Low-cost UK airline is pro-violin and cello

Low-cost UK airline is pro-violin and cello


norman lebrecht

May 04, 2016

New guidelines from fly.be. H/t: Sarah Watts. Print this link.




1 Violins, clarinets and other small instruments may be permitted on board Flybe-operated flights as cabin baggage.  Theinstrument, including its case, must not exceed 100cm x 30cm x 23cm.  Carriage as cabin baggage is subject to available space in the overhead lockers.

Please note: The instrument will be classed as your one piece of cabin baggage.  Flybe recommends you have adequate insurance to cover such items.

2 Cellos can be carried in the cabin if an additional seat is purchased, as they can be secured safely in an aircraft seat unlike other items.  There are restrictions on doing so as follows:

  • Cellos are limited to 1 per person
  • A passenger must accompany the cello on the same flight
  • The cello must not be on a seat in an emergency exit row or next to a window
  • A seat must be dedicated for that item only and cannot be shared with a passenger
  • The cello must not exceed 75kg in weight
  • The cello must be properly secured into the seat by aircraft safety lap strap
  • The centre of mass must not be more than 30cm above seat cushion


  • Sarah Watts says:

    I’d advise printing this link out and copying the link to your phones.
    This is slightly different to the ‘exceptional baggage’ wording which doesn’t seem to have been updated. I’ve pointed this out to the very nice lady who I’ve been emailing with for a couple of months now.
    She has assured me I’ll have no further issues and the size fits my bass clarinet with room to spare with the allowance.
    Flybe customer services have been exceptional. They have listened, responded and reacted. I even have a personal email to carry with me, but I’ve been pushing for the wording to be made clearer for all of us.

    Thank you flybe.

  • Fiona Stevens says:

    This is really interesting news given that when i regularly flew Flybe a few years back i had to hide my violin from the check-in staff in order to be able to take it on board (even if it was my only piece of hand luggage). The cabin staff were never any problem, it was just getting the instrument from check-in to security.
    So, good news indeed! Thanks for posting!

  • Gareth McL says:

    I agree – the difficulty is always the check in desk staff. I fly about 40 times per year – easily a dozen times with bulky instruments and previously I’ve given my instrument to a friend to hold (and vice versa) and we’ve checked in separately. When on my own I would actually drive to the airport and leave my instrument in the car – check in my hold baggage, then fetch my instrument from the car and go through security and onto the plane without issue.

  • Richard Savage says:

    It’s worth pointing out that the bins on FLYBE’s Dash 8’s (prop-driven; they have 47 in service) are small – and to note their caveat about “subject to available space…” Boarding early always recommended when carrying an instrument. Bin size is less of an issue on their E170’s and 190’s (jets; they have 19). The picture above is of a BAe146 – which they no longer fly..

  • Michael Pearson says:

    I have on occasions been told that my violin strings were a security hazard because I could strangle someone with them (I was tempted) and asked if my violin (18th century Italian) was in a ‘soft’ case… These experiences were at Liverpool airport with EasyJet check in staff and I agree that once past this stage problems are rarely encountered. Happily the airline seem to be OK about my violin these days and I haven’t encountered a problem for some time.