A slightly more civilised airline

A slightly more civilised airline


norman lebrecht

March 28, 2016

Fiona Stevens was initially denied boarding with her violin on Eurowings but they found a way around it.

Here’s what happened:

“Dear Eurowings, At the check-in desk at Köln airport I was just told that I would not be able to take my violin on board because it is in a hard case. I know that this is the wording on your website, which is why I wrote to your customer service department last year to let them know that no violinist flies with their instrument in a soft case because no insurance company would insure their instrument if they did.

Many violin cases have a fabric cover, so check-in agents assume that these are soft cases, which they aren’t. My violin case does not have a fabric cover, which is why the check-in agent picked up on it. To be fair, she was simply doing her job. Please would you change the wording on your website, as I asked you to do last year, so that your staff have realistic guidelines and we musicians have no more check-in issues. Luckily the agent’s manager, who was called on the scene, was quite clear that a violin absolutely has to travel as hand luggage – many many thanks to him at this point! I look forward to receiving your reply soon, Regards, Fiona Stevens”

Hours later she had this reply: Dear Fiona, please send me your feedback as e-mail to facebook@eurowings.com and I will forward it to my relevant colleagues. They will get back to you as soon as possible. Best wishes, Jens

Sounds like a friendly airline, for once.

music airport 2



  • Sarah says:

    It’s amazing what a friendly email does and not one that constantly hammers the companies and just points out negatives.
    I had a small issue with check in at Belfast City a few weeks ago with my bass clarinet. No previous issues and no issue at all on the plane.
    A simple email to the CEO pointing out my problem with check in, the fragility and the value of my instrument, the need for me to do my job and very much praising what to that point had been a very good regular commute with FLYBE has resulted in a massive apology, a contact with head office, a note on all my future bookings and an email to carry with me stating my bass clarinet can stay with me on all flights.
    I’ve asked for wording to be discussed for the website that generalises musical instruments within what is currently their violin limitations. They have promised to look at this.

    Basically – yes, we do have bad experiences, but I’ve found that a civilised and clear email to as high up as possible really makes a difference. The airlines are not all bad and I’m sure in many cases they simply don’t understand as they aren’t musicians.

    thank you FLYBE for excellent customer services and for listening. I’ll chase up the website wording, but I just wanted to say that companies can listen and should be praised for this.

  • Una says:

    Yes, the secret is to go straight to the top, and no messing! Otherwise you end up with a load of ‘yes’ people or it ain’t their job!!!

  • Scott Fields says:

    Option 1: Try to get a large company to change the wording of their policy. This change would also permit guitars in hard cases. Currently they allow instruments up to the size of a guitar in soft cases.

    Option 2: Spend 100 euros on a case cover. That’s what I did.