Norwegian airline cancels Christmas for a violinist

Norwegian airline cancels Christmas for a violinist


norman lebrecht

December 26, 2016

We hear that the German violinist Elia Kaden was denied boarding on his Norwegian flight DY1104 from Oslo to Berlin two days before Christmas.

He was forced to buy a new ticket for both himself and his violin, even though regulations clearly state that violins can be carried on board.

This callous budget airline goes from bad to worse.


  • V.Lind says:

    Can’t IATA do something about this? Or are airlines now completely deregulated?

    • Max Grimm says:

      Not really. Many low-cost carriers (Norwegian included) aren’t IATA members and as a trade association, IATA mostly assists in formulating industry guidelines, standards and policies but must really rely on the respective civil aviation authorities to enforce sanctioned policies and ensure airlines’ observance of passenger rights.

  • Michael Endres says:

    “This callous budget airline goes from bad to worse. ”
    Also beware in case your luggage gets lost.
    In July my suitcase didn’t arrive in Munich, it took Norwegian nearly a week to deliver the case. I had to buy new concert clothes, shoes, computer charger etc … The refund process took many weeks and they not only refused to replace certain items ( despite I had been as frugal as possible ) but would only refund the rest if I returned everything back to Norwegian. They sanctimoniously declared to “donate” these items then to a charity.

    In regard to the violin case: it is probably wise to invest in a case that fits hand luggage regulations. It exists, though can’t take the bow, which then would need to go into a normal suitcase.

  • Jason says:

    I’ve flown without real incident. I just show them a print out of the rules and no issues. Plus, they are cheap.

    • V.Lind says:

      It obviously depends upon who you deal with on board, and occasionally at check-in or the gate. In this and so many other reports. That is what is not bloody good enough. If airlines issue policies, FCS their staffs should have to adhere to them.

      It begins to sound a bit like the US HMO system, where making sure customers could not collect was a matter of policy. In so many instances, musician flyers (not necessarily the wealthiest demographic among flyers) have had to go through the process of buying at least one more ticket than policy had led them to think necessary. Perhaps there are bonuses in it for staff.

      Meanwhile the number of musicians who swear never to use that airline again, and even their friends and colleagues who are forewarned, is such an insignificant number as to make no never mind to annual bottom lines. The musicians are leveraged out.

      There are budget airlines who fly half empty and do not seem worried about it. That may bear some investigation. Something has gone truly wrong with the airline industry in the last 15 years or so, when we lost some of what we at least thought of as good ones due to the dramatic decline in flying after 9/11. The whole damned industry needs a shake-up and this is as good a test case as any.

  • Me says:

    Pay Peanuts, get Monkeys.

    • Dominic says:

      Do we know the context why he was denied boarding? Was he too late for check in as throwing stones without answers is a little premature.

  • Sandro Ivo Bartoli says:

    I think it is both disgraceful and unfair that there is no set industry standard on this issue. My wife is a violinist, and every time we go on tour she has to worry about this nonsense. Lately, we’ve been lucky… On the upside, here’s something to cherish about being a pianist!
    Happy New Year to all……