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British Airways puts instruments in its adverts, bans them from the cabin

A new BA ad campaign in today’s UK papers showed musical instruments linked to different destinations – a Hardanger violin for Norway, a guitar for Latin America.

The ads could not have appeared at a more embarrassing moment as BA is being shunned by musicians the world over for its new restrictions on taking small instruments on board. Violins, for instance, will require a separate seat unless you are prepared to risk them in the hold. Travel industry sources close to the airline say it’s all a big misunderstanding and the airline will announce a return to business as usual. But almost a whole working week has passed and there has been  no word from BA to retract its new restrictions.

Meanwhile, I hear the airline is getting into a sponsoirship arrangement with one of the London orchestras. The Philharmonia’s US tour later this year will be proudly supported – see here – by British Airways. I guess they’ll just have to leave the instruments behind.

Someone at BA board level needs to sort this out.

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  1. Michael P. Scott says:


    I’m not sure whether you’ve followed the tale of Dave Carroll, a young singer from Halifax, Canada, who “went viral” a couple of years ago when United Airlines broke his guitar — right in front of him and the members of his band — and put up a bush league losing battle when pressed to make things right.

    United will NEVER get over the bad publicity; Dave Carroll, on the other hand, has a new guitar; his career has branched out to give worldwide exposure to UA’s horrendous, galling, customer “service” via a new book and speaking engagements galore.

    Through it all he’s managed to be funny, endearing, witty, and creatively talented beyond belief. Should Yo-Yo, or Itzhak, or any other BA instrumentalist experience difficulty with their instruments, I’ll bet Dave would help help develop an equally twisted sword response.

    Here’s the link to his website — it is well worth it to spend time exploring the three “United Broke My Guitar” videos and the rest of his tale. You can get there easily from the home page available on this page … an entertaining sales pitch if ever there was one:


    • This sort of thing is why it worried me so that the airline resulting from the United-Continental merger decided to operate under the United name. United had wider brand recognition – but that recognition was not favorable, even before their fiasco with Dave Carroll.

      (At least the management team from Continental, a better airline, is the one running the post-merger company.)

  2. Randolph Magri-Overend says:

    Does BA stand for Ban Artists?

  3. Does anybody know which orchestra will be the sponsor?

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