We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Violins not allowed as carry-on luggage

posts: 4
reviews: 3
Violins not allowed as carry-on luggage

Virgin Atlantic Airlines' website states that carry-on luggage must be no larger than 9 x 14 x 22 inches. My violin is 31 inches in its case and cannot be checked in. The violin itself is 23.5 inches. This means I can't travel with it. Have other musicians encountered this before?

75 replies to this topic
australia
posts: 2,551
reviews: 17
1. Re: Violins not allowed as carry-on luggage

Some musicians buy their instrument a seat

Brisbane, Australia
Destination Expert
for Brisbane
posts: 4,627
reviews: 28
2. Re: Violins not allowed as carry-on luggage

Why is a musical instrument that is oversized different to any other piece of fragile luggage?

Sydney/Melbourne
posts: 10,279
reviews: 41
3. Re: Violins not allowed as carry-on luggage

When you say it "cannot be checked in", what do you mean?

If its because it's a Strad or similar, then at Jag said, you can buy it a seat.

A musiscian relative of mine once did that and they got a very reduced price for the instrument (bigger than a violin) - maybe because it doesn't eat or use the bathroom;-)) but I can't remember which airline that was with.

You carry you instruments to the gate and then hand them over to be hand carried to the plane so they aren't tossed onto a conveyor belt. Presumable its insured?

South Pole
posts: 15,408
reviews: 39
4. Re: Violins not allowed as carry-on luggage

u just need to pull a few strings

posts: 4
reviews: 3
5. Re: Violins not allowed as carry-on luggage

Violins are fragile and valuable and cannot be left in airline employees' hands, even if insured. A standard violin case is 6 by 10 by 31 inches and easily fits in the overhead bin without the need to buy an extra seat. Virgin Atlantic is unwilling to allow them to be taken on board except as checked in luggage, which is unacceptable for traveling musicians.

kentucky
posts: 3,754
reviews: 37
6. Re: Violins not allowed as carry-on luggage

So, it's ok for you have a 31" case but others are limited to 22? hmmmm.....

Portland, Oregon
Destination Expert
for Air Travel
posts: 15,414
reviews: 5
7. Re: Violins not allowed as carry-on luggage

Here is what Virgin Atlantic says about carry on baggage and musical instruments - virgin-atlantic.com/us/…hand-baggage.html

"Maximum size - 23 x 36 x 56 cm (that’s approx. 9 x 14 x 22 inches)"

"Musical instruments

If you’re planning on bringing a musical instrument with you, bear in mind it may not fit within your hand baggage allowance.

If it exceeds the hand baggage allowance measurements, you’ll need to check it in (and pay an additional baggage fee, if it takes you over your check in allowance). However, rather than checking it in on the spot we’ll still ask you to carry it through to the airport security checkpoint (subject to relevant Airport Security approval). As instruments are especially fragile, this ensures safer carriage. It will be taken at the departure gate for loading into the hold of the aircraft, so please make sure it’s suitably protected when you pack it.

Alternatively, you can carry a maximum of two instruments onboard if you book a seat for each one. Each instrument cannot exceed 75kg (165 lbs) and its centre of mass should be no more than 30cm (12 inches) above the top of the seat cushion.

For any questions about bringing a large musical instrument, please contact us in advance of your flight.

Little Red (UK domestic) flights - Musical instruments are not permitted as hand baggage on Little Red (UK domestic) flights and must be checked in as check in baggage."

All pretty clear and straightforward, and available for reading before booking.

Edited: 8:59 pm, June 25, 2013
Brisbane, Australia
Destination Expert
for Brisbane
posts: 4,627
reviews: 28
8. Re: Violins not allowed as carry-on luggage

Whether they are valuable and/or fragile they are no different to any other piece of valuable/fragile luggage. I'm sure it's important to you but I'm not so sure about the other 200-300 people on board who paid the same as you.... just be glad it's not a guitar and not United.

Edited: 9:34 pm, June 25, 2013
Nashville, TN
posts: 4,291
reviews: 8
9. Re: Violins not allowed as carry-on luggage

Check other airlines. We fly in/out of Nashville and there are always passengers with musical instruments as carry ons. Other airlines may have more lenient or special policies. Cheaper than a second seat..

Sydney/Melbourne
posts: 10,279
reviews: 41
10. Re: Violins not allowed as carry-on luggage

International airlines, like Virgin Atlantic, actually enforce their carry on rules, unlike many domestic US carriers. Unfortunately, all those guitar toting' C&W performers result in others having to gate check their legitimately sized luggage because the bins are full of musical instruments.

The OP may get lucky if the flight is not full, but that's not someone you should count on.

Reply to: Violins not allowed as carry-on luggage
Get notified by e-mail when a reply is posted