Any Lefties in Scotland??

Any Lefties in Scotland??

hello,
i’ll be flying to scotland later this month and am hesitant to bring an instrument on the plane. was hoping to rent or borrow a mandolin type instrument or tenor banjo. problem is i’m a lefty. anyone in scotland have a left-handed instrument i could borrow or rent? we’ll be flying into Glasgow and driving north via Fort William, Inverness, Thurso to catch a ferry to Orkney and back.
thanks,
Lanny

Re: Any Lefties in Scotland??

You are now specifically allowed to hand carry a musical instrument on a plane, in addition to your one allowed carry-on, since the airlines were forced to clarify their policies in the wake of last August’s “explosives made from liquids” scare at Heathrow.

A mandolin is especially easy to carry and fit in overhead lockers. I’ve flown many times to/from Scotland with mandolin since last year’s panic and can verify this policy - security look at the case, I explain it’s an instrument, they wave me on

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Re: Any Lefties in Scotland??

Bren,
Do those regulations apply to all airlines worldwide???? I want to take a fiddle/case with me on an Air Transat charter from Calgary, Canada to Manchester, England. Under Baggage, they have a section for Musical Instruments. They are allowed as free Cabin Baggage if they meet size requirements. The longest dimension given is 20 inches, which is less than the violin case. I sent a query specifically about a violin/fiddle. All I got in reply was a restatement of the regulation. Has anyone out there brought as a fiddle as Cabin Baggage with an Air Transat Charter????? Maybe someone in Calgary can help. If I lived in Calgary, I would do a dry-run to the airport, but I don’t.

Slan,
Mairtin

Re: Any Lefties in Scotland??

I can tell you that the *guidelines* (best not to think of them as regulations) apply on every airline I’ve taken between and around Europe and Australia/NZ in the last year, including notoriously tricky budget airline Ryanair, but not sure about North America. I tend to take a small padded backpack style case rather than a big hard one, so as not to push my luck. but have had no problems on any flights in/out of the UK.
Still the overall length is about 28“ but no one has ever said ”boo"

I believe these guidelines were instituted by UK airports after representations by musicians. It’s not quite as clear in North America - the US TSA has supported musicians but still leaves the final decision up to individual airlines. Have a look here: (American Federation of Musicians) http://www.afm.org/public/departments/leg_issues_01.php there is a Canadian division with contact details.

For myself, I’m happy to travel in hope rather than fear , based on experiences over the last few years, after doing what I can to minimise size and so far results have been good, considering I’m usually carrying a laptop bag as well. I reckon if you take a large cabin bag as well as your fiddle then you could be asking for trouble, if possible, make fiddle your only carry-on.

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Re: Any Lefties in Scotland??

I would be happy to trade places with you, Bren. Unless I have all the i’s dotted and the t’s crossed before I leave home, I worry. I don’t have a soft padded case but I think I will get one. Now, if one is stopped, where is it likely to occur? at check-in or at the boarding gate? and then what are the options?

I will likely be doing as you suggest re cabin baggage: the fiddle and nothing else or the fiddle and a laptop. Thanks for the advice.

Slan
Mairtin

Re: Any Lefties in Scotland??

This is the reply I received from Air Transat when I asked if I could take a fiddle/violin as Cabin Baggage.

Dear Client,

Musical instrument as carry-on

Free
23 x 40 x 51 cm (9 x 16 x 20 in)
10 kg (22 lb.)
Allowed in overhead bin.

It is important to note that a musical instrument in cabin replaces the carry-on baggage allowed.

Passengers may not take both carry-on baggage and instrument on board aircraft.

Instrument exceeding this size or weight must be checked.

Re: Any Lefties in Scotland??

Some of the airlines are actually pleasant to deal with (relatively speaking….). I traveled back east in the spring with my fiddle and had no problem carrying it on. (Northwest and Horizon Air) I saw people with guitars as carry-on. Security screeners never peeped once, although I took the precaution of putting my spare strings and nail clippers in my checked luggage. (I played the scenario in my head where one could hold the flight attendants at bay with the teenytiny nail file on the clippers, then threaten the flight crew with an e-string. Uh-huh. Well, you never know….)
I prefer the train when available. Not only do we take the instruments, but also a bottle of whiskey. A lovely way to spend two days…

Re: Any Lefties in Scotland??

In the case of frozenstiff, you will have to pay some attention to the airline’s own policy, which is similar to Ryanairs here (they have 55 x 40 x 20cm).

Where will they check you?: at check-in, though it’s hard for them to look properly if you are wearing the fiddle as a back pack. In the UK, you then have the generally enforced “one carry-on only unless the second piece is a musical instrument”. There is usually someone just before security near the transit area at Heathrow to check this. At regional airports, in my experience it’s just the check in and *maybe* in the security queue.

Then there are sometimes people at the foot of the stairs if it’s tarmac boarding, who will take excess bags off people - once again, I’m talking about bags much bigger than a fiddle case.

If you don’t really need the laptop (i.e for work) , I’d ditch it and get by with USB keys and Internet cafes if you can’t face disconnecting altogether.

On balance, I think you will be OK if the length of the fiddle in case exceeds 20" a bit as the other dimensions are much smaller and the weight is very light. No way does it compare to the virtual suitcases some folk try to haul into cabins and I’d say you can bet very safely on the check-in staff looking kindly on your instrument. You will be shocked at the stuff some people are taking onboard.

My mandolin is longer than Ryanair’s allowance, and they are pretty strict, but no one has ever stopped me taking it onboard, so I reckon you can rest easy there. Official replies to advance enquiries are always far stricter than the reality at check-in where staff (some at least) can use judgement and commonsense, so don’t be put off by a seemingly unyielding written response.

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Re: Any Lefties in Scotland??

And Batlady, you may care to note that aeroplane hijackings with nail scissors are now down to 0, so titter ye not at these obviously effective precautions.

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Re: Any Lefties in Scotland??

That’s why I felt so safe and serene on the last flight! 🙂

Re: Any Lefties in Scotland??

Calgary, frozenstiff? Just tell them it’s your carbine in a fancy case and they’ll say no more about it.