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Fiddles in Flight (practical)

GUEST,weary traveller 10 Feb 07 - 07:25 AM
dermod in salisbury 10 Feb 07 - 12:19 PM
Scrump 10 Feb 07 - 01:09 PM
Tootler 10 Feb 07 - 01:13 PM
Catherine Jayne 10 Feb 07 - 01:13 PM
BanjoRay 10 Feb 07 - 01:26 PM
wysiwyg 10 Feb 07 - 01:34 PM
Mark Ross 11 Feb 07 - 10:22 AM
Alba 11 Feb 07 - 10:54 AM
Alba 11 Feb 07 - 10:58 AM
GUEST,Weary Traveller 11 Feb 07 - 01:16 PM
katlaughing 11 Feb 07 - 01:36 PM
Lynn W 11 Feb 07 - 06:26 PM
treewind 11 Feb 07 - 07:07 PM
iancarterb 11 Feb 07 - 11:03 PM
Grab 12 Feb 07 - 06:07 AM
The Fooles Troupe 12 Feb 07 - 06:24 AM
GUEST,chris 12 Feb 07 - 07:18 AM
GUEST,Guest. Jenny 12 Feb 07 - 03:55 PM
The Fooles Troupe 12 Feb 07 - 06:28 PM
Fidjit 13 Feb 07 - 03:06 PM
Scrump 14 Feb 07 - 12:08 PM
GUEST 15 Feb 07 - 06:11 AM
Scrump 15 Feb 07 - 06:47 AM
Scrump 15 Feb 07 - 02:17 PM
The Fooles Troupe 15 Feb 07 - 06:47 PM
alanww 27 Feb 07 - 12:04 PM
Rowan 28 Feb 07 - 02:17 AM
GUEST,chris 28 Feb 07 - 11:26 AM
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Subject: Fiddles in Flight (practical)
From: GUEST,weary traveller
Date: 10 Feb 07 - 07:25 AM

going next week on the dreaded Ryanair, short 1 hour flight between Ireland and Britain
I've always managed to take my fiddle on board before, even in small planes, even on Ryanair. But they are getting stricter and Ryanair offers an option to buy a separate seat for violins and other medium sized instruments! I didn't reserve a seat for my fiddle so I want to know how I can best protect it if it has to go in luggage.

Any advice on getting a new instrument case? advice on insulating the case, wrapping the fiddle within it? Should I loosen the strings?

I'd prefer the case to be fairly lightweight for my own ease in carrying it. Also one time when I had to plead to take the fiddle on board since the case is a bit longer than standard baggage allowance, they weighed my fiddle and case and since it was light enough and the workers nice enough I got to take my fiddle in the cabin.

A friend of mine took a guitar on Ryanair in a padded fabric case. He wasn't allowed take it in the cabin but it was marked fragile and sent for careful handling and did arrive safely.

The fiddle I'm flying with isn't precious, but I like it well enough and don't want to have to replace it in a hurry (and don't know if travel insurance would cover any damage)


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Subject: RE: Fiddles in Flight (practical)
From: dermod in salisbury
Date: 10 Feb 07 - 12:19 PM

I am having the same problem with another airline. Under present rules, the permitted single piece of hand baggage must not exceed 56x45x25 cms. A typical violin case is less wide, less deep than this, but a bit longer, and in total has less than half the volume of the allowed dimension. It is also very light and fits easily into the cabin lockers and a security check can verify that a violin is not a bomb. But will it be permitted on board? Answers on a postcard. On seconds thoughts, the answer is too obvious...


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Subject: RE: Fiddles in Flight (practical)
From: Scrump
Date: 10 Feb 07 - 01:09 PM

I thought this thread was about a punch up at a session :-)

Interesting idea, buying a separate seat for a fiddle. Wonder if they'd let you take a double bass, on that basis?

And does the fiddle have to be strapped in for take-off and landing?

Pity Ryanair doesn't dispense free booze, or you could get it a drink too (and drink it yourself, of course).


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Subject: RE: Fiddles in Flight (practical)
From: Tootler
Date: 10 Feb 07 - 01:13 PM

Wonder if they'd let you take a double bass, on that basis?

