Rant: International travel in a few days and my current case is too big. AHHHHH
Due to some urgent situation, I will be travelling from the U.S. to the Philippines and will stay there for at least 3 weeks. I'm a beginner violinist and rarely travel by air, so I bought a big rugged case that can fit a lot of things. Crossrock CRA400VFBK
I started looking at carry-on baggage policies. It's usually combined dimensions of 45". My case is 31.7" x 11" x 5.9" = 48.9". I have contacted the airlines and bottom line is they will determined at check-in whether I can take it in or not. I've read too many violin check-in horror stories, so definitely not sending it through the conveyor belt.
Now I'm in panic mode looking for a violin case that can go through as carry-on AND withstand this weather. https://weather.com/weather/tenday/l/RPXX4229:1:RP Environment is also at 100% humidity, which I'm reading up about in case I need special preparations for my instrument.
Just ranting... panicking... and digging up all the violin case threads right now. No idea on budget right now. BAM cases look great, but not sure about spending $600 on a case for a $1250 violin and $80 bow haha
Forgot to mention. I really really really want to bring my violin because the lessons are $4 for 45 mins vs $60+ per hour in my area in the U.S.
Call your airline.
I've used one of these for the past few years traveling back and forth to Japan. So far, so good.
Not sure which airline you are taking, but I have traveled with my Riboni standard oblong case to Europe, the Middle East and Northeast Asia many times. I have never ever had any problems. Now, you did mention that you are going to the Philippines. If you are traveling on one of those budget airlines in Asia, there might be a problem with taking your oblong violin case on board, so you should most certainly call the airline ahead of time. But really, I have not had a single issue fitting violin cases in the overhead compartment in A330s, A350s and A380s.
Do not ask the gate agent if you can take your violin on board. Do not call attention to yourself. Do not try to bring a roller bag or other large carry-on with you. Be sure that if you have a second carry-on, it will fit under the seat in front of you. And then just get in line as normal and board with your violin. (Backpack straps are also helpful.)
Just put it in the dryer for an hour.
Back in the summer of 2001, when I was planning an October trip with a violin I searched out shaped violin cases and the smallest I found (that would also hold bows) was the Musafia dart-shaped case - so I bought it. The price was not bad. Combined dimensions: 45-1/2 inch (you could probably squeeze off the last 1/2 inch because it is the soft outer margins of the canvass covering.
The bottom line: we belong to a discriminated group.
Hello, I'm a long time lurker but recent member. This is my first post because as an adult student I've previously not really had much to contribute to the great advice generally found here. In this case (no pun intended) I have a little.
I would make a copy of this regulation and carry it with you to offer you some confidence should you be challenged: www.transportation.gov/sites/dot.gov/files/docs/Musical%20instruments_FR_final%20rule.pdf.
Eric, the TSA letter is USA specific; the OP is traveling internationally.
Hello everyone, long time visitor and anonymous blog commenter here. Finally decided to create an account.
@JohnC Not sure if you were asking me or @Eric as your last post is addressed to @Eric, but I'll answer anyway since your query also applies to my post.
I agree with Mary Ellen. Do NOT call attention to yourself. Do not ask permission or anything. I usually wear headphones while boarding. Even though the music isn't playing through my headphones, it gives me an "oh I didn't hear you or the announcement" excuse. There isn't really a reason to stop you unless they specifically approach you.
No need to test. As per the online specifications, zippers are water-resistant (to a point), not water-proof.
Thank you Rocky, but I've always considered "water resistant" a subjective term ; And since I originally bought this case to use while commuting on my motorcycle ( periodically caught in showers) I'm curious as to just how "water resistant" the zippers are. I do have a waterproof cover for it but sometimes I may be just 5 or 10 minutes from my destination and it may save me from making a stop to put it on.
