Aer Lingus!! F*%@!!!

Aer Lingus!! F*%@!!!

Recently I posted a discussion regarding my moving to Ireland for 7 months. Yesterday I bought the tickets. I leave September 28. Obviously when I decided to live abroad Ireland was the only choice due to the fact that I want to go play tunes. Well, before buying my tickets I had talked to many people that told me they took their instruments as carry-ons, or if you call the plane company, you could arrange the flight attendant to take it and put it in a closet at the back of the plane. Aer Lingus and their oh-so-helpful staff tell me otherwise. Coming with me on the trip, is a fiddle and a button accordion. The accordion fits the dimensions for a carry-on but the fiddle…well, it doesn’t. I have called Aer Lingus a dozen times making them fully aware of delicacy of a fiddle and the clumsiness of there mildly retarded baggage handlers and I have gotten nowhere… AHHHHH!!

Re: Aer Lingus!! F*%@!!!

Oh dear. Having stoutly defended Ryanair in the past, I found that, just ahead of my upcoming trip over to Dublin, their website has now changed and specifically says you have to book instruments on - and it costs an extra £32! And this is a fiddle, in a small case that fits very easily into the overhead lockers and I’ve never had a problem with before and is a LOT smaller - and lighter - than a lot of the carry-ons that other people carry on regularly.

So, I’ve booked with Aer Lingus, which I didn’t think had a problem … you’ve worried me now …

Re: Aer Lingus!! F*%@!!!

The problem with Aer Lingus is that you cannot even rely on the information they give you. We phoned the company before our flight to ask if they’d charge anything extra for my husband’s guitar, and the answer was no, it was free. Everything was fine on the way to Dublin, but when we checked in for the return flight, they charged 30 Euros extra for the guitar even though we told them we had spoken to the company. After a long discussion, we didn’t have to pay the fee, but the whole thing was really annoying.

Re: Aer Lingus!! F*%@!!!

so do you think i should just bring them and act like no ever told me no? that’s kinda what i am thinking i will have to do… if i act like i do it all the time no will stop me.


AJ

Re: Aer Lingus!! F*%@!!!

I find that a good temper tantrum goes a long way. It sucks to have to do, but they don’t want the grief and after all; it’s just a bloody instrument.

Posted by .

Re: Aer Lingus!! F*%@!!!

Unfortunately I’ve found that if you call ahead you will always get the most negative and conservative response. They really don’t want people turning up with a sense of entitlement and check-in staff having to deal with it. That’s about the most charitable interpretation I can put on it. The least charitable is that they are unimaginative jobsworths who really can’t be arsed with you.

I’ve had no problem taking my laptop and mandolin aboard full-service airlines together, under the current UK airport security guidelines allowing instruments as an extra carry-on item, even though the length of the mandolin slightly exceeds the maximum dimensions. So a fiddle and button box should be all right on a transatlantic Aer Lingus, but I can’t speak exactly for your airport (USA? You haven’t said), your airline or your check-in staff on the day.

This is one of those situations where calling ahead doesn’t seem to help, but can actually make things worse. If I was berserker, I’d just turn up with it, but not push my luck by having another carry-on

In your case Ben, although it doesn’t clarify it on the Ryanair website, the £30 is for checked instruments which will need special handling (which is all of them in Ryanair’s view) , and a fiddle is OK to carry on free of charge, in my experience, as long as it’s your ONLY carry-on. Those rates are for checked luggage which you have to pay separately for anyway.

Although it says musical instruments are charged at £30, nowhere does it say that your free carry-on can’t be a musical instrument., as long as it’s within spec. That is your back up just in case you get some over-literal jobsworth who is interpreting the lack of clarity in the website guidelines in the worst way.

Aberdeen is one of those airports where you see a lot of people carrying fiddles, particularly going on/off the Ryanair to/from Dublin, and all the ones I’ve seen have been hand-carried.

Posted by .

Re: Aer Lingus!! F*%@!!!

