Warning: British Airways blocks violasmain
Message just in from Jennifer Stumm, International Chair of Viola at the Royal College of Music in London:
British Airways is flagging all carry-on instruments at the check in desk in Amsterdam. The musician’s boarding pass is invalid at the gate until they make an on the spot decision about the instrument depending on the number of passengers on the plane.
I have a case that will fit in any commercial airplane and I had to make a huge fuss to get my 430 year old viola on the plane, which was not at all full. What I heard from them is that on a fuller plane, instruments will not be allowed. Suitcases get priority…
We have raised the issue directly with British Airways, since the ban contravenes both EU law and BA’s own code. It may be a local misunderstanding by Dutch staff. But be careful of flying BA into and out of the Netherlands until the matter is clarified and resolved.
UPDATE: Jennifer adds: Apparently it’s an ongoing battle in past months. There’s a change.org petition and musicians are in regular contact with the BA manager in Amsterdam and still nothing has been done.
Yoy may also have read of the cellist who was refused boarding by BA because her carry-on instrument lacked a tourist visa…