Monday, May 9, 2011

Cyclists beware! New baggage restrictions for Virgin Australia

I am sitting in Melbourne Airport on my way to Adelaide, fuming about my excess baggage charge. Virgin Blue have just changed their rules about carrying sporting equipment. Your total baggage allowance is now 23kg, including bike. Previously having a bike entitled you to 28kg. Excess baggage is $15/kg and no matter how much you bat your eyelids you will be slugged!

I'm heading over to Adelaide to see my family, do some training with my old mates at SASI, and do a race. Packing the bare minimum (which is still a fair bit of stuff when you do all of that) took me way over and I'm now $90 lighter- almost more than my airfare.

If you booked your ticket before 27 April you are entitled to 28kg, although you need to argue that at checkin as they don't volunteer it.

It's sad to see Virgin going the way of other airlines as they used to be the cyclist-friendly airline. No more.

Ride happy (without excess luggage!)


  1. Ride Happy - Fly Mad - B----rds:-(

  2. Airlines have dropped the price of flying to next to nothing, as a result they put a price on absolutely everything they can. The stupid thing is that a 50kg woman pays the same for a seat as a 130kg rugby forward, but the airlines claim that the luggage fees are due to weight.

  3. Unrelated, but here in Qatar we just got the new edition of RIDE Cycling Review.
    Ride Happy quoted on page 21.
    Good game, Lisa :-)

  4. Lisa - do not be afraid of expressing this to Virgin with other riders who are affected.

    Recently in Hong Kong we had a major airline carrier reverse a similar charge for bike gear.

    Stranger things have happened.

  5. No different to Qantas who currently allow you 23kg (or 32kg if gold FF) spread over as many bags as you want. Come 1 July this allowance is for one bag only.

    I worked out that taking a bike to the UK post July will cost over $150 each way.

  6. There was a time when I used to travel with a bike quite regularly. In those days you had to pay to take a bike on most of the time but camping equipment was always free (a helpful airline employee let me in on the secret - hard to believe, I know, but they used to exist).

    I used to rock up to the airport with my haggard old GT Bicycles box (cardboard) carelessly taped up, axles poking through the cardboard, spokes & helmet clearly visible through the hand-holds.

    The check-in staff would tell me that I'd need to pay to check my bike in... at which point I'd have to explain that it was in fact camping equipment in the box, and that I'd lost my tent bag in a recent cyclone, etc, etc.

    Unfortunately these exemptions no longer apply (just checked Virgin and Qantas).

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