In July and August Im going on holiday to Australia and New Zealand does anyone have any advice about getting a bike out? Im flying with Emirates and they seem to have a harsh 30kg weight limit including bike is there anyway around this or it just going to be very expensive.
30kg is actually a _generous_ baggage allowance, many airlines only give you 25 or even 20kg.
As has been pointed out, flying via the US will get you an increased baggage allowance of 2 pieces up to 32kg eack. However, even when you are flying on an itinerary which includes the US, you do need to watch out.
We flew Syd-Tokyo-Frankfurt-Heathrow returning via LA on a Lufthansa ticket in 2008, with a stopover in Tokyo. As we were moving to the UK for a year, we packed our bags up to the full 32kg limit (cardboard bike boxed reinforced and modified with suitcase wheels, and stuffed chock full with anything bike related). The first leg to Tokyo was with Qantas, and they didn't question the luggage. However when we went to check in in Tokyo for the journey through to London, the check-in staff (JAL) said the luggage allowance only applied if that leg of the trip went via the US. After about an hour of argument, several calls to lufthansa by both ourselves and our travel agent who booked the tickets, the best resolution we could get was that they would waive the excess on one bag each, and charge us a 'nominal' excess for each of our bike boxes. "Nominal" came to a couple of hundred Euros each bike!
We saved ourselves the hassle on the return journey and shipped our stuff back home from the UK with a removal company (largely because we had an extended 'side trip' to South America for two months).
Morals of the story:
1. Call the airline prior to your flight to confirm baggage allowances (we did this)
2. Ask your travel agent (if using one) to do the same, and give you the result in writing (we did this too)
3. Ask the airline call centre to record the call, make sure you quote your booking reference, and make sure you record the time and date of your call and the full name and location of the call centre operator (we missed this step)
4. Never fly lufthansa! Despite having confirmation of baggage rules in writing from our agent, including the first name of the call centre agent who he spoke to, they refused to acknowledge they had made a mistake, and subsequently were downright obstructive when it came to rescheduling our return journey ("no flights available on your fare class any time between 30 November and 10 March" - which was a flat-out lie as our travel agent was able to reschdule us to our exact preferred date using his login to their booking system).