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Just in: Air Berlin caves in to Slipped Disc protests

February 8, 2016 by norman lebrecht

6 comments.


The German airline has agreed from today to take violins on board without extra charge.

A victory for Jakob Lehmann and Slipped Disc.

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Our friend Fiona Stevens has been given the green light to take her instrument on board. Please feel free to use this as precedent against any AirBerlin employee who seeks to block a violin.

We will shortly publish a list of best and worst airlines for musicians. All submissions welcomed.

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Comments (6)

  1. Scott Fields says:

    Do you mean that Air Berlin has a published policy accepting instruments of a certain size, and over carry-on size, as no-extra-charge cabin baggage?

    1. Fiona Stevens says:

      As far as I know they have not yet published a revised policy – I hope that they will shortly though

  2. Dmitri says:

    Does that mean that you have to pre-register the violin case with Air Berlin by phone? Do you have to provide dimensions of the violin case and what are the maximum dimensions they will accept?

  3. Dean says:

    I don’t think it is right to say Air Berlin “has agreed from today to take violins on board without extra charge”. This implies that they now *generally* accept violins on board without extra charge. But all we have is a single instance in which a person has wrangled that concession from Air Berlin.

    I enquired with Air Berlin a couple of days ago, and I still got the same stupid response that you can bring a violin if it is less than 55 centimetres long.

    I then sent a reply yesterday, at which point they gave me a copy-paste response telling me to file a new complaint. This suggests to me that they will keep trying to force musicians to buy an extra seat. At best, maybe they will buckle if you keep persisting – I don’t know.

    1. Fiona Stevens says:

      I have just written to Air Berlin asking them to publish a statement instructing musicians of their (new?) terms and conditions, and which procedure to follow when booking a flight with the intention of taking a violin or viola on board.
      As soon as I receive a reply or the statement is published, I expect it will also be published on this site.

    2. norman lebrecht says:

      We will return shortly to this subject.


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