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Do Airlines Allow E-Bikes? Traveling With Your E-Bike

Adventure enthusiasts would never miss a chance to ride their e-bikes on different terrains across the globe. Gliding through the mountains, blazing through the cities, and exploring the scenic views are just different when you’re on an e-bike. 

But can you take an e-bike on a plane? Sadly, travel constraints have made this tempting adventure rather challenging. 

Airline restrictions on e-bikes are particularly limiting. Even if you follow safety practices to a T, many airlines forbid onboarding these bikes because their lithium-ion batteries can cause a fire—something that cannot be risked during flights. 

So, if you’re an e-bike-loving adventure enthusiast and are wondering, “How do I travel with my e-bike,” here’s all you need to know.

How To Travel With an E-Bike

As an adventure seeker, you may be tempted to haul your bike across the world to experience what every city, town, or country feels like. While using the region’s public transport is an option, they’re not as thrilling as exploring places at your convenience. Moreover, bikers always feel like they’re missing a limb if they can’t feel their bike’s pedals under their feet. 

So, is it possible to travel on flights with your e-bike? Airlines have guidelines that make the process more challenging but there are a few ways to get around them.

Check Individual Airline Policies 

While most airlines forbid e-bikes altogether, some allow them as long as the battery has been removed. Meanwhile, some airlines allow e-bikes and their batteries provided that their power capacities are under 100 wH and the batteries are kept in the cabin’s luggage. 

On the other hand, some airlines allow batteries if they are new, in their original packaging, and charged under 30%. Additionally, if you have special authorization, they may make an exception. You can also consider switching your e-bike for a folding bike because their batteries have lower capacities. However, it’s best to check with the airline before making a decision.

Performing your due diligence and checking on an airline’s specific rules before booking a flight is best if you want to avoid unplanned and expensive fees. For instance, British Airlines may force you to leave your battery and charge you a storage fee until your return. 

On the other hand, British Airways, United and Ryanair, EasyJet, and American Airlines have a complete ban on carrying battery-powered items. Meanwhile, airlines like Delta and Southwest only allow their passengers to carry batteries of up to 160 wH in their hand luggage. Similarly, Alaska Airlines permits passengers to bring electric bikes, but the batteries should be removed and stored in their hand luggage. 


What About International Travel?

Can you take an e-bike on a plane when visiting other countries? The same restrictions apply to e-bikes, even for international flights. Note that special authorizations can allow the shipping of e-bikes that fall under a specific battery-powered vehicle classification.

The airline will need to be certified for shipping hazardous materials (HAZMAT). As the shipper, you’ll most likely incur a HAZMAT surcharge. That said, if the location you’re flying to has a strict policy against e-bikes from other countries, you may end up paying a penalty. So, check the city’s official website too before making any decisions.

What Are the Loopholes of Traveling With an E-Bike?

You may think that just because airlines restrict e-bikes, your adventure has to come to a halt. But that’s far from the case. There are still a few ways you can enjoy your e-bike while traveling.

Here are some creative ideas you can look into:

Rent a Battery

Many places that have adventure sports have pop-up shops that rent out e-bike batteries. You’ll find almost all popular brands available at such shops. This allows you to bring your bike without a battery on a flight without any hassle. 

Before flying to your destination, do your research online or check forums to know where these shops are located, what brands they have at hand, and other specifications that ensure a smooth experience.

Rent an E-bike

Although this is more of an alternative than a loophole, it’s a good tip when you want to use a bike but can’t take one. Some places that adventure lovers frequent have shops where you can rent e-bikes. In fact, some eco-friendly cities have them available to the public for free or at subsidized prices to encourage healthy living and environment-friendly transportation. 

This is a great way to save yourself the inconvenience of checking in an e-bike. Plus, you don’t have to carry the extra load or pay a fee for extra luggage. Renting a bike will be a lot cheaper than hauling it everywhere you go. Hence, it’s a pocket-friendly tip to keep in mind. 

Ship the Battery

Depending on courier service policies, there’s a chance you may be allowed to ship your e-bike battery. You may have to adhere to the packing instructions to ensure there are no chances of accidents. 

You can ship the package before your departure to your hotel, hostel, or wherever you’re staying so your battery will be waiting for you when you arrive. 

Ship the E-Bike

Another way to get your bike to your travel destination is to ship it with the battery and all the gear you need. This is the most hassle-free way to indulge in your overseas e-bike adventures.

Many companies specialize in transporting e-bikes to various locations. Some deliver them to your accommodations while others may have storage areas where you can pick up your bike. These companies charge a fee based on the distance and weight of your equipment so get a quote before you pack everything up for shipment. 

Use Other Modes of Transport

Most European countries are accessible by train or by road. Consider these modes of transport if you’re particularly attached to your gear and vehicle, and if travel time isn’t an issue. Trains generally allow bikes under 65 pounds  so weigh your bike, its battery, and any other equipment you want to ship beforehand. 


Can You Take an E-Bike on a Plane? Here’s a Quick Recap

Traveling with an electric bike lets you explore places on your terms and at your own convenience. However, airline regulations can often be restrictive and difficult to comply with. The biggest challenge is bringing e-bikes’ lithium-ion batteries which many airlines consider dangerous for air travel. 

But before all else, check the airline’s policy to be sure. Once you’ve established that you can work with their rules, you can plan the next step. However, if bringing an e-bike is not allowed or proves too difficult, consider options like renting a bike or battery, shipping your equipment in advance, or using another mode of transport. 

As a safety precaution, always ensure your e-bike battery holds a capacity between 100 to 160 Wh. In addition, don’t charge the battery completely. Usually, a charge under 30% is considered safe. Lastly, detach the battery from the bicycle and ensure all keys are switched off. This makes it much safer for air travel and eliminates the chances of an explosion in mid-air. 

Explore the World With Your E-Bike

If it’s your first time traveling great distances with your e-bike, you’ll need some time to explore your options and get acquainted with various regulations. As you get used to the process, you’ll become a pro at traveling with your trusty, environment-friendly vehicle.

Though the task may entail more research and preparation, the travel experience is ultimately worth it.

Discover the best e-bikes for your journeys by taking a look at our GIN X models.


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1 Comment


Good morning , At the minute I cannot say that I’m a satisfied customer. Three months ago I ordered and paid for my bike which I still have not received. This is very poor customer service. When , if ever am I going to get my bike.

Trevor

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