Confusion at BA as crisis official contradicts instrument ban

Confusion at BA as crisis official contradicts instrument ban


norman lebrecht

December 19, 2017

Liza Ravenscroft at British Airways has written to Slipped Disc, maintaining that two of her colleagues have put out ‘misleading information’ about the company’s instrument policy.


Ms Ravenscroft holds the title of Global News Manager at BA, though she has oddly not written to us in that capacity. Her duties include ‘deputising for Head of Crisis, regularly Comms department lead at Gold crisis sessions, advising operations teams on how to manage reputation during large scale incidents.’

She has asked us to publish the following statement:

We appreciate how precious instruments are to musicians and offer special arrangements for transporting them, which are detailed on

We will always do our best to accommodate smaller musical instruments in the cabin.

In order to ensure there is enough space for all customers to store their belongings, larger musical instruments, such as guitars and cellos, can be carried in the hold in a hard case. Alternatively customers can choose to buy an extra seat to carry them in the cabin at a discounted rate.

The statement is vaguely reassuring, without in any way explaining how other BA staff gave out misleading information – or, heaven forfend, apologising for it.

Being BA means never having to say you are sorry.




  • Julian Reynolds says:

    Well, in Ms R’s linkedin entry she does say “I love thinking on my feet, trying to mould the story, getting one step ahead.”

  • Simon Evnine says:

    That Linkedin entry also says she has an “instinct to where the story is going next, what the tough questions are going to be, and how we can tackle them.”

    Maybe we should give her a run for her money ?

  • Nick2 says:

    “We will always DO OUR BEST to accommodate smaller musical instruments in the cabin!”

    Anyone assuming this is tantamount to permission to take violin cases on board clearly does not comprehend the English language. That statement is very clearly open to interpretation! Given the dungheap of trouble BA has got itself into in recent years, I certainly would not trust it.

  • Sophie Greenyer says:

    In the BA press office we are always happy to help journalists, answering their questions and if BA has made a mistake we’ll say we’re sorry and try to make amends.

    When Mr Lebrecht got in touch we investigated the tweet he mentioned and found that one of our team had indeed made a mistake, so we apologised for the misunderstanding and clarified that we do welcome small instruments into the cabin. (There’s information about it on ).

    It is disappointing that Mr Lebrecht has decided to make this issue personal against Liza when she was trying to help him.

    Happy Christmas all. Sophie Greenyer, Head of Global News, British Airways.

    • norman lebrecht says:

      This is not accurate. Mr Lebrecht did not get in touch with BA. The contact was initiated by Liza Ravenscroft who asked us to publish a BA statement but refused to give her title, her department, or the authority by which the statement appeared. Nothing personal on our side. Just poor professionalism on BA’s.

  • john says:

    Tell her you intend to start encouraging your audiences to #FlyABBA that should (and might) illicit a clearer response / something in writing that is clearer but based on experience (not musical instruments, I not talented enough to do anything other than enjoy others) the simplest solution is to stop flying BA yourselves until such time as they revert to delivering quality… Whatever you are told, what you experience both during a journey and in trying to resolve issues after the fact will not be connected other than that they both emanate from Bloomin’ Awful!

    • Vaquero357 says:

      Minor technical point: perhaps we can “elicit” a clearer response. One hopes there is nothing “illicit” going on at British Airways!!

  • Yushood Bahgerov says:

    Add this statement to the example list for “nothingburger”.

  • Tobias Hume says:

    If you fly BA send a solictor’s letter to get written confirmation that they will properly accommodate your instrument – not in the hold. I did it put the wind up them and they even sent a OAP buggy to collect myself and my Viola da Gamba.

  • Luke says:

    try taking a bike by air…you think musos have a problem!