CAN, the national Cycling Advocates Network, has welcomed Air New Zealand's recent move to reduce the costs of carrying bicycles for domestic travellers. The previous Express Class charge of $50 (one-way) to transport items like bikes and surfboards has been reduced to $20.
CAN spokesperson Robert Ibell said that the previous charge appeared to be quite arbitrary compared with the true cost of transporting these items, and CAN (amongst others) had called for a review.
"We'd like to acknowledge all of the cyclists out there who took the time to voice their concerns to Air NZ."
CAN was still puzzled about the apparent inequity between bicycle charges and items such as golf clubs or ski equipment, which are not charged for separately unless overweight.
"This is a particular concern where the bicycle is adequately boxed or bagged or is designed for easy carriage", said Mr Ibell.
"A typical folding bike, for example, weighs less than 12kg and fits in a case smaller than your average suitcase. Yet people are being charged for them by Air NZ despite being under their weight limit."
CAN believes that some assumptions are being made by Air NZ about the type of customer who chooses to golf or ski, as opposed to bike or surf, and the relative desire to attract each customer group.
Mr Ibell said "Air NZ may be interested to know that in a recent survey of CAN's members, over 60% had household incomes greater than $50,000, well above the national average. Are these customers not worth attracting?"
"Cyclists appreciate being able to use their bicycles in other locations for an efficient means of transport and recreation", said Mr Ibell.
"The Government's recent Transport Strategy is aiming to encourage more cycling and we would expect an airline partly-owned by this Government to set a good example."
For more information, contact Robert Ibell, CAN Campaigns/PR Secretary, phone (04)385-2557 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.