Mary Ellen: I believe it applies to all US carriers, flying either domestically or internationally. So the airline matters, not where it flies: "The final rule applies to scheduled and charter flights in domestic or international transportation operated by U.S. carriers, regardless of the size of the aircraft they operate. The rule also applies to persons not directly involved in the operation of an aircraft who sell air transportation services to the general public other than as an authorized agent of a carrier."
@JohnC I first laid the case flat, in the shower, and ran the shower for 10mins at a moderate pressure and spray pattern, a little heavier than a moderate rain. I wiped off the outside and opened it. In a few places the immediate area within an 1/8" of the zipper was lightly damp, basically between the zipper and the inner border welt. The zipper is a rubber border flap type zipper, similar to the rubber covered zippers on technical backpacks, sealing the whole zipper assembly but with a paper thin gap where the edges meet.
Given the facts that:
I agree with the post above. I fly EU - South america rather frequently, and I avoid carrying my instrument alltogheter. For a number of reasons.
Dress well, walk tall, use a compact shaped case, don't have another carry on at all, and don't ask at check-in. I have never had a problem but I wouldn't board if my violin could not go in the cabin with me. I would re-book with another airline if it came to that.
Take a VSO if you are worried, or buy one at your destination is another possibility. Bring or buy good strings to go on it.
I agree with Carlo, from my own experience. If you ask (or email) the airlines always say no. If you just go to the gate pretending you're from another planet (and a shaped case helps...) I've never had any problems.
I can only say that whoever says not to "draw attention to yourself" must not have traveled internationally, particularly Asia.
Thanks for the input everyone. I actually did consider buying a cheap violin set and leaving it in the Philippines since my mother still lives there, but I remember my experience upgrading from my rental outfit and it has become much more pleasurable playing the violin. I've tried I think around 13 violins before I picked what I have now. It's odd to say this since I avoid forming any attachment to material objects, but I think I'm somewhat forming a bond with my violin and I just want to take it with me haha. All this hassle and worry about bringing it with me is part of the experience. I'll be bummed if something bad happens, but it won't be the end of the world. I understand the risks, but I suppose this will now be my sort of adventure.
I flew with a subway strap (full size case) and slung the case over my shoulder, *under* my arm, and a rolling bag. No problems, except on the way back, I slung the case on the side facing the check-in attendant, and also forgot to partially cover this with a jacket on top. They stopped me. Of course, I gave up the bag, not my violin. I also made sure to board first, so there was plenty of overhead room. I find the subway position is less conspicuous than over the back. A smaller shaped case, perhaps with separate bow holder, would be even less conspicuous. Some of the bow cases are super hard plastic, like fishing pole cases, which the airlines see all the time, so I imagine would usually be safe at a gate check in. The cases without bow holders are super small...
I also travelled to a violin varnish workshop with 3 violins, no bows. One went in the middle of a checked bag with clothes padding all around. The other two were in a double case, no bow space. That one I carried on board with my laptop case. I told check-in I was putting the laptop case under my seat. Not! But it sounded good.:-D Of course these were non-valuable varnish practice violins (some were Chinese!), not set-up. Everything arrived completely undamaged.
It's probably not everyone's cup of tea but after a few of these situations (worrying about being able to board with a standard-sized case), I purchased a Bobelock shipping case, which in theory will fit under the seat in front of me and definitely works for an overhead. It's small, doesn't fit a bow (so I have a bow case as well that can detach and slide into just about any crevice in a crowded overhead compartment), and really only works for this one use case. But it's great. Solid. Comes with a backpack.
Yay! The case went through fine with EVA airlines (it better have considering that's the whole point of getting this particular case lol!). Just to be safe, I asked during check-in if my violin case + bow tube is fine because the tube is several inches longer than the case.
Good to hear a happy ending!
Thanks for the feedback!
Has anyone had recent success or failure on Virgin Atlantic for their trans-Atlantic flights? In spite of their being born from a music recording business, their current policy reads
This discussion has been archived and is no longer accepting responses.