BA. I'm in a quandary.

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This topic contains 18 replies, has 11 voices, and was last updated by  capetonianm 9 Sep 2018
at 18:55
.

Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 19 total)

  • seasonedtraveller
    Participant

    I haven’t posted much recently, because I’m not travelling for a living anymore, a huge change in my life…..Mrs Seasoned is getting sick of me being home all the time 😂😂

    Anyway, I’m currently in Kyrenia on holiday and, since the kids no longer come with us, I’ve been bringing one of my guitars with me (lightweight, acoustic) as hand baggage for the past 3 years without any issue at all. BA business class from MAN to LCA via LHR. Spent the extra on business as it’s easier to get the woodwork in the luggage bins without inconvinencing any others.

    So, to the point finally:
    Board at MAN – no issues.
    Just about to board at LHR & lady says “not sure you can take that on-board, you should have checked it in” etc……explained that I can’t check it in because it’s in a soft lightweight carry case and, anyway, I’ve just brought it down from MAN without issue.
    Long story short, after suggesting that I pay for an additional seat ( to house a cheap £200 guitar) and me reminding them that the flight was oversold, I was grudgingly allowed to take it and there was loads of spare room up top.

    Cabin crew very accommodating and suggested I not worry about the return flights but I called the GGL line this morning to be told they cannot help ( I’ve since seen the change of policy on BA’s website so I know they changed the rules after we had already booked).
    Best the guest list line could offer was that you might need to book another seat (on a full flight).

    It all seems stupid to me. It’s the only cabin luggage I have, it fits in quite easily and the crew were very relaxed about it.
    I guess we are anticipating trouble when we check in at LCA next week.


    esselle
    Participant

    In case you haven’t seen it, I can recommend “United breaks guitars” on You Tube.


    Tom Otley
    Keymaster

    It’s definitely an issue – I now take a travel guitar (ARIA-Sinsonido-AS-109C-SBK-Silent-Classical-Guitar) and although it comes apart and so packs smaller than a normal acoustic even then I have had problems getting it on board BA flights (and that’s for long haul flights in WTP).


    capetonianm
    Participant

    I think one has to consider this on the basis of what might have happened if the overhead bins had been full and there was nowhere to put the guitar. I agree this is unlikely, particularly in C class, but it can happen, for which reason the airline has to cover itself.


    MartynSinclair
    Participant

    Its a shame the same level of enforcement is not taken with cabin baggage in general. If it was, there is likely to be no issue in the instrument fitting in the overheads..

    1 user thanked author for this post.

    MarkieMark99
    Participant

    I have taken a guitar on short and long haul BA flights (and others) a few times this year. Mine is a cheap, old instrument and I decided to buy a solid case for it and check it into the hold for flights. No problems so far…..


    seasonedtraveller
    Participant

    I have taken a guitar on short and long haul BA flights (and others) a few times this year. Mine is a cheap, old instrument and I decided to buy a solid case for it and check it into the hold for flights. No problems so far…..

    I’m advised by BA that checking it in to hold baggage raises no issues at all. It’s only when you are trying to carry it as cabin baggage.
    Also, I’m not sure that I was advised of this policy change by BA but, granted, I may have missed the communication.

    My quandary is that I’m in Northern Cyprus with no opportunity to purchase a hard shell for the return legs.


    seasonedtraveller
    Participant

    Its a shame the same level of enforcement is not taken with cabin baggage in general. If it was, there is likely to be no issue in the instrument fitting in the overheads..

