bike to their first connecting US city, such as Boston, and then wash their hands of your bike at that point. It's up to you to get it to your connecting flight after clearing customs, as you can not recheck it with them. True story, as it actually happened to us!  We were required to exit the terminal with our bike boxes in a strange city and negotiate with an airport cab large enough to take us to our connecting terminal for our flight home.

A word about TSA and your bike

When you depart Amsterdam for the US, your bike box will be opened for a mandatory inspection by TSA at Schiphol Airport and swabbed for explosive residue. Don't be surprised when you see one of the box flaps re-sealed with TSA tape upon arrival home. We have never found our contents disturbed by them in any way and appreciate what they do to keep us all safe. Perhaps a kind note inside will ensure an extra good job of resealing your box!

TSA inspection on return to US