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Dilemma

navarro

Senior Member
Messages
863
Hi Everyone, I will be going on my summer break to my place in Marbella at the end of June and I would like some advice as to take my sax with me or not.( TJ Custom signature Raw (alto)

My teacher tells me that British Airways allow you to carry it on-board as cabin luggage as a result of an arrangement with the musicians union.

British Airways however have stated that it must conform to the normal rules and regulations .and it is all down to size and weight.

I have an alto which exceeds the height restriction the case being 63 cms. allowance being 56cms. I was wondering if anyone had heard of this arrangement with the musicians union, or indeed risked their sax travelling in the hold. I am fully insured but one hears stories of lack of sensitivity by baggage handlers. Best regards. N.
 

kevgermany

ex Landrover Nut
Subscriber
Messages
21,947
Each airline can and does make it's own rules. This gets more complicated when you book through a specific airline and find that another one is operating the flight (code shares).

Best to clear it with the airline concerned before flying. But for safety's sake, get assume the instruemnt will go in the hold and will be THROWN in there. And thrown off at the far end and thrown onto the baggage handling system On some planes some of the airlines will allow you to carry the instrument to the gate/plane, put it in the hold there, then allow you to retrieve it on the tarmac. Others may want you to book a second seat for the instrument.
 

navarro

Senior Member
Messages
863
Thanks everyone, It seems that the only option is don`t take it. A friend of mine took his alto for a jazz weekend in Spain got refused it onboard as cabin luggage, even though he had checked with the airline ,was offered a second seat for it as the plane was half full (February) but he would have to waive his insurance claim if it got damaged and of course pay for a second seat.

He refused their very kind offer. Luckily he only lives 10 minutes from Gatwick so he called his partner and she came and collected it. He took his mouthpiece etc. and borrowed a sax in Spain for the gig.

I just wanted mine with me to practice, so someone has suggested hiring a one when I get there.

I am going to be away for 6 to eight weeks and there is a music shop at the bottom of my apartment block. thanks every one. N
 

Taz

Busking Oracle
Messages
3,661
Since there's a music shop there, I'd definitely go with the hiring idea. I should't cost you too much either.
 

dooce

Well-Known Member
Messages
1,418
I carried my soprano around Asia, Oz and NZ as cabin baggage - OK, it's not as big as an alto, but I bet the overall length is about the same and it was certainly longer than the prescribed dimension. Unless you have a flight case, definitely forget the hold. When you see some of the bags that people get away with on scheduled flights, you would have to be very unlucky to get pulled up for an alto case. I would suggest not checking with or alerting the airline, hold the case end-on to the clerk when checking in so they don't see the full size of it, and then the only people that are going to pull you up on it are the cabin crew, and they are far more worried about getting away on schedule than they are about whether someone's bag is 20 cm too long.
 

navarro

Senior Member
Messages
863
Thanks all, great advice as usual, but I have definitely decided not to take the sax. One other factor is that it is the height of summer when I go and the plane will be full. Best regards N.
 

easycn

Member
Messages
33
Hi Navarro

I spend a lot of time aircraft, mainly up the front and on at least three airlines I have never been confronted about it. I think BA is a good one, I might be worried about Ryanair.

The weight shouldn't be a problem and usually they are sympathetic to musical instruments in my experience.

I think the United story was an exception to be honest as I have checked in fragile items a number of times without issues.

For me I would take it but I hate to travel without it!

Also to assist your cause I would suggest reducing the about of additional carry on baggage (if possible none).

The measurements are really for guidance and the agents will usually apply common sense. Some passengers carry outrageous amounts of stuff with them and the agents at least have a benchmark with which to question them, most of the time this is what the measurements etc. are for in my experience. (Once again excluding Ryanair from this!)
 
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milandro

Well-Known Member
Messages
2,483
I have never had any trouble in carrying an alto, with a tenor you might get the occasional problem. If you have a good case , such as a protec, you might even risk putting it through with the luggage and there is a very good chance that nothing will happen BUT if they want you to do that....... remind them gently that they are then responsible for any damage should any occur (it’s a bluff but often works, it is a lot easier for them to just agree) you will not be amused and place a claim.