They do for a Cello. I had a friend take a cello to the USA that way.


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Subject: RE: Fiddles in Flight (practical)
From: Catherine Jayne
Date: 10 Feb 07 - 01:13 PM

I'd phone the airline and make sure it can go in the cabin. I've never had a problem flying with my fiddle, and I have flown with a double fiddle case which still fits in the over head bins. I've flown low cost airlines with fiddles before and never had a problem although I've flown Ryan Air so can't offer advise with them other than to phone the company direct for advice.

I wouldn't put the fiddle in the hold unless you have a very good case. Most airports will send instruments through as fragile and oversized baggage labelling it clearly but it is up to you as to whether you take the risk of putting your fiddle in the hold. If you have a strong case so the fiddle is well protected there shouldn't be a problem with putting it in the hold.

Best of luck with your trip. Safe journey.

Khatt


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Subject: RE: Fiddles in Flight (practical)
From: BanjoRay
Date: 10 Feb 07 - 01:26 PM

I usually take a banjo AND a fiddle from the UK to the States, The banjo (expensive) has to go in the overhead locker so the fiddle has to go in the hold. I put in in it's case and put the case in the middle of a holdall full of clothes - never had any bother the three round trips I've done it. Cost of fiddle - £300 7 years ago.
Ray


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Subject: RE: Fiddles in Flight (practical)
From: wysiwyg
Date: 10 Feb 07 - 01:34 PM

Simple. Don't think of it as a storage issue-- it's a SESSION opportunity.

~S~


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Subject: RE: Fiddles in Flight (practical)
From: Mark Ross
Date: 11 Feb 07 - 10:22 AM

Be very careful! A couple of years ago on my way to play in Chicago, I asked the clerk at the ticket counter if I was allowed to take my guitar on board. On being told that I could I proceeded to board. When I got to the the plane I was told I would have to gate check my instrument. I was carrying it in a gig bag( very well padded, I designed it myself). This happened on every flight! Including one where the plane's overhead bins were big enough to take the instrument. If they had told me otherwise, I had my Mark Leaf flight case out in the car, if they had told me in advance, I would have put my guitar in that. The worst part is that when I returned to my home airport, as we taxied to the terminal they announced that any baggage that had been gate checked could be picked up at the baggage carousel inside the terminal. Needless to say I threw a fit at the top fo the stairs! Fortunately, the pilot
on the out bound flight took pity on me and retrieved my custom made guitar before any damage could be done.
Just remember that whatever they tell you on the phone, or in person
it all comes down to what the onboard crew decrees. And they don't brook any arguments. Good luck, and next time take the train.

Mark Ross


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Subject: RE: Fiddles in Flight (practical)
From: Alba
Date: 11 Feb 07 - 10:54 AM

I carry on my Mandolin as Hand Baggage.
I was talking to another Mudcatters last night about your question.
We decided that perhaps my approach to these situation is not something that everyone would be willing take.

Here is a milder version of what I do and will continue to do.
1. I don't fly Ryanair unless I REALLY have no other choice. They are a bunch of..'insert nasty word of choice' *smile*

2. I check in my luggage (usual bag filled with clothes I probably will end up not wearing!!) and I hold my Mandolin case like a bag (obviously) and when asked about it, I say it is my carryon bag. If they say "you will have to purchase a ticket for "Your Instrument". I laugh and then I laugh some more
If the 'Check in person continues to be ridiclous I simply look around at other people checking in and seek out the biggest bag that is being carried on by someone else and say...why the difference? I make sure I check in when other people are in Line.

3 Ryanair may have become anal about weight restrictions so they can pack more even folk into the Cabins like sheep but they are NOT going to put my Mando in the Hold! EVER. No airline is or has. I tell the person at check in this in a very nice way. I adjust the wording according to the attitude of said person.

