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Violins not allowed as carry-on luggage

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Violins not allowed as carry-on luggage

Virgin Atlantic Airlines' website states that carry-on luggage must be no larger than 9 x 14 x 22 inches. My violin is 31 inches in its case and cannot be checked in. The violin itself is 23.5 inches. This means I can't travel with it. Have other musicians encountered this before?

Sydney/Melbourne
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61. Re: Violins not allowed as carry-on luggage

Greg, I don't think your tirade adds to the discussion. Besides, it's not our rules but the airlines'.

UK
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62. Re: Violins not allowed as carry-on luggage

I'm facing the same problem - and I'd like to reply to everybody who thinks we're just trying to get something for free or steal their space or think that we're special. The violin case isn't bigger in volume than the hand luggage allowance, it's just a slightly odd shape. It's a little longer but a lot thinner in the other two dimensions and would slot very easily above or behind other carry on baggage. I think it's pretty disappointing that there's no flexibility - for example saying that if the volume of the case's dimensions is the same as the volume of the hand baggage allowance dimensions (it's actually much less) and the weight is less (it's usually around 2kg as opposed to the 10kg allowance) then we might be able to substitute it for our standard allowance. Otherwise you have to buy extra baggage allowance to check it in (and have it deal with very variable conditions in the hold) because you can't have that as well as a suitcase, or buy a seat on the aircraft. It doesn't really take anything away from anybody if you stay within the weight limit, but then as many these posts have shown, we do seem to be in a society of 'if I can't have it, you can't, even if I don't want it'.

Brisbane, Australia
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63. Re: Violins not allowed as carry-on luggage

Newbedouin .... << it's just a bit longer >> ... and there's the point everyone has been making.

Overheads are NOT flexible, there is a set amount of space involved, so yes ....it does take something away from someone else. Nothing to do with weight. Everyone basically gets a bit of overhead ... why is that unfair? This is no different than sitting next to a very tall person and they use you leg space.

Edited: 18 July 2013, 23:28
Edinburgh, United...
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64. Re: Violins not allowed as carry-on luggage

"I think it's pretty disappointing that there's no flexibility - for example saying that if the volume of the case's dimensions is the same as the volume of the hand baggage allowance dimensions (it's actually much less) and the weight is less (it's usually around 2kg as opposed to the 10kg allowance) then we might be able to substitute it for our standard allowance."

Problem with that is that it would make it practically close to impossible to enforce carry-on regulations. Really, the only workable solution (that I can see anyway) is to make explicit exceptions for things like violins as, for instance, easyJet has done.

NYC/Israel
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65. Re: Violins not allowed as carry-on luggage

It is nice to think that since your violin is thinner than a standard overhead that you are now expanding out but not up and all is well with the world, Problem is, a standard, within regulation size carryon will not fit over or under your violin. There is not enough depth in the compartment. So, you would be, in essence needing an entire overhead for the instrument and overheads need to be shared!

Portland, Oregon
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66. Re: Violins not allowed as carry-on luggage

If all these complaints are regarding Virgin Atlantic, then why not consider British Airways, who fly virtually every route covered by VS? Their stated policy is -

"Musical instruments can be taken on board as part of your free hand baggage allowance providing they fit within the maximum bag dimensions. Where possible, we'll also try and accommodate instruments that are slightly larger."

britishairways.com/en-us/information/baggage…

It seems that BA has written flexibility into its hand baggage rules to incorporate musical instruments such as violins, whereas VS hasn't. If you don't like Virgin's carry on restrictions, then don't fly with them.

Edited: 19 July 2013, 00:12
Dallas
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67. Re: Violins not allowed as carry-on luggage

I flew from DFW to IAH last weekend - and back again and had a violin as a carry-on. My friend traveling with me had a violin too. I had absolutely no problem - I was on American - they were perfectly fine with it. The flight was full too.

Ipswich, United...
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68. Re: Violins not allowed as carry-on luggage

Surely we all benefit from a little flexibility on musical instruments judging from the number of visitors who ask about musicals and concerts on the various forums. It's not only about the musicians, its also about those who want to listen to them.

Edited: 19 July 2013, 00:33
Sunnyvale...
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69. Re: Violins not allowed as carry-on luggage

#36: "I have often carried my violin on domestic flights (insured). And about 5 years ago I carried one (not my nice one) on an international Lufthansa flight. I've never had a problem. But things are always changing in the airline industry."

I recommend that you e-mail a particular carrier and keep their response in writing. Have the TSA's regulations in writing with you too because they're just another group of fools to contend with.

I have regularly and frequently carried-on a violin or a viola as carry-on luggage, never buying an extra seat for them, and with no problems for many decades. That is both US domestic and international flights. My most recent and frequent experience of this is through 2011 on United & Continental. I suppose it helps that I have had elite statuses with them so have been able to board early enough to take my fair share of overhead compartment space. To balance that, it has been my only carry-on item except maybe a jacket.

For international, you may want some kind of proof of ownership so that nobody thinks that you need to pay duty on it as if it was a purchase. This caveat may apply only if it looks brand new and not used.

Edited: 19 July 2013, 19:25
Sunnyvale...
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70. Re: Violins not allowed as carry-on luggage

I should mention that I've also carried a bow case as carry-on, on many occasions. Bow cases also exceed the carry-on dimensions, but are usually otherwise just long and slender.

Guitars and cellos are a different story. They _always_ wind up buying a second seat.

Edited: 19 July 2013, 19:29