I often seen people with guitars so an alto is definitely not a problem. Low cost such Ryan air and Easy jest are definitely pestering people because they chage extra for anything.
 

Kingsleyhk

Senior Member
Messages
508
Cathay completely f****ed my tenor - even though in a good case. Be very careful - if it goes in the hold, don't mark it fragile - invitation for some very bad behaviour!

I have mate here who took a big band from Hong Kong to Singapore - every sax needed repair when they got there!
 
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altissimo

Well-Known Member
Messages
3,355
It very much depends on the mood of the check in staff - I've known people who've had a letter from the airline saying it's ok to take an instrument on board as cabin baggage and still be refused permission to take it on board at Manchester Airport, other places like Liverpool or East Midlands aren't so bothered.
The cabin staff are usually helpful, some will even put instruments in the lockers where they keep their stuff - it's getting past the check in barrier that's the problem
Any tools/screwdrivers or sharp objects in the case may be taken off you by security, I'm not sure if key oil is allowed, given the restrictions about fluids.
The anti terror panic seems to have died down a bit, there was a period when most of the orchestras in europe were travelliing by train, rather than have their precious instruments thrown in the baggage hold
Outside the UK it's generally a lot better, but some check in staff seem determined to make your life a misery.
If you can borrow or rent an instrument, then it's better than risking stuff in the baggage hold. If you have to put an instrument in the hold, get a decent hard case eg Hiscox and pack it with plenty of bubble wrap etc

The Musicians Union are calling for clear government policy on carrying instruments on planes - http://www.musiciansunion.org.uk/news-events/2012/02/10/mu-calls-for-consistent-policy-for-instruments-on-planes/

Early day motion 2842 - MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS ON AEROPLANES

Breaking politics and political news for Westminster and the UK | PoliticsHome.com
 
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visionari1

Senior Member
Messages
1,581
I've never had a problem with my alto, always carry on & usually also have a small backpack (with computers and books etc) and satchel.
I use the original alto case and have added a bulge on the top to shoehorn in my Soprano. It fits onto the overhead lockers no problem at all.
I fly air New Zealand and Quantas.
Have booked to escape again to Bali for three months this year again & don't expect any problems, sax wise!
 

navarro

Senior Member
Messages
863
Thanks all once again, just to keep you up to date BA have now stated emphatically that as my flight in June is full carrying my alto as cabin luggage is a no go. So that has definitely decided me not to take it. Once more thanks for all your help Best regards N.
 

Kingsleyhk

Senior Member
Messages
508
They are complete and absolute t**sers! But your decision is almost certainly correct. If they could possibly break it for you they would find a way.
 

johnboy

Senior Member
Messages
1,179
Two years ago Ryanair charged me £40 for it to go in a secure location in the hold (it doesn't go through with the normal baggage). that has now risen to £100!!!

johnboy :);}
 

kevgermany

ex Landrover Nut
Subscriber
Messages
21,947
Two years ago Ryanair charged me £40 for it to go in a secure location in the hold (it doesn't go through with the normal baggage). that has now risen to £100!!!

johnboy :);}
Cheaper to buy it its own seat...
 

aldevis

Surrealist Contributor.
Cafe Moderator
Messages
12,125
Cheaper to buy it its own seat...
It is not that easy. Ryanair doesn't allow it, and I had an email exchange with easyjet going nowhere: they kept on sending me a link to their website.
Someone told me that, to be able to buy a seat for his bari, he had to say it was a cello.
 

thomsax

Well-Known Member
Messages
3,805
It is not that easy. Ryanair doesn't allow it, and I had an email exchange with easyjet going nowhere: they kept on sending me a link to their website.
Someone told me that, to be able to buy a seat for his bari, he had to say it was a cello.
Yes, most companies just allows cellos in the cabin if you buy a seat. And some aircrafts can't handle a upstraight bass. These aircrafts are common in EU.

If your instrument can be checked in as handluggageand placed in the locker then it's ok with most airlines companies. But you're just alowed to check in one handluggage.

When I flew to Boston I talked to nice Dane and he was going over to Boston for playing in a symphony orchestra. He carried his basstrombone into the cabin. No problem!

Thomas
 
Saxholder Pro
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