Just look how they made me fly

This is Martin Wray, viola player of the Dulcinea Quartet.


At the end of a tour of Japan, he was flying with quartet’s 1st violinist from Sapporo to Tokyo Narita on Peach Air, a Japanese budget line.

The violinist was allowed to travel but the viola case was denied. Both conformed to dimensions stated on the ailine’s website. However, says Martin, ‘the attendant measured the case from depth right across the width of the case in one measurement. I do speak some Japanese but I was not able to explain that that was not how I had measured it. There was no arguing so I just had to battle to be able to hold the viola and not leave it in the overhead compartments.’


Musicians everywhere, beware of Peach Air.


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  • Done that before and for those that self righteously blame the player because they may have flown budget, my experiences were not on budget airlines.

    Perhaps we should form an association of string players who have flown naked (violinistically speaking that is)

    • Doing so non-violinistically speaking might perhaps do more to highlight the problems often faced by string players and other instrumentalists?

    • I know you’ll hate me, but my opinion has always been: act normal. Stop whining because the same rules apply you as they do to anyone else. Not all, but most airlines do have an option when booking your flight to get extra handluggage space (of course to be paid extra, as the rest of the world has to do for theirs). Use it. Don’t come to the airport with oversized luggage, totally out of the blue, and start acting all indignant because they won’t let your non-standard luggage on the aircraft.

      • The problem is things that fit the airline’s stated requirements, turned away by check-in ground staff or cabin crew seemingly arbitrarily, and telephoned confirmations of a mutual understanding of the rules thrown in the face of the traveller at a point where his/her options are few.

        I do not understand why IATA is not involved in this.

        VIolas represent a problem, at least in some airlines, because of their size. Violins should not.

        Meanwhile, the related industries that could contemplate stepping up (and making a pile) are those who provide cases for instruments — develop something for instruments for air travel specifically that is extra-secure. If there was an industry standard, tested and approved, it would presumably make the instruments insurable.

        • The standard dimensions for handluggage are 55x35x25. I have never measured a violin case, so please tell me if I’m worng, but a typical violin without case is about 60cm and a bow 75cm. No way a violin case fits in standard handluggage dimensions. Or the bow should fold double to fit in a 55cm bag 🙂

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