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Violin as Checked Bagage?
Have you ever had to check in your violin rather than carry it on an airline?
Topic Rating: 0 Topic Rating: 0 Topic Rating: 0 Topic Rating: 0 Topic Rating: 0 Topic Rating: 0 (0 votes) 
Advanced member
May 29, 2014 - 1:14 pm
Member Since: November 4, 2012
Forum Posts: 96
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Have any of you ever traveled by air where you were not permitted to carry your violin case onto the aircraft?  If so, how did it work out?

I have a very sturdy case made by concord that came with the Realist RV5 that I bought from Fiddlerman 🙂  I think it would stand up to a lot more than most inexpensive cases.



P.S.  I'll be flying Sunday :-)

Honorary tenured advisor

May 29, 2014 - 2:51 pm
Member Since: January 19, 2014
Forum Posts: 881
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Make sure to make a Fiddler Man bridge protector for it before you put it in the case.

A positive attitude may not solve all your problems, but it will annoy enough people to make it worth the effort. ~Herm Albright

Far North-west Scotland

May 29, 2014 - 3:31 pm
Member Since: March 22, 2014
Forum Posts: 1570
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Tell you what - if it survives this on-trip - it's doing good !  Although - there seems to be a mind-set that this is a "re-run" of a much older occurrence - nonetheless - cool (well, not really, if it was your guitar / violin / expensive musical instrument / love-of-your-life )

Yeeeee haaaaa  Darned Taylor as well - what a way to treat a fine musical instrument...  no respect whatsoever...  grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr  quote - 

On March 31, 2008 Sons of Maxwell began our week-long-tour of Nebraska by flying United Airlines from Halifax to Omaha, by way of Chicago.   On that first leg of the flight we were seated at the rear of the aircraft and upon landing and waiting to deplane in order to make our connection a woman sitting behind me, not aware that we were musicians cried out: “My god they’re throwing guitars out there.” Our bass player Mike looked out the window in time to see his bass being heaved without regard by the United baggage handlers. My $3500 710 Taylor had been thrown before his.

May be true, may be just made up for promo, who knows - but it is good! LOL You might also like to check out "Miss Irliwig's response" if you can still find it on youtube... ROFL

I seriously recommend not copying my mistakes.  

Please make your own, different mistakes, and help us all learn :-)


May 30, 2014 - 2:28 am
Member Since: August 28, 2013
Forum Posts: 808
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Why would you not be permitted to carry your case as carry on?  They are approved for carry on. 


Opportunity is often missed because it wears suspenders and looks like hard work.


Alaska, the Madness; Bloggity Stories of the North Country

Fort Lauderdale
May 31, 2014 - 8:16 am
Member Since: September 26, 2010
Forum Posts: 11601

Print this and bring it with you in case they try to force you to check it. At least the section on musical instruments.

‘‘§ 41724. Musical instruments
‘‘(a) IN GENERAL.—
‘‘(1) SMALL INSTRUMENTS AS CARRY-ON BAGGAGE.— An air carrier providing air transportation shall permit a passenger to carry a violin, guitar, or other musical instrument in the aircraft cabin, without charging the passenger a fee in addition to any standard fee that carrier may require for comparable carry-on baggage, if—
‘‘(A) the instrument can be stowed safely in a suitable baggage compartment in the aircraft cabin or under a passenger seat, in accordance with the requirements for carriage of carry-on baggage or cargo established by the Administrator; and
‘‘(B) there is space for such stowage at the time the passenger boards the aircraft.
‘‘(2) LARGER INSTRUMENTS AS CARRY-ON BAGGAGE.—An air carrier providing air transportation shall permit a passenger to carry a musical instrument that is too large to meet the requirements of paragraph (1) in the aircraft cabin, without charging the passenger a fee in addition to the cost of the additional ticket described in subparagraph (E), if—
‘‘(A) the instrument is contained in a case or covered so as to avoid injury to other passengers;
‘‘(B) the weight of the instrument, including the case or covering, does not exceed 165 pounds or the applicable weight restrictions for the aircraft;
‘‘(C) the instrument can be stowed in accordance with the requirements for carriage of carry-on baggage or cargo established by the Administrator;
‘‘(D) neither the instrument nor the case contains any object not otherwise permitted to be carried in an aircraft cabin because of a law or regulation of the United States; and
‘‘(E) the passenger wishing to carry the instrument in the aircraft cabin has purchased an additional seat to accommodate the instrument.
‘‘(3) LARGE INSTRUMENTS AS CHECKED BAGGAGE.—An air carrier shall transport as baggage a musical instrument that is the property of a passenger traveling in air transportation that may not be carried in the aircraft cabin if—
‘‘(A) the sum of the length, width, and height measured in inches of the outside linear dimensions of the instrument (including the case) does not exceed 150 inches or the applicable size restrictions for the aircraft;
‘‘(B) the weight of the instrument does not exceed 165 pounds or the applicable weight restrictions for the aircraft; and
‘‘(C) the instrument can be stowed in accordance with the requirements for carriage of carry-on baggage or cargo established by the Administrator.
‘‘(b) REGULATIONS.—Not later than 2 years after the date of enactment of this section, the Secretary shall issue final regulations to carry out subsection (a).
‘‘(c) EFFECTIVE DATE.—The requirements of this section shall become effective on the date of issuance of the final regulations under subsection (b).’’.
(b) CONFORMING AMENDMENT.—The analysis for such sub- chapter is amended by adding at the end the following:
‘‘41724. Musical instruments.’’.
Section 47107(s)(3) is amended to read as follows:
‘‘(3) SUNSET PROVISION.—This subsection shall cease to be
effective beginning October 1, 2015.’’.