Truth is I have seen Baby care bags being carried on that are double the size and weight of my Instrument + case and won't even fit in the overheads, Laptops cases that are just as big also..
so,
This is only my approach Weary Traveller,
Be firm, laugh as if they are only pulling your leg...then..get tough.
Above is a mild version of how I deal with this kind of situation (and I do a lot of travelling like yourself). My Mandolin has, so far, and that is quite a number of Years and quite a few airlines, never seen the inside of a Cargo hold and my Mando and I have , so far, always travelled together.
I am quite happy to wrap the seatbelt around my person and instrument and go that way. Instrument cases make better trays that the pull down trays provided.*smile*
This, as I said, may not be a tack you wish to take but I thought I would throw in my shillings worth anywho...

Good luck
Happy travels..if that can be done when flying RyanAir or (not so)- EasyJet!
Jude


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Subject: RE: Fiddles in Flight (practical)
From: Alba
Date: 11 Feb 07 - 10:58 AM

Oh and sorry for what I consider to be 'Alba's usual typos'
said with an "ah well" type of look on my face and a shrug of my shoulders!...then another *smile*/i>


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Subject: RE: Fiddles in Flight (practical)
From: GUEST,Weary Traveller
Date: 11 Feb 07 - 01:16 PM

the mandolin is more compact than a fiddle, much more likely to be accepted as hand baggage

no one yet really gave any advice on how best to pack the fiddle in case (as I think likely) they just won't let it be my hand-luggage

(and yes, both violins and cellos are on the list of instruments for which a seat may be booked)


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Subject: RE: Fiddles in Flight (practical)
From: katlaughing
Date: 11 Feb 07 - 01:36 PM

Here's something of interest: Boycotting Delta Airlines.

I know nothing about these case, but some of them have "climate control" and "full suspension systems:" Click.


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Subject: RE: Fiddles in Flight (practical)
From: Lynn W
Date: 11 Feb 07 - 06:26 PM

I flew to Ireland with Ryanair in November and bought a seat for my fiddle (there's not much difference now between some of the fares and the hold luggage charge). I had not had any trouble getting the fiddle on their flights the previous year, but I bought the ticket because of the new restrictions. I had no problems - the fiddle was given its own boarding card! However some friends on the same flight the previous day were made to remove their strings completely and put them in the hold luggage. I would not take new strings as spares unless you put them in the hold, as the gate security may make you throw them away - my loose strings were queried, but I had no hold luggage to put them in and eventually he let me through.
If you are putting the fiddle in the hold, I would go for the strongest case you can afford - it will obviously have to be not the most lightweight. But my main reason for not putting the fiddle in the hold was the fear that I might end up at Shannon and my fiddle in Moscow or somewhere!


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Subject: RE: Fiddles in Flight (practical)
From: treewind
Date: 11 Feb 07 - 07:07 PM

It's been common practice for years for cellists and bass players to book a seat for their instrument. Nothing new about that.

If you want a better than average instrument case, try Calton Cases.

Anahata


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Subject: RE: Fiddles in Flight (practical)
From: iancarterb
Date: 11 Feb 07 - 11:03 PM

My only recent experience of at-the-gate-change is big jet to commuter jet change of plane, where they told me I could hand my mandolin in a gig bag over to the cargo guy or stay on the ground at the Raleigh airport. I did so with my heart in my throat. I bought a heavy duty case for it the next day in seattle, and have used it for flying ever since, and of course had that happen only once ever since. Still worth it for the relative peace of mind. I still remember seeing a friend's old Gibson mandocello case-in-a-padded-outer case dented by United. The mandocello was fine, but it was painfully instructive about how poor the protection from indifference or just bad luck is on an airplane.


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Subject: RE: Fiddles in Flight (practical)
From: Grab
Date: 12 Feb 07 - 06:07 AM

My violin got a nasty split in the top on a trip to the States. I thought it was cold/dryness/string tension. But the guy I took it to said that it was almost certainly impact damage.

My hard case is a thermoplastic one - looks a bit like a Star Trek photon torpedo. ;-) I thought it was pretty tough, but looking back, I suspect that it simply buckled far enough under an impact or crushing enough to bash the bridge, but then it sprang back so that there wasn't any external evidence. So if you're flying, better going with a hard case made of plywood or some other non-flexing stuff.

Graham.


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Subject: RE: Fiddles in Flight (practical)
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 12 Feb 07 - 06:24 AM

If the case is obviously smashed, you have a better case for damages too...

