Flew with Emirates to Uganda and a violin!

January 9, 2020, 1:37 PM ·
I’m currently on a trip to Uganda, supporting some kids charity work, holiday camp type of thing, as well as supporting some local musicians and kids who are keen (and quite frankly, very talented). Anyway, I flew with Emirates from the UK to Uganda via Dubai.

Having read countless airplane posts on the forum about travelling with violins internationally, I was rather nervous. Only, I needn’t have been. I checked baggage requirements, and of course, the violin case in question was bigger than the guidelines, but I thought I’d try my luck anyway. I flew with some others, one of whom brought his guitar and was as equally nervous as I, given that instruments do not last long in the hold.

Surprisingly, a seamless and easy experience. I chatted to the check in clerk in the UK and he was fine with the violin going as an extra piece of hand luggage, at no cost. Same for the guitar. We reached the plane, no one batted an eyelid, (I was ready to hold my ground if I had to). Plenty of overhead space on the first plane, the guitar ended up in the stewardess cupboard I think. Change in Dubai, easy peasy. Second plane, less overhead space, but the stewardesses were happy to store the violin at the front of the plane for me. They were also a bit perplexed as to why I was taking a violin to Uganda... the violin is staying in Uganda, so my friend there can play and help local musicians with their music and violin learning. I expect if it was coming back, I would find it just as easy.

Rather rambly I know, but Emirates is an airline I recommend for violin travellers, and probably violas and guitars too. I think they’re more expensive, but to me it was worth it.

So small shaped case, be chatty with everyone and it went it in my favour!

Any other flying experience success stories?

Just thought I’d share.

Replies (3)

January 9, 2020, 4:06 PM · Glad to hear the trip went well! I haven't yet tried traveling out of the country with my instrument, but I suppose it will happen at some point.
January 9, 2020, 8:27 PM · Didn't have any issue with Air Canada either. I have not flown recently with an instrument, it was a few years back, but don't expect it would be any different now.
January 14, 2020, 3:42 PM · Of course, no discussion like this would be complete without a link to this video. At the time, the Air Canada web site actually did discriminate against violas while allowing banjos (which can weigh up to 12 pounds minus case). They've since become more reasonable.

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