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Flying with a Violin

Flying with a Violin

Flying with your prized violin has never been easier. Discover more about flying with your violin, including top tips and steps to take.

Person playing the violin

Flying with a Violin

Flying with a violin is often easier than flying larger string instruments such as a guitar or cello, because of the generally smaller size. Even carefully padded in their case, violins can often be packed within your carry on luggage, as long as the bag fits within the size and weight restrictions of the airline.

1. Measure your violin

The size of the violin in its case will determine your transportation options. The first step will be to confirm the measurements of the instrument. The violin will need to be measured whilst in its carry case, with the measurement being length x width x height. These measurements are important to take, as different airlines have different regulations when it comes to cabin baggage allowance.

2. Verify your airline's rules

Every airline will have different rules when it comes to carry-on allowance. The cabin class and ticket fare, as well as other factors such as the route, will determine what your baggage allowance will be. So it is important to check before you travel, to avoid additional fees for exceeding the allowed number, dimensions, or weight of your cabin or hold luggage.

Top Tip: More information can be found in our guide to flying with a musical instrument

How can Alternative Airlines help?

We highly recommend checking the airline's respective baggage policy regarding the transportation of your violin. Every airline will have a different policy. For example, some airlines will require a declaration form to be filled in before departure or at the check-in desk, and this will need to be filled in to confirm that you accept responsibility for the item and at your own risk.

If you have any questions, please do give our customer services team a call to find out more information about adding a request to your reservation.

Top Tips for flying with a Violin

As a very delicate string instrument, we have some top tips to make it easier and safer for you to transport your violin.

Pre-book seats at the back of the plane

If you book your seats at the back of the plane, there’s usually more room in the overhead lockers. Sitting at the back also means that, usually, you will be able to board first, giving you time to put your violin at the back of the overhead bin, so other passengers’ bags can go in after.

Pack clothes in and around it

Because they are hollow, violins are very fragile musical instruments. To minimise risk, pack some of your clothes, such as soft t-shirts, socks or towels to pad it out, especially around the neck of the violin.

Invest in a sturdy case

Whether you choose to transport your guitar as carry-on or checked luggage, it is a good idea to invest in a well-padded case. Bags can easily be subject to damage, even in the cabin, so minimise this risk by obtaining a suitably protective case.

Loosen the violin strings

Flying will introduce your violin to some serious cabin pressure, reduced humidity and various temperature changes, all of which can be very dangerous to the integrity of your instrument. Loosening the strings before take off will help to prevent the strings from snapping and the bridge from warping as a result of increased tension.

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