Overseas with Viola on Condor Airlines?

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Cindy Lefton said: Feb 2, 2016
 3 posts

I saw another discussion about traveling with instruments. However, I recently spoke with a Condor rep who said very clearly that they would not allow an instrument longer than 55 cm in the cabin. I saw in this forum other players who said that they always take their instruments on board with no problem.

Can anyone provide more information on this? We are traveling to Venice, and Condor is the least expensive, but I am not getting a clear answer from them, and would like to avoid any shock at the ticket counter.



Jennifer Visick said: Feb 10, 2016
Jennifer VisickForum Moderator
Suzuki Association Member
Viola, Suzuki Early Childhood Education, Suzuki in the Schools, Violin
1076 posts

Unfortunately there is usually no direct answer to be had from airlines except “no”, or “you must buy a second ticket for your musical instrument” or “your instrument must go in the hold” or sometimes (recently) “violins are allowed if there is space in the overhead bins at the time the passenger boards. Luggage will not be moved to make space for the violin, but neither will the violin be moved to make space for other luggage once it is on board.”

However, I’ve never been on a plane (even the little tiny puddle-jumpers) that would not fit an average sized viola or violin case in the overhead bins, and I’ve usually managed to walk on without being stopped, or, if stopped, I’ve asked “may I check to see if it fits, if not, I’ll come back off the plane”.

The keys seem to be doing whatever possible to board with the first or middle group of passengers instead of the last group, using the smallest case possible, wearing the case on your back so it seems smaller or is partially hidden by your body, not carrying other hand luggage (except a small purse/wallet or perhaps a book or jacket) and also not making a big deal of it if you’re told it can’t go on… and sometimes calmly taking a gate check tag for your instrument and then scrunching it up and stuffing it out of sight on your way down the tunnel.

Oh, and being willing to not go wherever it is you’re planning on going if they won’t let your instrument ride in the cabin.

Once I checked my case (with a carbon fiber bow in it) while carrying the instrument on the plane in a satin instrument bag, which stayed on my lap the entire flight. Not my favorite thing to do and, technically, you’re not supposed to have stuff on your lap during takeoff and landing…

I don’t suppose you could find a case fitting your instrument that is smaller than the one you’ve got?

Friederike said: Feb 23, 2016
Friederike Lehrbass
Suzuki Association Member
Plano, TX
87 posts

Have you gotten any more answers to this question? Or did you already fly? I also will be flying Condor in summer, so this also interests me. I have taken my instrument in the past and last time both my daughter and me had a violin with us and we had no problem,though I don’t think we flew Condor. Hope everything will be fine.

Praise the Lord with the stringed instrument

Cindy Lefton said: Feb 23, 2016
 3 posts

I haven’t heard specifics on Condor. She is flying this summer. My concern is that I won’t be with her. She is 17 and will be with other teens, but I am not sure how assertive they will be. What I have heard is that if you raise enough objection, they will let you on, but I don’t know how she will do. Good luck with your trip as well! She is going to an international Music Festival in Italy. We are so excited!

Anne Brennand said: Feb 24, 2016
Anne Brennand
Suzuki Association Member
Cello, Suzuki Early Childhood Education
Boulder, CO
55 posts

Hi Cindy. If you daughter’s teacher is a member of the AFofM, s/he can download a TSA letter that might be helpful: http://www.afm.org/departments/legislative-office/instruments-as-carry-on

Anne Brennand, cellist and cello teacher

Cindy Lefton said: Feb 25, 2016
 3 posts

Thanks, Anne. I will try that. Condor was very specific when I sited that the US had a law now about instruments being allowed in the cabin—”We are a German company, and do not have to follow U.S. law.” Lovely. I think they will allow it on board—and I strongly feel that they will charge an arm and a leg for it! : (


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