(if you'll pardon the expression...)


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Subject: RE: Fiddles in Flight (practical)
From: GUEST,chris
Date: 12 Feb 07 - 07:18 AM

I took a concertina to the states and being of sound mind (well relatively) I bought an 'Explorer' case (like a Peli)seriously heavy duty plastic and foam lined. I bought the case, also on the basis that it conformed in every respect to the 'carry-on' size' published by the airline. The main idea was that if for some reason it had to fly hold it would be OK. Even tho it 'conformed in every respect' it would not fit in the overhead bins on the outbound flight! The attendant was very helpful and managed to get it in the crews luggage section and on checking my ticket said that it would be OK coming back. However there was a connecting flight which had to take it as 'checked in baggage.It survived. The point that I am making (I know it's long winded) is that just 'cos they say something is ok as hand baggage DON'T BELIEVE THEM! It depends on a lot of factors. Fly defensively.


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Subject: RE: Fiddles in Flight (practical)
From: GUEST,Guest. Jenny
Date: 12 Feb 07 - 03:55 PM

I bought a Hiscox flight case for aboout £80.00 when I took my fiddle to Canada. Flight was no problem - the airline carried it for free in an overhead locker. The fiddle was a snug fit but it survived a drop to the ground and was still IN TUNE!!! when with shaking hands I opened the case to inspect the damage. If you have to travel - buy a good case.


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Subject: RE: Fiddles in Flight (practical)
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 12 Feb 07 - 06:28 PM

"If you have to travel - buy a good case. "

Just in case.

Hey, that sounds like a good name for the product - "Just-in Case"


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Subject: RE: Fiddles in Flight (practical)
From: Fidjit
Date: 13 Feb 07 - 03:06 PM

It's getting more and more difficult to fly. Plus not good for global warming.
Look at the botttom line price you're paying and ask yourself if it's worth it.

Would have thought that an Irish air line had special handling for fiddles??   O'Leary is sliping.

I've taken my guitar as carry on luggage in a soft case. Had to have the concertina and Melodeon in the hold, in a solid case with lots of clothes wrapped around them. That's what the clothes are for. You can use dirty clothes on the way back. Fortunately the voice goes with me.

Chas


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Subject: RE: Fiddles in Flight (practical)
From: Scrump
Date: 14 Feb 07 - 12:08 PM

The idea mentioned in another thread, of starting a short term high quality instrument hire business in the UK, USA, and elsewhere, seems worth investigating.

Then people could book an instrument for (say) a few weeks in their destination country, for (e.g.) the duration of a tour, and it might work out cheaper than flying your own instrument out, when the insurance costs are taken into account too.

And you'd have no worries about your Strad or Martin or whatever getting trashed by the baggage handlers.


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Subject: RE: Fiddles in Flight (practical)
From: GUEST
Date: 15 Feb 07 - 06:11 AM

I don't think wrapping a fiddle in clothes, or even putting the lightweight case inside the backpack with some clothes around it is good enough. Fiddles break more easily than some of the the other instruments mentioned and the pack might be thrown or might have too much weight piled on top of it.

and yes, I would like to borrow an instrument at destination if that were possible (even though it's nicer usually to play the one you are used to)


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Subject: RE: Fiddles in Flight (practical)
From: Scrump
Date: 15 Feb 07 - 06:47 AM

and yes, I would like to borrow an instrument at destination if that were possible (even though it's nicer usually to play the one you are used to)

Yes, of course we all have our own instruments that we like, and would prefer to have them with us, but most of us can cope with playing another similar instrument. So not having your own favourite instrument with you on tour abroad would not matter as much if it were easy to hire a similar one in the destination country.

Such hire shops would focus on providing a range of high quality instruments, which would be properly set up and strung, etc. This could be arranged in advance, so for example, if a person wanted to use a Martin D-28 (to pick a name at random*) they could book it in advance, specify what strings they want, etc.

(* please let's not turn this into a Martin-bashing thread, or get into arguments about which guitar is 'best', etc.!)

Of course, other instruments and equipment could be hired too.

