It seems quite absurd that, in their battle with the bucket airlines, the former national carriers should abuse their best customers in the same way. But they do… and how they do.
Musicians have long learned to avoid Ryanair if they want valuable instruments to be treated with respect. A couple of weeks ago, Lufthansa declared war on cellos. Now British Airways is banning violins as cabin baggage. If you want to carry an instrument case on BA, you’ll need to book an extra seat. The new policy reads:
•Small musical instruments within the maximum size and weight limits for hand baggage may be carried onboard as part of your free hand baggage allowance.
•Larger musical instruments must be carried as checked baggage. Each item will count as part of your free checked baggage allowance.
•It may be possible to purchase an extra seat for your musical instrument, depending on availability. If you would like to book an extra seat for a musical instrument, please make the booking through your nearest British Airways office. Extra seats cannot be booked through ba.com.
British musical organisations are making polite representations to the airline and their government. It may take more direct action to get the new terms revised. Until they are, musicians and their friends are advised to fly British Airways as a last resort only.