Electric bikes are the best of both worlds—riding an electric bike burns calories, but can save you the extra effort when you need a break. Once you get used to riding an e-bike, you may not want to leave home without it.
Whether or not you can take your bike on a plane can be an important question for cycling enthusiasts. Traveling by air with a fat tire e-bike cruiser or your chosen electric bike should certainly be doable, but it can potentially be a tricky task. There are numerous rules and regulations related to air travel that you must take into account if you wish to travel with your electric bike.
Check the Policy
Different airlines have various policies regarding bikes, so you’ll need to find the rules of the airline you’re traveling with before you go. It’s advisable to do this early so you can prepare accordingly.
The main restriction when it comes to traveling by plane is that many airlines have regulations on how large lithium-ion batteries they will allow in checked baggage. The typical limit is one hundred watt-hours per battery. If your battery exceeds this limit, airlines will not accept it as checked baggage and may even refuse it as carry-on luggage. Additionally, while some airlines may allow batteries on board if they meet certain criteria—such as being in the original packaging and carrying documents that attest to its safety—they may not accept them under any circumstances. It pays to check carefully with your chosen airline
If an airline does accept your e-bike battery as checked baggage or carry-on, there are still certain precautions you should take in order for it to be allowed onboard. For example, all batteries must be properly protected from short circuits and must not exceed a 30% charge prior to boarding the aircraft. It’s also important that each battery is properly labeled with its watt-hour rating and type of cell chemistry in case agents have questions about its safety or potential hazards.
Generally speaking, most airlines will allow you to check your electric bike as long as the battery is removed and packed separately in carry-on or checked luggage. Some airlines may also require that the battery be placed in a fireproof container or bag before being taken on board.
How to Pack Your Electric Bike for Air Travel
You have to be particular when it comes to storing e-bikes—you probably already know if you should store your electric bike outside. If you’re able to bring your electric bike onboard, you’ll need to properly pack it for transport.
Start by removing any accessories, such as lights or racks, and store them separately in padded bags or cases. Remove the battery and place it in its own fireproof case, if required, before packing it with any other items that must stay with you during the flight. Finally, deflate the tires of your electric bike and pack them into a cardboard box using plenty of padding around each component. Make sure that nothing inside the box can move during transport.
If you wish to travel on a plane with an electric bike, it certainly can be done. Check the policies of different airlines to find out which one suits you, and be sure to have the specifications of your bike on hand so as not to receive any unwanted surprises upon checking in. Once you’ve done all this, you can head to the airport with the confidence that you’ll get to enjoy a wonderful trip exploring with your electric bike.