    I wasn’t going to argue that point with the gate staff but, when you see what others took into the cabin, both oversized and overweight I would guess, it really does make you wonder!
    Guitar and soft case together weigh less than 1 kilo.


    openfly
    Participant

    If you had 10 bags of baby “necessities”, or were a pax transmitting from the USA with three large pieces of hand baggage or had a wedding dress in a large carrier, or a 6ft Afritat giraffe, or a £5 work of art, you would be permitted to take these onboard without question on BA. But, a guitar….no way Jose. May I suggest you get a cheap Turkish Cypriot wedding dress, in a carrier and hide your guitar inside…and smile demurely at the ground staff and crew!! 😀👨‍✈️😀


    seasonedtraveller
    Participant

    If you had 10 bags of baby “necessities”, or were a pax transmitting from the USA with three large pieces of hand baggage or had a wedding dress in a large carrier, or a 6ft Afritat giraffe, or a £5 work of art, you would be permitted to take these onboard without question on BA. But, a guitar….no way Jose. May I suggest you get a cheap Turkish Cypriot wedding dress, in a carrier and hide your guitar inside…and smile demurely at the ground staff and crew!! 😀👨‍✈️😀

    🤣🤣🤣


    FaroFlyer
    Participant

    I am confused as to why you would be told to buy another seat when the middle seat is blocked anyway in C.

    Openfly comments remind me that in the early days of flying to Faro, one of the airlines, I think it was easyJet, used to allow an item of sports equipment in the hold free. We bought a couple of golf bags and carried an immense amount of stuff, but never golf clubs:-)

    1 user thanked author for this post.

    SamCollins
    Participant

    I am confused as to why you would be told to buy another seat when the middle seat is blocked anyway in C.

    BA still uses their 767’s on Larnaca flights (not all days) – but you get leg room & pitch rather than spare middle seat on these (which is why they are getting rid of them).


    SimonS1
    Participant

    I am confused as to why you would be told to buy another seat when the middle seat is blocked anyway in C.

    Well BA does have a published policy on musical instruments which requires the guitar to either be checked or the traveller to purchase another seat. Clearly in this case OP was/had been reliant on goodwill of staff to bend the rules but what they said at LHR was right.

    https://www.britishairways.com/en-gb/information/baggage-essentials/sporting-goods-and-musical-instruments.

    As for middle seat blocked in C, well that works OK if 2 people are travelling as a couple (and indeed it isn’t a 767). If travelling solo I can imagine the other person in the pair not being very happy at the middle seat being used as the first traveller’s personal storage space.


    seasonedtraveller
    Participant

    I am confused as to why you would be told to buy another seat when the middle seat is blocked anyway in C.

    Well BA does have a published policy on musical instruments which requires the guitar to either be checked or the traveller to purchase another seat. Clearly in this case OP was/had been reliant on goodwill of staff to bend the rules but what they said at LHR was right.

    https://www.britishairways.com/en-gb/information/baggage-essentials/sporting-goods-and-musical-instruments.

    As for middle seat blocked in C, well that works OK if 2 people are travelling as a couple (and indeed it isn’t a 767). If travelling solo I can imagine the other person in the pair not being very happy at the middle seat being used as the first traveller’s personal storage space.

    Correct, at LHR, I was relying on staff goodwill. I suppose my point is this;
    BA changed their policy December 2017. I was unaware of the policy change (Not using that as an excuse) and it was not pointed out at MAN.
    I was shown the new policy as I tried to board at LHR which was fair enough but, by then I was pretty much committed.
    I have never been one to argue the toss with gate staff and I didn’t on this occasion either, however, I was told this about the predicament – quote – “musical instruments are allowed to be carried on board provided they fit within the confines of the cabin bag check frame” which was then pointed out to me.
    By this time, a queue had formed and a total of 3 gate staff were scratching collective heads so, I asked politely,but perhaps a wee bit sarcastic, pointing to the line of overburdened folks behind me, “if that’s the case, are you going to be testing all these carry on bags in the frame before people can board? My guitar weights less than 1 Kilo”

    At that point, either common sense prevailed or the decision by the CSD to shove it in the crew locker allowed me to continue.
    I’m actually dreading the return journey.


    MartynSinclair
    Participant

    “if that’s the case, are you going to be testing all these carry on bags in the frame before people can board? My guitar weights less than 1 Kilo”

    .. and this really is the point. Why just pick on this one hand baggage issue. I would be pretty miffed in this situation, if behind (or in front of me) passengers with overloaded hand baggage had not been challenged about the size/weight of their hand baggage.

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