A message from Anton Sorokow, 1st concertmaster at the Vienna Symphony Orchestra:
Today I missed my connecting flight from Milano to Bari with easyJet because they didn’t allow me to take my instrument on board.
Although, I traveled with a special Trinity Traveling-Violincase, which fits perfectly with all dimensions, the easyJet personnel at the boarding counter tried to force me to give up my Guarneri del Gesù violin to the baggage section of the airplane, which I, of course, refused.
I will stay over the night in Milano and fly tomorrow morning back to Vienna because there are no other airline connections to Bari from here. It is completely disastrous situation, which unfortunately, nowadays, can happen to every violinist…
The consequences: 30 students at the Conservatorio de Bari were deprived of an important masterclass because one half-trained clerk at easyJet could not read the rules.
EasyJet must be aware that there is a European convention which obliges them to fly small instruments, like a violin, in the cabin. Someone needs to run a test case against these companies to see how high a fine the courts and the aviation authorities will impose against airlines that flagrantly break the rules on musical instruments. Is there a good lawyer in Milano or Vienna who is prepared to take this up?