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Flight attendant tries to force violinist to check instrument into hold: ‘We don’t go with federal law’

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A United Airlines flight attendant tried to deny a violinist the right to board with her instrument, despite federal regulations stating that musical instruments can be stored in overhead bins. Violinist Rachelle Hunt, a member of the Frankfurt Radio Symphony, was one of the first to board her flight from Knoxville to Washington Dulles. But after stepping onto the aircraft with her violin, Hunt was told by a flight attendant that this wasn’t permitted. (www.classicfm.com) Mehr...

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laundryczar
laundryczar 27
I am not one to brag, but, I once sat behind Yo-yo Ma’s cello in first class on a transcontinental flight.
MLSellers
Mildred Sellers 13
Yoyo Ma paid for that seat to keep his Cello safe. It was always allowed when I flew form 1969 to 2009.
He was a delight to have on board
laundryczar
laundryczar 33
I didn’t mean to imply he had the seat for free. For what it’s worth, the cello was also very pleasant, although somewhat reserved.
topgunnh
Peter McGrath 19
It was probably just "strung out" from its last concert!
chugheset
chugheset 7
Well, when I sat behind the Cello it got drunk and refused to put it's tray in the upright and locked position for landing. They had to call security.
Quirkyfrog
Robert Cowling 7
But pianos are the worst!!! Talk about not handling their alcohol, they get downright rude... 😧😎

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KTh3jE1aqyk
starshark08
angela aldrich 5
and their keys tinkle alot...
mattress67
Matt Mahoney 6
While waiting for the hotel van, I once asked a Cellist if he bought his cello a seat. He said, "absolutely, this cello cost me 160K."
lindabasil
Linda Roberts 3
He just can’t get miles for it. When I worked in FlightFund at AWA a pax tried to get miles for his cello. Maybe if he’d given it a last name it might have worked😜…sorry against the rules to receive miles even though he paid for an extra seat.
chugheset
chugheset 8
No "Cello" is the last name. First name: Limon
jimcarroll
James Carroll 4
Ma’am, you’ll have to check that fiddle, but there’s always room for cello.
cookiepotter550
It was my understanding that you could only have a PERSON in a seat. I wanted to buy my service dog a seat and was told I couldn't. Does anybody know what they are doing?
jimsarushfan
Huck Finn 2
What are you doing flying a dog in a seat!?!
cookiepotter550
he was a very special dog - no, really, it was one of those tiny regional planes with one seat on one side and two on the other......I just had to put him down two weeks ago and I'm sad.
pilot62
Scott Campbell 1
You can buy a row
dtgriscom
Daniel Griscom 4
... did he let you take it for a spin?
laundryczar
laundryczar 1
Lol…no, although looking back I wish I had asked just for the fun of seeing his reaction.
dtgriscom
Daniel Griscom 1
Yeah, would have been fun. But, you know that he's been approached by people who ask this in all seriousness. (People, excepting present company of course, are idiots.)
Tcc1999
Timothy Boucher 3
It was the Davydov Strad. Probably valued at over $10M. Yo-Yo-Ma does not own it, it is on loan to him.
tamjam75
tam nelson 1
I hope they didn't have to duct tape Mr. Cello!
PA28Plt
JA Harding 1
If he played Bach's Cello Suite in G during the flight, I would have paid for the cello's ticket.
jimsarushfan
Huck Finn 1
Yards yadda yadda
N107Sugar
Rick Hardman 25
Ran into a similar F.A. late one night boarding a US Air Fokker in Pittsburgh with a $60k TV news camera. He was not going to let me step onboard the nearly empty flight with it. Although I’d traveled extensively for my employer with this type of gear without issue, I’d finally encountered that attitude. Fortunately the First Officer heard what was going on from the cockpit and offered to let me put the camera behind him next to his suitcase. A little common sense to the rescue.
roncoleman
R C 4
And that was against federal law…
wcraycroft
Warren Craycroft 21
What other federal laws don't they go with?
zkat2
Zoltan Katona 1
Student pilots.....
bobbylykins
Bobby Lykins 14
Back in the 80's, B.B. King, who lived in Las Vegas, used to fly on the airline I worked for (Braniff) to gigs all over the country. He never allowed his beloved "Lucille" to fly in the cabin; instead, she was carefully placed in the forward cargo hold, front bulkhead in netting and wall straps. B.B. and I became pretty good friends because he would always ask for me to "Take good care of his girl"... and he always knew his Lucille would make it safely to Dallas or Kansas City. Those were such great times. By the way, if you don't know who Lucille is, she was, and still is, B.B.'s Gibson ES-355 Guitar. :)
hchaynes
Hayward Haynes 3
Bobby thanks for mentioning Braniff. I moved to Dallas in ‘79. Tried to be driving on Wycliff @ Toll Way between 4&5 every afternoon. FA’s dressed in Paris fashions and Calder put some pretty wild graffiti on those planes.
Man those were the days.
Great thread with an occasional sore head, on if the best in awhile
CerealSpiller
Mike G 38
To be fair, a couple of the bins were probably filled with rolls of duct tape, so space really was at a premium.
ghstark
Greg S 5
Haha, airplane manufacturers are going to have to modify some seats so they'll accommodate straightjackets, all this duct tape is just too messy and blue-collar. They can even have luxury straightjackets for 1st class passengers that wig out.
leroyk
Leroy Kelley 2
I like this idea. When people fall asleep they will not be leaning on you. Add a head strap and when you fall asleep you will not wake yourself we your head nods. Of course it will be one size fits all no most no my 12 year old neice.
chugheset
chugheset 1
Now that's funny, I don't care who you are...
thecohorts
Matt LaMay 23
I dont blame the violinist. That violin probably costs more than that flight attendant makes in a year.
cfreeflight
Caleb Helmuth 4
Probably, actually I know it did.

