Just in: Airline changes mind on violas – thanks to Slipped Disc

Just in: Airline changes mind on violas – thanks to Slipped Disc


norman lebrecht

October 04, 2014

The light we shed on Air Canada has yielded prompt results.

Here’s their response to our complaint that they discriminate against violas:

Air Canada Official: Thanks for the feedback. We are aware of inconsistencies with the current viola baggage policy which has not changed in some time. We are making changes and in the coming days it will be aligned with the policies for violins and guitars; our website will be updated when this is completed.

music airport 2


  • Kate Cinelli says:

    The Air Canada website is contradictory even in its stance on violins. In one sentence it says that if there is space in the cabin, they are allowed. In another it says “all musical instruments….may be accepted provided they do not exceed the weight and size restrictions” which are 9in x 15.5 in x 21.5in. Unless I am mistaken, this would mean that no violin can go aboard period as my violin is 24 in long. Also, these sorts of rules are only so helpful when all their carriers operate under the same rules. If you can complain about this and get it changed, then we have reason to celebrate!

    • Anon says:

      Kate, I don’t see the contradiction.
      The latter clause covers all musical instruments, and says they can be taken on provided they are sized within the dimensions given. Your violin is outside those dimensions, so the former clause applies, which is that it, as a violin, will be allowed in the cabin if there is space.
      Seems sensible from the point of view of the airline and other passengers, and not contradictory at all.

  • Jim says:

    Doesn’t change their ludicrous policy of allowing bari saxes as carry-on, but not french horns or trombones. Also, this has been their reply on facebook to comments about every instrument, further compounding the impression of total cluelessness and incompetence on the part of AC. Seriously, how moronic are the people who wrote and approved this policy?

  • […] Canada have since responded to our friends at Slipped Disc, saying they are aware of the discrepancy between violins and violas outlined in their baggage […]

  • V.Lind says:

    Isn’t it time airlines realised that there are myriad musicians playing internationally who have to transport valuable, in some cases priceless, instruments from point A to point B? Isn’t it time they figured out how violins, violas and other smaller instruments can be transported SAFELY?

  • julian says:

    surely a sax or a horn would be fine in the hold? Violas are much more sensitive. Like viola players.

  • Doug says:

    This only proves, yet again, Air Canada’s motto.

    At Air Canada, we’re not happy until you’re not happy.

  • bratschegirl says:

    This has been making the rounds on Facebook; hilarious send-up of the whole situation. Bilingual, of course!