"The richest person is not the one who has the most,
but the one who needs the least."

June 2, 2014 - 8:20 pm
Member Since: March 14, 2012
Forum Posts: 1642
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I traveled to California with my fiddle and had no trouble at all. I carried it on board; it got through TSA just fine and fit in the overhead compartment with no problem. I did keep an eye on other people pushing their carry-ons into the bins to make sure they didn't jostle it too much, but there were no issues.

My case is cloth over a rigid shell and it's pretty sturdy (and light).

Have nice trip!


When the work's all done and the sun's settin' low,

I pull out my fiddle and I rosin up the bow.

Honorary advisor

September 9, 2014 - 3:06 pm
Member Since: January 18, 2012
Forum Posts: 342
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I would be very wary of entrusting my violin (which means a lot to me) to baggage handlers who could care less and would treat it like garbage. I would definitely carry it on myself.  Last thing I need is a good violin wrecked by entrusting it to some careless person who couldn't give a darn about it. 

Almost Tone Deaf
Palm Coast, FL
September 9, 2014 - 5:41 pm
Member Since: August 14, 2014
Forum Posts: 48
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   Depends on how much the violin means to you. I would never check in the violin as luggage.

   I agree with Fiddlerman and what he posted. And that usually works, but not all the time. The last time I flew less than a month ago, in the real world, the airlines are getting more strict with carry ons. New FAA regs. state carry ons can be no larger than 24" long, 16" wide and 10" deep. No matter what the carry on is. Typical violin case is 30 to 31" long. The poor Lady who tried to carry on her violin, had to check it as baggage. She refused and did not take the flight.

Of course much discussion ensued, two other people had violins with them, they were with the Lady who didn't board the flight. The other 2, a man and a woman, said that most of the time they can carry on, with the regs Fiddlerman posted, but the airline showed the violin lady, their new regs.

So what to do, the two violinist put their violins in one of those small luggage type suit case with the wheels, they are the exact dimensions that is permitted by the airlines for carry ons. The Violin is 23.5 inches long so it fit snug, and then they padded with bubble wrap. Their bows they carefully packed with their checked in baggage.

Hope this helps, Good Luck, what Fiddlerman posted should be all you need, but the regs on carry ons are constantly changing, the airlines are just trying to get an extra 25 bucks for another checked in baggage.

Honorary advisor

September 9, 2014 - 6:25 pm
Member Since: July 8, 2012
Forum Posts: 328
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I traveled with my violin, and it's case is a bit big...but no one even care, I just carried it  in multiple flights as if it was nothing.

cheers! - ⁰ℨ

Almost Tone Deaf
Palm Coast, FL
September 9, 2014 - 6:44 pm
Member Since: August 14, 2014
Forum Posts: 48
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   Thats great and 99% of the time I'm sure it is not an issue. I was just relaying to the forum members what I saw, and what I learned from the other two violinist.


September 13, 2014 - 3:03 pm
Member Since: July 6, 2011
Forum Posts: 966
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My daughter and I travel from LAX through Taiwan international airport to Kuala Lumpur and Miri in Malaysia, round trip, twice with our violins as carry on. I hope it would stay the same for our future trips. Just in case, maybe we should bring an empty carryon suitcase and bubble wrap!


November 12, 2014 - 11:10 am
Member Since: August 18, 2014
Forum Posts: 183
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My late father was a professional airline capt'n for Braniff and USair.

I've traveled 4 different times between Miami ( my mom lives in Central Florida ) and Buenos Aires Argentina and Santiago de Chile, and I have yet to ever been hassled, not even "once" luckily.

Once we flew on "Aerolineas Argentinas" the 2nd time with "American Airlines" and the last 2 with "LANChile" and never a problem.

It seems the U.S. and European domestics are the worst offenders. You just have to stand your ground with them and if you have to be persistent and firm with them, you have to do it. We spend upwards of $100's or even $1000 to $1200 on planetickets these days and we have every right to expect to carry our fragile instruments on as carry ones. As a matter of fact, U.S. law now dictates it and do you know, the airlines lobbied hard in Congress against this.


By the way, if you do travel to latin-america, fly with "LANChile" great prices, service, aircraft and professional crews...and very musician friendly I might add.

" I just keep telling myself...."It's all about becoming one with your bow"

December 8, 2014 - 4:08 pm
Member Since: March 30, 2014
Forum Posts: 81
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I've never travelled with my fiddle, I've only flown once since I started playing to stay a week with my parents in Indiana.  I read on another forums about someone checking their violin and all The moisture being sucked out of it and it was a while before it sounded good again.  I ended up not taking mine because I couldn't fit my laptop in my bag so I had to keep it in a smaller bag as my "pe

rsonal item" that I put under the seat in front of me. I had only been playing for like 2 weeks so I wasn't hurt much by not playing it, though I did want to show my parents :(

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