Another instrument outrage on Norwegian air

One of the world’s 10 worst airlines just got a whole lot worse. This just in from UK-based violinist Walter Reiter:

norwegian airline


So… Back from Oslo on Norwegian Air, nice red plane. Settling down in my seat, stewardess pulls violin out of overhead compartment and and tells me It has to be offloaded. I fumble for my printout of the rules that say violins are allowed. She seizes a child violin from somewhere, waves it in the air and says only that size of violin is permitted. I do my best to imitate general merriment and yell “it’s a toy, haha” .. a steward arrives: no violins allowed, it’s the rules. I show him the rules: violins up to 98 cm long are allowed, he says they are only allowed widthways not side ways. I say haha that’s not logical. I shove my violin back and sit down. This is war! I tell him there’s going to be an article in the New York Times about this, playing classy. Then the guy says ok this time but never again. Norwegian Air: back on the black list!

Walter adds:

These are the online rules of Norwegian Air. A shame their cabin staff needed me to teach them…

Take your instrument as hand baggage
You can bring a small musical instrument on board provided you do not exceed the hand baggage allowance for your fare type. If you’re travelling with a larger instrument, such as a violin or viola, then you can bring this instead of a carry-on bag. The instrument can be slightly bigger than a regular carry on bag, but must not exceed 90 x 35 x 20 cm and the carry-on weight limit for your fare type.

Can’t they train their cabin staff to read?


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  • Some people, when put into a uniform, turn into beasts. I am sorry you had to endure such beasts.

  • There’s some confusing measurements here – is it 90 or 98 cm long? I think I’ll take up the ocarina….

  • Next time put a WILSON or HEAD logo on it, make it look like a tennis racket bag.
    They won’t know the difference!

  • I don’t understand the airline’s issue … Is the violin taking up so much space that others can’t get their own baggage in the overhead lockers??? The cubic size of a violin case would be less than the wheelie bags allowed on any US airline (and I’m assuming Norwegian plane). The whole thing is totally illogical. Definitely keep protesting and exposing this nonsense!

  • I am a retired member of the Halle orchestra. About 25 years ago we were directed to put all our instruments into beautiful, newly-made, state of the art travel cases to go into the hold of the ‘plane when we toured. For some years this was fine until M D came back to the Halle as leader and refused to allow his instrument to go into the crate – straight away, all the neurotics in the band also refused and as a group we were all back into the way of struggling to get everything into the luggage racks. I don’t know how long this lasted or what happens with travelling orchestras nowadays. Incidentally, even then and even when it was BA charter exclusively for us, the oboists had to surrender their reed-making (blunt scraper) knives to the captain for the duration of the flight!

  • What a drama!

    I fly globally with my acoustic guitar and boy or boy has it gotten harder and harder over recent years, and not to mention more ridiculous as time goes!

    Now I fly with a cheap guitar in a good case which I check in. Even that has been dropped off luggage carts onto the runway, even with video footage proof I have from my window seat on the plane! Not to mention how the case is always left UPSIDE DOWN when I come to get it from fragile/large items baggage collection. Just shocking!!

    BA have always been amazing with letting my guitar on board but Norwegian have caused such issues and are quite inconsistent! It’s fine for many flights then one day it’s staff rules from hell! I had to make a huge scene in NYC when they eventually made a ‘this one time’ exception.

    I’m shocked to hear that something as small as a violin (which I also play but don’t travel with) is still being treated like that!

  • Any current stories about Norwegian Air? I am traveling to Berlin via Oslo on NA. My carbon fiber 3/4 gig bag is JUST at the 90 X 35 X 20 limits, but I hate to push the envelope.

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