Carrying my mandolin on Ryanair

Carrying my mandolin on Ryanair

I am planning to go to Ennis in May for the Fleadh Nua, and would like to take my mandolin. The trip involves Ryanair flights to and from the continent, and I understand that carry-on baggage is restricted to 55x40x20cm.
My mandolin case is 76cm long, and OK in other dimensions. Am I out of luck? I seem to recall that Ryanair is quite inflexible in their restrictions. Any other pertinent info appreciated.

Re: Carrying my mandolin on Ryanair

Ryanair can vary, sometimes you may get away with it but at other times you won’t. If you can’t fit it under the seat in front, and you are unlikely to be able to, you have little " defence" when that say it’s too large or that the flight is full and they will only take the first 90 bags on board.
To be safe you would have to book a seat for your instrument, and it can travel as Mr Mandolin!

Posted by .

Re: Carrying my mandolin on Ryanair

You’re taking a gamble if you don’t book a seat for it - you might strike lucky with a half-full flight and generous check in staff, or you might not. If you don’t, your precious mandolin will be sent down for the baggage handlers to play football with, and you’ll be charged £60 for the privilege, which is probably more than the cost of a seat booked in advance.

BTW it can’t travel as ‘Mr Mandolin’, you’ll have to change his name by deed poll to ‘Mr Extra Item-Seat’. The good news is he doesn’t need to carry photo ID.

Re: Carrying my mandolin on Ryanair

I just carried my mandolin on a full RyanAir flight from Gatwick to Cork last week (heading back this week). I didn’t have any problems, but I suspect it’s really the luck of the draw depending on how the crew are feeling on any particular day.

I don’t know if it helped, but my mandolin case is a soft one—looks like a tennis racquet. I think a hard case might look bigger.

Note that RyanAir did update their carry-on policy a while back: you can now take two items—one for under the seat (I had my laptop bag) and one for overhead. In the past they only allowed one item and were very, very inflexible about it.

Anyway, my flight back is on Thursday so I’ll see how that goes and report back.

Re: Carrying my mandolin on Ryanair

If, as Jeremy says, they allow two items of hand luggage, then that might solve the problem. But one solution could be to get a case that can hold a few in-flight essentials in addition to the instrument. I have a semi-hard mandolin case with quite a generous front pocket, that could easily hold, say, an A5 book 2" (50mm) thick. If it came to it, I could probably stuff a few small things inside the case as well. It may be inconvenient to have to open the case to get something out, but preferable, in my opinion, to paying for an extra seat. I’m not a regular flyer (I avoid it if at all possible - too quick, soul destroying…) but I travel a lot on trains, usually with two instruments and a rucksack, so I am quite used to making the most of my allowance of hands by means of efficient packing.

Re: Carrying my mandolin on Ryanair

These are the rules:
"You can carry one cabin bag weighing up to 10 kg with maximum dimensions of 55cm x 40cm x 20cm, plus 1 small bag up to 35 x 20 x 20 onboard the aircraft."

Re: Carrying my mandolin on Ryanair

In a side issue to this, two friends who both play mandolin were recently not allowed to take their mandolins, both in SOFT cases, on board a Citylink bus between Edinburgh and Glasgow: apparently the overhead racks are too narrow to take even mandolins, and despite their protestations that they would happily take their mandolins on their knees for what is less than an hour’s journey, Mr Jobsworth said they had to go in the underneath cavern to be battered and slammed about by unrestrained heavy suitcases, etc, or they couldn’t come on board at all: they chose not to go!

Re: Carrying my mandolin on Ryanair

Thanks, all, for your comments and suggestions. I’ll leave my cherished mandolin home, this time, and take my flute, sacrificing some measure of competence for ease of mind.

Re: Carrying my mandolin on Ryanair

You’ll come back a better flute player.

Re: Carrying my mandolin on Ryanair

That’s what I hope for, Creadur, but also I see it as a spiritual challenge: dare to be lousy, and live with that karma for a while.