The benefits to the musician would be:

1. leave your own valuable (and possibly bulky and difficult to transport) instruments safe at home, so no worries about in-flight damage or loss

2. save on expensive overseas insurance for your own valuable instruments

3. save on paying for transporting your instrument (maybe having to book a seat for it)

4. less to carry - more scope for bringing /taking back other stuff on the flight

5. insurance is covered by hire company means you don't worry as much about damage or theft

The disadvantages for the musician:

1. you would be playing instruments you're not 100% familiar with

2. you would have to pay for the hire of the instruments, and the insurance cover for them

3. you may have to travel to pick up and drop off the instrument

Considering the disadvantages:

1. Unless you're very picky or have a most unusual instrument, most people hiring a similar instrument to the one they normally use would be able to manage very well. Maybe if you can only play one particular instrument, this isn't for you and you'd just have to bring your own over.

2. Of course there will be a cost, but it may be that the short term hire cost is less than the combined cost of booking a seat for the instrument, and the additional insurance for taking it overseas. For the longer trip, maybe not.

3. The hire co. could probably arrange to deliver the instrument and collect it for a small charge. The more hire shops there are, the less of a problem this would be.

Do any such shops exist already, either here or in the US?

If the UK government's proposed plans to stop us using cars come to fruition, we could even find this useful within the UK, when we are forced to travel to gigs by bus or train. Maybe every station would have an instrument hire shop on the platform (I hope it doesn't come to that, but who knows?)


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Subject: RE: Fiddles in Flight (practical)
From: Scrump
Date: 15 Feb 07 - 02:17 PM

Has anybody seen these?

Waddyathink folks?!


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Subject: RE: Fiddles in Flight (practical)
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 15 Feb 07 - 06:47 PM

If I had the money, it's the sort of business I would like to set up, but you would need lots of 'agents' around the world.

Like 'Interflora' - you could use various 'music shops' around the place - but perhaps the best place to start would be in cities near international airports.... :-)


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Subject: RE: Fiddles in Flight (practical)
From: alanww
Date: 27 Feb 07 - 12:04 PM

Just been to Malta using Ryan Air from Luton Airport.
I had no trouble with taking my concertina (in a soft bag with a shoulder strap) as my only item of hand luggage. And, likewise, my partner was able to take her mandolin in a soft case with a shoulder strap as her only item of hand luggage (apart from her handbag of course). This was even though if it had been measured it would have been seen to be slightly longer than the maximum length allowed. If we had chosen to take the items as a second items of hand luggage we would each have had to pay £20.50 per flight, ie a total extra cost of £82!
But obviously the mandolin is a few inches shorter than the fiddle.
"I thought I heard the old man say ...!"
Alan


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Subject: RE: Fiddles in Flight (practical)
From: Rowan
Date: 28 Feb 07 - 02:17 AM

Well before the World Trade Centre events I had no trouble taking my concertina, in its Aerolyte case, on as hand luggage on domestic flights. One of its dimesions is just too much for the overhead lockers but it fits perfectly under the seat and the checkin staff never baulked.

A couple of years ago I went to Sth Carolina and decided that the concer fitted perfectly into the type of briefcase used by business travellers and used frequently as the maximum 'standard dimensions' allowed for cabin luggage. Apart from the occasional security staffer being confused about what the Xrays 'revealed' (I got around this by first betting them they couldn't identify the object from the screen, and then playing it for them when it was taken out) I experienced no problems.

Cheers, Rowan


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Subject: RE: Fiddles in Flight (practical)
From: GUEST,chris
Date: 28 Feb 07 - 11:26 AM

Before buying the 'explorer' case I mentioned in an earlier post. I had taken a concertina to Canada in a soft shoulder bag, earlier in the year, with no trouble. As it happened I could have done it when going to the States. The main problem would have been -If I had taken the concertina to the states in its soft bag (which I could have done)and there was another security 'issue' whilst I was in the states -what chance for its survival if the security people had insisted it go in the hold for the return journey. I prefered to play 'safe'. Incidentally the concertina did cause a little consternation at Columbus airport,when x-rayed. The dilemma, if it is such, is that whilst the delays are really irritating I feel that being blown up would be more irritating so I will continue to put up with them I guess. But I will take precautions.
chris


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