Flying with instruments, a matter of luck?

Flying with instruments, a matter of luck?

Can I take my flute in my hand luggage? And my cello? And my double bass? As long as the situation is not regulated by law, the rules of each airline are different. The most important airlines have answered a few questions about this:

Can I take my instrument as hand luggage?

With all airlines, the instrument can be taken along as hand luggage. However, there are big differences in the general conditions:

 
  • Max. Weight for instrument as hand luggage:

    •    8 kg
    •    8 kg
    •    7 kg
    •   No limit. “You must be able to lift it into the overhead bins without
    •    8 kg
    •    23 kg “You must be able to lift it into the luggage storage compartments without assistance.”
    •    12 kg
    •    10 kg
  •  

Do I have to do without my actual hand luggage if I fly with my instrument in the cabin?

  • Is one instrument (under max. size) plus 1x hand luggage possible?

    •   Sometimes 
      “If it is a very small instrument (flute, oboe, etc.), it is perfectly possible to take an additional, regular hand baggage with you. This is at the discretion of our ground staff.”
    • Sometimes
      “If it is a very small instrument (flute, oboe, etc.), it is perfectly possible to take an additional, regular hand baggage with you. This is at the discretion of our ground staff.”
    •    No
    •    No
    •    Sometimes
    •    No
    •    No
    •    No
  • Is one instrument (under max. size) plus 1x handbag or laptop bag possible?
    •   Yes
    •   Yes, max. bag size 30x40x10 cm
    • Only if it weighs less than 7 kg together with the instrument.
    • Yes, if the instrument cannot be combined with another piece of luggage to form a single bag.
    •   Yes
    •   Yes, max size bag 40x30x15 cm
    • Yes, if it weighs less than 12 kg together with the instrument.
    • Yes, max size bag 35x20x20 cm
  • Is one instrument (under max. size) plus 1x hand luggage plus 1x handbag or laptop bag possible?

    No. None of the requested airlines allow this.

Extra seat for instruments

  • My instrument exceeds the maximum size and/or weight. Can I have an extra seat for the instrument?

    • Yes
    • Yes
    • Yes, for larger instruments.
    • Yes, only possible for cellos.
    • Yes, for larger instruments (e.g. cello) .
    • Yes, only possible for cellos, subject to availability.
    • Yes, max. 46 kg.
    • Yes, for smaller musical instruments like a cello, guitar, violin or viola
  • How to book an extra seat for the instrument?

    • Together with the flight ticket via a travel agency or a SWISS sales point. ” The special booking of an additional seat cannot be made online. Book the seat for your musical instrument together with your own flight ticket through your travel agency or a SWISS sales point. You are welcome to call one of our employees on +41 848 700 700. Please note that cabin transport depends on the mass of the seats and the type of aircraft. If your instrument exceeds these masses, it cannot be carried in the cabin but must be checked in as registered luggage”.
    •   Via the Service Center.
    •   Via the Service Center, together with the flight booking.
    •   Also possible online. “Please add an additional seat during the online booking process and use the name MR SEAT CELLO for this purpose. Please note that you must check in online for this seat and for your own seat.”
    •   Via the SkyWork Airlines customer service by phone or e-mail. “For a smooth process, we recommend that special baggage be registered at least 48 hours before departure. We can only transport a limited amount of special baggage and therefore check each request individually. Please understand that SkyWork Airlines may have to decline some requests due to high demand. Please make sure that your sports and special baggage has been confirmed in writing before departure.
    • Through British Airways Customer Service. “For cellos, an additional seat can be booked under certain circumstances – depending on availability. The exact dimensions of the instrument must be communicated by telephone and you will then be informed how many seats must be booked.
    •  Through Air France’s customer service. “For musical instruments over 115x45cm, prior confirmation from customer service is mandatory. The request must be made at least 48 hours before departure. The additional seats for the instrument are subject to a charge.”
    • Also possible online. “… enter “ITEM SEAT” as last name and “EXTRA” as first name when booking.
  • What are the prices for the extra seat?

    • Same as the current ticket price.
    • Same as the current ticket price, but some taxes are waived.
    •   No information
    •   Same as the current ticket price.
    •   Same as the current ticket price, minus taxes (net flight price).
    • The price is based on the ticket price without fees. “… but at least GBP 40.00 for short distances and GBP 300.00 for long distances.
    • Same as the current ticket price.
    • Same as the current ticket price.

Instrument as luggage

With all airlines, a checked instrument counts as luggage. So if you have 1 piece of luggage included in your ticket, it will be used up by the instrument.

  • If an instrument must be checked in as baggage, what are the regulations?

    • The maximum size varies depending on the aircraft type.
    • Max. 158 cm in circumference and 23 kg. With registration and confirmation possibly max. 300x75cm up to 52 kg possible, lump sum from CHF 200.- to 300.-
    • There are no provisions on masses. If the weight is over 23 kg you have to contact the Service Center.
    • Total size (length + width + height) max. 275cm. Weight max. 20 kg per piece of luggage without additional charges, max. 32 kg with additional charges.
    •   No transport in the cargo hold possible. “Musical instruments cannot be transported as baggage, as the capacity of the cargo hold is limited and the airline does not accept any liability for damage”.
    •   Max. 190x75x65cm, max. 45 kg  “…provided passengers notify British Airways at least 24 hours before their flight. A heavy baggage fee may be charged for instruments weighing more than 23 kg. British Airways currently waives this fee.“
    • Max. 300cm long and 32 kg heavy, registration with customer service at least 48 hours before departure is mandatory.
    • Subject to charge.

Caution with all airlines: For codeshare flights (e.g. I book a flight with SWISS, but it is operated by Edelweiss Air) the SWISS regulations no longer apply. In this case you should ask both providers about the regulations.

Note from subito mf: We recommend that you check with the airline for the current regulations before you travel and that you take out special insurance if the instrument is transported as checked luggage.


This newsletter only contains general information and must not be used for specific questions. We assume no liability for the correctness of the contents listed here. Although the information is checked for accuracy and timeliness, to the extent permitted by law we disclaim all liability for any undesirable consequences arising from the use of this information.

 
[siteorigin_widget class=”WP_Widget_Custom_HTML”]\"BuyBuy us a coffee<\/span><\/a><\/p>","id":"custom_html-422310004","option_name":"widget_custom_html"},"args":{"before_widget":"
","after_widget":"<\/div>","before_title":"

","after_title":"<\/h3>","widget_id":"widget-3-0-1"}}">[/siteorigin_widget]

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *