Cycles: Nok Air not so friendly

BANGKOK, 5 February 2018: Historically a cyclist-friendly airline from the word go, Nok Air has decided to charge for the carriage of cycles on all of its flights.

The flat fee is THB500 for cycles up to 20 kg in weight, THB1,000 for a weight range of 21 to 25 kg and THB1,500 for cycles 20 to 30 kg.

The fee is for a one-way flight,  so a roundtrip transfer to and from a cycle holiday destination adds at least THB1,000 to the fare.

The new fees came into effect, 1 February, on all of the airline’s flights.

The airline provides a baggage allowance of 15 kg per flight on its two higher fare options, Flexi and Max. For most cycles transported in a bike box, or bag, it would probably leave around 5 kg left for other checked baggage. In most cases the passenger will have to top-up the weight allowance by 10 kg to cover all items.

The airline’s cheapest Flexi roundtrip fare, Bangkok to Chiang Rai, for a long weekend cycle tour in the far north Thai province, would cost THB6,545 with a 15 kg baggage allowance. The airline’s lead-in fare, Nok Lite, no longer has a checked baggage allowance, just 7 kg for hand carry luggage.

Before you pay the THB500 handling fee for a cycle you will need to top up the weight allowance by another 10 kg  (THB200).  When the bike handling fee is included you will be charged an extra THB700 each way raising the roundtrip fare to THB7,945.

Bangkok Airways is the obvious choice if you are travelling with a bike. You get a 20 kg allowance and to be on the safe side a top-up of 5 kg will cost you THB700 roundtrip. That gives you a bottom-line roundtrip fare of THB5,535. Throw in the free full-meal service and entry to the airline’s lounge at Suvarnabhumi Airport and Bangkok Airways becomes your cycle-friendly airline. Sorry about that Nok. You are off the radar.