Getting Your Bicycle to The Cape Town Cycle Tour (Argus) On the Same Flight as You
Gearing up for the 2018 Cape Town Cycle Tour on Sunday 11th March? You’re bound to be stressing about a multitude of things. Have you packed all of your cycling accessories? Do you have the right attire to ride comfortably on the day? Do you have enough supplements to get you through the gruelling stretches? Have you forgotten anything? Add to these stresses the question of how you are going to get your bicycle to the start line, and you have a right to be feeling frantic!
One of the biggest worries faced by participants of the 2018 Cape Town Cycle Tour is traveling separately from their bike. Putting your bicycle on a cargo flight will mean that it gets there, but probably not at the same time as you, leaving you with the inconvenience of going back to Cape Town International airport to fetch it.
The good news is that with several domestic flights South Africa you can travel with your bike…on the same flight! All you have to do is make sure that you are one of the first limited number of cyclists to book their flight to Cape Town online. Make sure that you pay the bike handling fee to the respective airline and you and your bike can share the same flight!
What Happens to The Rest Who Don’t Book in Time?
If you aren’t one of the first cyclists to book cheap flights to Cape Town and pay the bike handling fee, don’t worry, you won’t have to pedal your bike all the way to the Mother City! There are still other transport options. You can transport your bike to the Cape Town Cycle Tour start line by booking it on board a cargo flight. You won’t have the same convenience of collecting your most treasured piece of equipment moments after you land, but it will still get to where it needs to be.
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Keep in mind that there are over 35 000 participants in the Cape Town Cycle Tour which is held the day after the UCI Mountain Bike World Cup and Cape Epic. This means that the first limited bookings are expected to sell out quickly. Both low cost and full service airlines are bound to be under major demand, so booking domestic flights to Cape Town in advance is certainly encouraged.
Airlines Offering Special Transport Arrangements for The 2018 Cape Town Cycle Tour
If you’re looking for the best way to get your bicycle to the Cape Town Cycle Tour start line, these airlines have special travel options on offer. Here’s what you need to know:
Kulula is offering the first 20 cyclists per flight the convenience of having their bike travel on the very same flight as them. The bike handling fee is just R350 including VAT and only bicycles that are booked and paid for through the Kulula call centre on 0861 KULULA (585852) will be accepted on the day of travel. Bikes must be personally insured and must be dropped-off and collected from the demarcated area in each airport. Cyclists must present their ID, booking reference and handling fee receipt in order to collect their bike.
SAA has a similar offer for Cycle Tour 2018 participants. Those who are traveling with a bicycle must simply let the booking agent know when they book their flight. There are limits to the number of bicycles that can fly on the same flight as follows:
- B738: 15 bikes
- A346: 30 bikes
- A343: 30 bikes
- A332: 30 bikes
- A319: 8 bikes
- A320: 8 bikes
The bicycle handling fee is also R350 including VAT and the offer is valid from the 6th to 11th March 2018 (to Cape Town), and 11th to 18th March 2018 (from Cape Town).
Reservations for passengers and bikes can be made via the SAA share call number: 086 160 6606. Payments can be made at the airport or at Pick ‘n Pay. When paying at Pick ‘n Pay, a voucher will be provided as proof of reservation and payment, which must then be presented when dropping off and picking up bicycles. Bikes must be checked in at least 45 minutes prior to departure.
Packing your Bike
Once you’ve secured your cheap domestic flights to Cape Town, there’s the task of ensuring that your bike is properly packed for the trip. Here are some useful packing tips, regardless of which domestic airline in South Africa you choose to fly with:
- Secure the bike in protective packaging – bubble wrapping is advised and the bike should be carried inside a box or bike bag
- All boxes and bags should be clearly marked with your details
- Bags and boxes will need to be security checked, so keep them unsealed/unlocked until this is done
- The bike seat must be fully lowered
- Peddles must be removed or turned inward
- Handlebars must be parallel to the bike frame
- Deflate tyres and note that nitrogen inflated tyres will not be accepted
- The front wheel should be attached
- Remove all electronic equipment, including speedometers – these can be carried as hand luggage
- Standard airline baggage policies will apply and excess baggage fees will be charged. The relevant excess baggage rate is available from the airline of your choice.
The following items must be checked in as baggage:
- Division 2.2 Carbon Dioxide (non-flammable) bicycle inflation pumps. Airlines only allow a maximum of 4 cartridges of no more than 16 grams each to be checked in.
- Wheel bags and spare wheels (if these exceed standard baggage limits, excess baggage can be arranged).
Book Flights To Cape Town In Advance To Avoid Disappointment
Cycle mania certainly comes to Cape Town in March and as there are only a limited number of bikes allowed to fly on each flight with cyclists, you would be well advised to book in advance. Book your flight to Cape Town with Kulula or SAA and save yourself the stress of having to send your bike as cargo!
Kulula: 0861 KULULA (585852)
SAA: +27 011 978 3733 or +27 011 978 5876.