Flying with Two Violins

February 16, 2018, 4:55 AM · In a short while I am planing to purchase an electric violin (so excited!!). This means, that for the first time in my life, I will be using two violins. I travel quite a bit with my instrument and often fly with it. So far, I have had several frighteningly close shaves with the "you can't take the violin as hand luggage" problem and I'm wondering what will happen with two violins! Has anyone had experience with this?

Is is reasonably safe to travel with two small cases as hand luggage without risking the wrath of the personal? Or should I look into double cases? Having said that, has anyone ever flown with a double case? I am worried that they are too big.

Any suggestions on flight-friendly double cases or experiences with two instruments would be very much appreciated.

Replies (9)

Edited: February 16, 2018, 8:00 AM · I would say that having a double case is calling for double trouble (queue in Stevie Ray Vaughan) . If they do not let you carry it on board, both violins may end up in the luggage, or you will miss your flight!
Check in your electric violin (in a good case), carry on your acoustic.
February 16, 2018, 8:16 AM · I agree with Rocky. Get the best suspension case you can find and check your electric violin in it.

2nd choice, get a double violin case and a first-class ticket to ensure you will have bin space available, but even that is risky (not to mention super expensive).

The problem with trying to carry on two violin cases as hand luggage is that you would have to put both in the bin. Airlines don't like that (to put it mildly). The standard announcement is to put your larger item in the bin and your personal item under the seat in front of you...violin cases do not fit under the seat.

February 16, 2018, 8:29 AM · Take your normal violin in the case, wrap the electric one in bubble plastic, tape it, and put in in a handbag, you can carry a handbag with you.
February 16, 2018, 2:03 PM · I never had any issue with taking a double violin case, but maybe that's airline-specific. And honestly, a double violin case is not any longer than a single violin case, just a bit wider, and it should not be any different to fit a double violin case in the overhead than a single violin case.

On the other had, I find the solution provided by Mr. Manfio to be an excellent one. I would probably try that if one of mine was an electric violin.

In fact, I would probably take a violin in a shaped violin case (my latest favorite is a Gewa Prestige shaped case. It appears to be small and slim to the eyes), and bubble wrap the electric violin and stick it in a backpack, zip it up to the neck, use a shoestring to secure the zippers around the neck. AndcI would put the backpack on both of my shoulders and the violin on only one of them.

February 16, 2018, 3:14 PM · If you travel a lot with your violin you might want to have a look at the solution called trinity case ( I have not used it myself or even seen it, but it looks like a great idea: A carbon fibre case just big enough for the violin itself. It fits on the diagonal inside a carry-on size bag with room for whatever else you need to carry on. And 2 bows are stored in a separate case that cunningly doubles as the handle for the wheeled case. When you board the plane you will be dragging your case by the handle just as everyone else. However, yours does not collapse as other handles do, but detaches and you can sneak it into the overhead cabin.
February 16, 2018, 4:31 PM · Thanks so much for your thoughts everyone!

Any thoughts on these "mini double violin cases" which accomodate the instrument and not the bows? Looks like a great solution to me (because the length is reduced) but my concern is that they seem to be pretty low quality and I can't seem to find anything similar in a more robust form.

Edited: February 16, 2018, 4:39 PM · Just buy a sturdy case for the electric violin (e.g., a Bobelock) and check it when you fly. It'll be fine.
Edited: February 16, 2018, 8:21 PM · Katisha,

I personally do not like the idea of carrying the bow separately from the violin. It is just one more thing for me to worry about forgetting and losing.

I took a look at the Trinity case. It is way too expensive for what it is, IMO. For that price, I would probably just buy a Riboni short double violin case, if I absolutely had to carry the bow separately. ( It will probably a bit more expensive, but it will be an excellent plywood case with much better protection, and you get to fit two violins in it without the bows.

By the way, here is a video don by Edgar Russ on travelling with violins and violas.

February 16, 2018, 8:36 PM · Slightly off the subject... on my recent flight to Europe and back to Canada, 3 out of 4 flights were delayed on departure, at least in part because there was simply no room to store all carry-on luggage! It appears to me that the rules have been relaxed, especially after online check-in. Another reason is that most airlines now charge a lot for your 2nd piece of luggage, so people naturally put as much as they can into carry-on. Having said that, even if they let you carry on the double case, it does not mean that you will be able to store it in the overhead bin. It will also be too big to put it under the seat.

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