Wondering whether you can take a violin on a plane? Don’t worry. I’ve got all the answers that you need right here before flying with your violin or fiddle !
According to the TSA you can take a violin in both carry-on and checked baggage. The airline will not charge anything ‘extra’ for transporting instruments either. The cost of bringing a violin will be the same as any other type of carry-on or checked bag.
Let’s explain a little about how the rules work. Hopefully, this should give you peace of mind when bringing your violin on the plane.
Let’s dive right in.
Take Violin Through TSA
The TSA have a section where they mentioned violins on their website.
They stated that violins are good to go through the security checkpoint, however, your violin will be subject to additional screening and physical inspection at the security checkpoint.
Ensure that you also Inform the TSA officer if your violin requires special care or handling.
|Violins||Carry-on Baggage||Checked Baggage|
|Bass violin||Allowed, but it can be large for carry-on size||Allowed|
Musical instruments, including violins and bows, are allowed through the screening checkpoint, or can be transported in/as checked baggage. However, passengers should check with their airline prior to boarding their flight.— AskTSA (@AskTSA) December 5, 2021
Can You Take Violin in Carry-On Baggage?
Any airline will not prevent a violin ( or other musical instruments ) in the cabin baggage as long as the violin meets all the max cabin baggage requirements for the airline i.e., in terms of weight and size.
The rule stipulates that the airline cannot charge an additional fee for that violin. but It must be the standard fee for carry-on baggage.
So, if you already have a carry-on allowance and you’re not bringing any other carry-on baggage along with you, feel free to bring your violin. Nobody will complain about it.
Remember, the Federal Register writes these rules. So, technically, they only apply to flights from the US.
Some other countries may have very similar rules but you should confirm with the airline first.
So, assume that you can take the violin in carry-on if:
- You have paid for a carry-on bag.
- The violin is below the weight requirements for carry-on.
- The violin is below the size requirements for carry-on.
- You are not taking any other carry-on bags (unless you have paid for multiple bags).
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Can You Take Violin in Checked Baggage?
Yes, although it isn’t recommended.
Just like the carry-on baggage rules, you can take a violin on a plane as checked baggage and nobody will stop you, but you probably shouldn’t.
Your violin is a very sensitive instrument. When you check it in, that violin is going to be sent through the baggage handling system.
Here, your violin will get tossed around by baggage handlers, and then end up in the cargo hold where it’ll bounce around some more.
I really do not recommend checking a violin in as checked baggage. While it will probably end up in your final destination safe and sound, there is also the risk that it will get stolen.
Do you really want to take that risk with an instrument that means so much to you?
Do Airlines Charge Extra For a Violin?
If you are taking the violin as carry-on, then the fee will be the same as any other carry-on bag.
If you are taking the violin as checked luggage, then the fee will be the same as all checked luggage bags.
Once again, these rules only apply within the US. You may find different rules in other countries. But normally, if you are flying to and from the US, then you won’t be charged anything extra to have your violin in tow.
How Do You Pack a Violin on a Plane?
As i said, if you want to take a violin on a plane, it is recommended that you only ever take it in your carry-on. It’ll be much, much safer in your hands than it would be going through the baggage handling system.
I recommend that you pack the violin in a hard-shell case. Do not use a soft case. Even when you take your violin in carry-on, it can get bashed around quite a bit. The hard case will protect it.
If your violin is in your carry-on, I recommend that you keep it under the seat in front of you rather than the overhead lockers (if it fits).
When you place the violin in the overhead lockers, it could end up with a ton of other pieces of baggage piled on top, which can damage the violin.
There is also the risk that it gets shifted about a bit. If that happens, it may fall out when the locker is opened. That won’t be healthy for the violin!
Finally, ensure that your insurance covers the violin. If worse comes to worst, at least you’re covered.
Final Thoughts On Taking Violins On a Plane.
You should have no issues taking a violin in either your carry-on or your checked luggage. Although, I highly recommend that you take in carry-on only.
It provides more protection for your instrument. Make sure that your violin is in a hard case for a bit of extra protection!
Yes. If the flight originates from the US, you’re fine. Although, you may need to look at the rules of airlines if you are flying on a non-American airline from outside the country.
Yes. As long as you have carry-on allowance, you are fine taking a violin on an American Airlines plane, the same rules are applied on any other US airline, like Delta, Jetblue, United Airlines, southwest etc ..
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