fly with violin in Europe ?

July 25, 2017, 7:36 AM · Hi

I want to take my violin with me the first time on a plane. Fly from London to Budapest. I contacted with Luftansa and British Airways, both said if i want to bring it up i have to buy an extra seat. I cant believe this is how they roll. Anybody has any experience how to fly with my dear, please sare? I have an oblong case, but about to buy a new case, which would fit to travel.

Replies (13)

July 25, 2017, 9:04 AM · I have brought my violin in an oblong case as carry-on on several occations - SAS and Lufthansa - and never had a problem. I would not consider checking in my violin.
I will be going to the US later this year to play some concerts and we have booked a seat for the cello in the quartet, but the rest of us count on bringing the instruments as carry-on.
Edited: July 25, 2017, 2:58 PM · Plenty of info listed here:
http://www.violinist.com/discussion/archive/28911/
I travelled a few months ago by Lufthansa to Europe and by Air-Canada back.... no issues with violin as carry-on. One important detail - do not have the 2nd item as carry on, except for a very small purse.
Lufthansa's oficial statement is indeed 'no violins on board' but in real life you may or may not board the plane wit your instrument.
If you can, use a different carrier where carrying a violin on board is permitted.
July 25, 2017, 3:37 PM · Also if your violin has rosewood fittings, you may have a world of trouble ahead of you; you may be covered under the "Personal Effects Exemption" but I wouldn't risk it.
July 25, 2017, 4:38 PM · Just a note,

Frankfurt airport WILL give you a hard time.

They had me shirtless and shoeless, pretty much had my backpack inside and out, from a security point within security point on my flight back to Canada.

I'm glad I didn't have my violin on that trip, else it would've been damaged without question.

July 25, 2017, 7:24 PM · Oh Steven.... I hate that airport! The only vending machine placed 20m before security check-point after 20 minute walk. Then, they do not allow you to bring the very same unopened bottle you bought 2 minutes ago! No places to sit. The whole airport has a very inhumane feel about it.
July 25, 2017, 9:01 PM · Rocky, my itinerary included a stop there on the way to and back from.

Both visits, I felt like a prisoner.

Edited: July 26, 2017, 6:27 AM · It's just horrible, what's going on! And it's not just in Europe. Have you heard about rosin being banned in at the Shanghai airport? After all, it could explode! They have so much trouble catching the bad guys, they take it out on us. By and large it's gotten better in the USA, due to heavy lobbying of the Musicians Union to Congress. Yet still the message seems to get lost sometimes to individual pilots and crew - witness Rachel Barton Pine being denied permission to bring her del Gesu aboard a US plane (can't remember which).

Here is the latest from the Violin Channel:

Qantas Airways has yesterday refused an international violinist from bringing his 1766 Guadagnini violin into the cabin on a flight from Santiago, Chile to Sydney, Australia – allegedly claiming it was company policy that all violins must be stowed as cargo.

“I have just been denied boarding on Qantas Flight 28 from Santiago to Sydney because I refused to put my violin in the baggage hold … this is just disgusting …” Norwegian-born violinist and pedagogue Ole Bohn has told The Violin Channel.

Ole has indicated that the Santiago Qantas manager, Christian Carlos was insistent that it was company policy to not permit violins in the cabin – despite the airline’s website indicating violin cases under 7kg in weight and under 85cm x 34cm x 23cm in size being permissible.

Ole, who in 1990 gave the world premiere performance of the Elliott Carter Violin Concerto with the San Francisco Symphony and previously served as Concertmaster of the Norwegian National Opera and Ballet Orchestra and the Copenhagen Symphony Orchestra, has held a teaching position on faculty at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music since 2009.

A Giovanni Battista Guadagnini violin from the same period was sold by Tarisio Auctions New York in October, 2013 for US $1,390,000.

Ole has indicated he was eventually forced to book another flight to Sydney on Latam Airlines.

“… Not the slightest problem boarding Latam flight to Sydney … the hostesses onboard wanted to help me to make sure the violin had a good spot in the compartment over my seat,” the 71 year old has said.

“I even hold Gold Status with Qantas … customers should never be treated like this … Qantas has something to learn,” he has said.

The Violin Channel’s 2014 coverage of Air Canada’s inconsistent cabin baggage policy received over 4,000 social media shares, 200,000 page views and 27,000 facebook likes – leading to the airline promptly readdressing the stance.

The Violin Channel’s exposé of a similar incident of Norwegian Air in 2016, also led to an apology and swift company policy change.

“We’ll be reaching out to the customer when he arrives back in Sydney … we’re also speaking with our ground crew in Santiago to see what occurred … we apologize for any inconvenience caused … ” a Qantas spokesperson has told The Violin Channel.

Please share widely.

BTW, Fox, re rosewood fittings - I was very concerned when I first heard about that, as my favorite fiddle has rosewood fittings. But then I heard that it has to be several kilos worth. Do you know the latest?

It's not too much of an exaggeration to say that airlines and airports are all but destroying a large segment of international culture. There must be some way for effective push-back.


July 26, 2017, 9:14 AM · Pity the cellists who find their multi-million dollar instruments refused boarding privileges even after seat has been bought and paid for (one recent example: http://slippedisc.com/2017/07/international-cellist-is-grounded-at-heathrow/ )

There are many similar stories at CelloChat.

July 26, 2017, 5:46 PM · I just flew from LAX to London and back with my violin. I had no problem putting it in the overhead bin. The airline staff made no fuss at all. I have an oblong case. I flew on Air New Zealand.
July 27, 2017, 11:33 AM · I regularly fly with my violin through and around Europe. I use the most compact SHAPED case and have never had problem taking it onboard. Some of the budget airlines like Ryanair can be difficult, so I book with main carriers, checking their policy first.

Cheers Carlo

July 28, 2017, 4:10 AM · Fly with your violin to Europe?

Why don't you start just meting your violin for coffee. If you hit it off, maybe make arrangements for dinner sometime next week. Wait until you're a bit more comfortable with one another to spend the entire weekend together. But I'd wait at least 6 months or so for that European vacation together; you don't want to rush into things.

July 28, 2017, 4:49 PM · "Fly with violin in Europe?"
I saw "Nude with a Violin", but this is something really mind boggling - like "Fly Emirates" (which are better not coming into contact with spider sultanates).
July 29, 2017, 5:00 AM · I think I saw that painting at the Museum of Modern Art. It was very disturbing.

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