I had a close look at the Ryanair page since Ben said it had changed (but not when) and it is the same as when I travelled with my mandolin (longer than most fiddles) at Easter 2007. Although their website is still alarmingly ambiguous for musicians, study this statement:

"We are committed to doing all we can to operate flights on time. You can help us enormously by being fully prepared for your flight. In particular, by pre-booking and paying for additional services prior to travel such as baggage and sports/musical equipment;"

It seems clear to me that it is referring to checked baggage that needs special care i.e. "additional services"- usually taken over to the "fragile" or "oversize" check-in and put in one of those plastic bath things or hand-carried with the "fragile" stuff.

There is no "additional service" involved in taking a small fiddle case on - it’s no more than a handbag or small daypack from a logistical point of view, and you are carrying it yourself and doesn’t involve any input from airline staff.

Posted by .

Re: Aer Lingus!! F*%@!!!

According to their site the Ryanair charge refers to "Large musical instruments including but not limited to harps, double bass, guitars and drums (which) require special handling". I don’t think it is meant to include carry-on fiddles, although you can’t get a direct answer to this on their very unhelpful website.
It goes on to say "Large musical instruments such as harps or a double bass cannot be carried in the cabin of an aircraft. Other musical items such as a guitar, cello, violin or viola which exceed our cabin baggage dimensions may be carried in the cabin if a seat for it has been reserved and the appropriate fare paid". I have bought a seat for my fiddle, I did this last year and had no trouble at all, here’s hoping it will be the same again!

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The last time I was over was in February of this year. The ryanair website has changed since then. From what has been said above, probably only *just* after my last trip.

But it’s really annoying the way they’ve got it now. It seems to imply in places that if you don’t tell them about your instrument - and pay the exorbitant price - they’ll either refuse the instrument or charge you even more!

I read it over and over, and just gave up in the end. I only hope I’m OK with Aer Lingus.

Fingers crossed, eh?

Re: Aer Lingus!! F*%@!!!

We just flew on Aer Lingus (Boston to Shannon) this past May. I brought my bodhran (plus purse and backpack), my partner brought his fiddle (plus his laptop backpack). We had absolutely no problem with bringing it all on as carry ons. The fiddle fits just fine up in the overhead bins (as did the bodhran), so there were no real problems. I would NOT check the fiddle under any circumstances. Just take it on the plane…I’d be surprised if there would be a problem.

Re: Aer Lingus!! F*%@!!!

Guys I got my huge Calton bouzouki case and laptop on air lingus just the other week no problems with them so far…

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I travel fairly regular with a tenor banjo in hard case, it fits in most overhead lockers if I get on the plane before it fills up too much and Aer Lingus have never questioned it.
On Ryanair though I always book an extra seat - they are not known for their flexibility with the rules 🙂

Re: Aer Lingus!! F*%@!!!

For what it’s worth, I traveled Continental to Israel in mid-November, 2006, with my mountain dulcimer in a soft case as carry on, my fiddle packed into my suitcase (I know, crazy, but I was desperate) and my hammered dulcimer and lap harp packed into their sturdy shipping cases and sent below. I’ve never had a problem bringing the mountain dulcimer as carry-on.

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Re: Aer Lingus!! F*%@!!!

Hmmmm, a few years ago there was someone across the aisle from me on an Aer Lingus flight, waiting along with everyone else to finally get off the plane and on to the next leg of their journey…he looked lot lot like Jesse Smith of Danu - and when I saw the fiddle, I knew he was.

shaskeen

Re: Aer Lingus!! F*%@!!!

Flew Malaga to Dublin yesterday on Aer Lingus with laptop bag and cello bow in a protective tube. Tube was longer than normal permitted carry-on dimensions, but nobody said anything or stopped me at check-in, security or boarding. My advice is to say nothing and proceed as normal.

Not sure if this would work with Ryanair, though, as they fleece you at every opportunity. Shouldn’t be too long before Ryanair charge you to use the toilets on board.