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Flying your Bike: What you want to know

April 22, 2019
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Air Canada and WestJet offer fly your bike programs, we’ve got a few key things you need to know while you’re planning. 

 

We’ve all dreamt about it… travelling with your bike wherever you want around the world – you know how it handles, it’s quirks, and most likely trust yourself riding it more than you would a rental bike. For many riders that’s not always a feasible option for travel, whether it’s the cost or limited vacation time. Carriers like Air Canada, and most recently WestJet, offer motorcycle transport programs from Canada to various overseas destinations. It’s faster, comparably priced and can be less hassle than shipping your bike by land or sea.

Air Canada offers a “Fly your bike” program that will fly you out of Vancouver, Calgary, Toronto, or Montreal, to destinations like Milan, Dublin, or Casablanca. One way you can expect it to cost you  $1,050-$1,450 (round trip $2,100-$2,900) plus a passenger ticket for the flight. Air Canada can currently fly motorcycles to and from the following cities: Calgary, Athens, Edinburg, London, Rome, Montréal, Brussels, Frankfurt, Manchester, Venice, Toronto, Casablanca, Geneva, Milan, Zurich, Vancouver, Dublin, Glasgow and Paris.

Air Canada’s Fly Your Bike program can be reached at aircanadacargo.com or call 1-800-387-4865 or by email cargo.customerservice@aircanada.ca

With WestJet’s new motorcycle program you can fly out of Toronto or Calgary and pricing is comparable with round trip ranging between $2,200-2,400. WestJet has teamed up with a company called Motorcycle Express where advisors can assist you with motorcycle prep and help complete the necessary paperwork for travel. WestJet currently flies to and from Toronto, Calgary, Barcelona, Paris, Gatwick, and Dublin. They are also currently working on flights to Maui and Honolulu but with no expectation of when those destinations might be available. It can be tough to find information online about WestJet’s options because it’s so new, so it’s best to contact WestJet Cargo directly at 1-866-952-2476 or email wsops@westjetcargo.com.

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Things to know

Motorcycles are considered “Dangerous Goods” as they contain gasoline, so once your flight is booked be sure to speak to a consultant to properly prepare your motorcycle for the flight. Dropping your bike off is almost as simple as bringing your checked luggage. When you arrive at the airport you drop off your bike (generally within 6 to 24 hours before flight), trained personnel will properly secure and ensure the bike is ready for travel. Once landed you can pick up your bike after it’s released – this is normally within four hours of landing.

You’ll want to consider purchasing additional insurance for your motorcycle if travelling by plane as flights offer only basic coverage. You can purchase third-party liability or directly from Air Canada Cargo or WestJet’s partner Motorcycle Express. While in the planning stage be sure to get an international drivers license and insurance for your motorcycle as well. And read up on any specific documentation you need for the countries you plan to travel to.

 

Getting your bike prepped.

  • You will need to have the dimensions and weight of your motorcycle available when you book the flight.
  • No more than a quarter tank of fuel in the gas tank.
  • The battery must be secured but disconnected.
  • Spare key left in ignition.
  • You must have an itemized list of the contents in your saddlebags – for example, tools, parts, equipment etc.
  • You should also have proof of insurance, and ownership.
  • Dangerous goods paperwork and sticker for your motorcycle.
  • Airway Bill.

 

So now that you’ve got the basic information, it’s time to start planning. Johanne Cadorette, a manager at Air Canada says, “Adding a motorcycle to a trip takes some preparation and planning, but the result is worth it! We’ve had tremendous feedback from this program, it opens doors to very exciting travel. We’ve made sure the support documentation is complete to make the planning as easy as possible on travellers. Tying a motorbike down to a pallet for air transport takes tremendous expertise and care. Our staff are expertly trained in this and take great pride in their work.”

2 Comment

  1. Would Air Canada or West Jet consider South American destinations like Cartegena Colombia?

  2. Hi Moe
    You would have to contact the airline companies to find out.

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