Hello all -- I'm a long time lurker on the site and decided to finally de-lurk to report my experience on Singapore Air flying from SF to Hong Kong at the end of last month.
In a word, horrifying. For the first time in thousands of miles of flying, an airline refused to allow me to carry on my violin.
Obviously, someone had previously gone ballistic on the ticket agent, because he was just about falling over himself assuring me how carefully they'd hand carry it to the door, place it on top of everything (aargh, just the thought of that makes me want to scream), and then hand carry it on the other end. He carefully placed about five or six fragile stickers on the case and a priority tag on the handle. He was careful that I could see him giving it directly to the luggage crew supervisor.
My current case, mind you, is a half-moon featherweight case. He claimed it would not fit into the overhead, which of course we both knew was a lie. It's an international flight, fer cat's sake, it's a 747. VERY large overheads.
Bearing in mind the advice given here in the past, I did not have hysterics or lose my temper, although I'm sure he could tell I was very upset. I am 100% sure that the main reason for this was because SA flight 001 is an extremely crowded flight, always. (Some of my fellow passengers appeared to be immigrating, they had so much luggage.) This flight is always so booked up that I didn't, COULDN'T, refuse boarding, because the next available flight was in late July.
It was a rather rough flight, which didn't help my peace of mind. I basically spent the entire flight breathing deeply and trying not to think about my violin in the hold.
To their credit, the violin did in fact seem to have been hand-carried throughout the process, arrived in one piece, and had been hand carried to a safe place near the luggage carousel.
My partner, who also plays the fiddle, took the same flight two days later, but in the period between my flight and his (as I'd kept him updated by texts the whole time I was trying not to faint or throw up at SFO), he went and purchased a BAM overhead case and bow case. They had absolutely no problems with him carrying either on, along with his small computer case.
Now that I'm here in Hong Kong, I am determined not to ever go through that again. I'm ordering (or trying to order) a BAM overhead case. So far, the only place I've found that carries the case is Johnson Strings in the States ($65 shipping charge!). Their "1 time inconvenience" of having to send them a copy of my driver's license or passport, copies of the front and back of my credit card, a copy of my signature (does anyone else have a niggling worry that this is all a perfect way for someone to clean out my account?) is currently giving me fits, since in order to do this I have to take a ferry from Lamma Island to Hong Kong, find a scanner or copier, then find a fax machine or wireless connection, etc.
So, normally I'd say to go get a BAM overhead case if you're going to fly, just to be safe, but I note that this case is no longer shown on the BAM site. *sigh*
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