Ever heard of a F/A making $1,500,000 a year?

[This comment has been downvoted. Show anyway.]

martingreen
Martin Green 16
That flight attendant may have been wrong on the regs but your sexist comment was utterly uncalled for. The flight attendant's job is not to be your "flying waitress" but to get your sorry a$$ out of the airplane in the event of an emergency and to deal with ignorant, self-important, belligerent passengers who are legends in their own minds with the impulse control of toddlers,
rboddy91
Rich Boddy 4
There was nothing "sexist" about the comment. Was it insanely stupid? Yes. But sexist? Uhhh no.
jimsarushfan
Huck Finn 4
Get a sense of humor mister virtue signaling.
ghstark
Greg S 3
Your pen, sir, is indeed mightier than the sword and I will take care not to cross you.
devsfan
ken young 1
YOU are sexist. Your comments imply only females are flights attendants.
jeepien
jeepien 1
The statement said "waitress", so it only implied that this one female flight attendant was female.
MLSellers
Mildred Sellers -1
WAITRESS?????? they don't serve anything anymore. They are there to be the Mask Police!
I've seen them sleeping between the mask check run thru.....Waitresses work hard for their $$$$
amentor
a mentor 22
Unbelievable! A violin is a delicate insturment and if it were rare, say like a Stradivius, could be precious. Antonio Stradivari is widely considered the greatest violin maker of all time, and his instruments sell for as much as $16 million. You don't stow one of these with the cargo! We all know being a flight attendant is difficult today, but a parochial and ignorant is NOT the personality need today. Little miss in-your-face needs a refresher course customer relations and FAA regulations.
xtoler
Larry Toler 16
She also should have referenced her GOM. Unless things have changed since I was a flight attendant I don't believe they get gate checked. I had a similar thing happen with me and a passenger where he had sensitive geological equipment. We got in a bit of a pissing contest but I checked my GOM and he was right. I apologized, I felt like a jerk but I was able to stow his equipment in our closet and enough said.
waypoint66
David Rice 0
Thank you for having that type of attitude. FAs today would not often take the time to refer to regulations or rules. They abuse the VERY LITTLE bit of power they have, mostly because their standing in the world is so low, and of course many have self-esteem issues that result from being so "low on society's totem pole".
MikeMohle
Mike Mohle 4
I was on a flight a couple of years ago on SWA, and the passenger bought seats both for him + his instrument. Smart idea, he said he had dealt with the same issue in the past. There are solutions, even though this situation sounds like the airline has a bad policy.
xtoler
Larry Toler 6
By right that's stated in 39 CFR and also covered in the GOM. Before and after being a flight attendant I was mostly a cargo and special handling guy, guy. I stayed away from pax service because boxes don't complain, lol. Still, having worked cargo and operations in an USAF Aerial Port gave me a bigger understanding of passenger service and what can and can't go in the cabin but I also know how to handle and where to look for unusual exceptions and make a command decision and also to communicate that to my PIC when necessary.
RussellNelson
Russ Nelson 4
"boxes don't complain"? Okay, now I take that as a challenge! I'm sure that I can make a box that complains about rough handling. "Ow! That hurts!"
okie101
Ron Merriman 2
Boxes don't Complain, I worked as an Intl Document Agent, Customer Service, and D.G. Specialists, and Ramp Handler for Flying Tigers, and FedEx for 36 years. Their owners yell plenty.. even when there is no call for it.
yr2012
matt jensen 2
That also happened to a cellist - he even bought a second seat in First Class. They broke it on belt
Mark33565
Mark Richter 10
search youtube for: united breaks guitars

then you will understand why the instrument should not be placed in the hold...
phillipsmurray
Murray Phillips 8
United is a musicians nightmare. They have a well earned reputation for breaking instruments.
krakejn
JAMES KRAKE 3
Yes, they do. Remember this gem?

"United Breaks Guitars" - Sons of Maxwell

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5YGc4zOqozo
thesheet
Peter Connor 8
what the fa should've done is consult her manual. That is what it is there for.

No one can know everything all the time.
martingreen
Martin Green 9
Absolutely right. I think this violinist was absolutely correct in how she handled the situation. The final authority on any flight is the Captain. If I were a musician, I would take the extra step of obtaining a copy of the airline policy regarding musical instruments and a copy of the federal regulation. If I ran into a flight attendant who told me that "we don't follow federal law" I would hand the flight attendant a copy of the regulation and policy and say: "Really? I think you do. If you don't believe me, Why don't we ask the Captain?"
MLSellers
Mildred Sellers 7
If she didn't know THIS she probably didn't listen in re-qualification class. I went to 40 of these classes and we were always reviewing the FAA rules and Federal Laws. BUT, then again, today these F/As are merely Mask Police and most come with a real attitude. Glad I retired with amazing memories of wonderful passengers and fun trips.
BrianL
BrianL 7
I wouldn't call it United. It was CommutAir, flying under United. This is one reason I don't like how they do that. But few people would book a flight on "CommutAir". People are strange.
DaveRK
DaveRK 18
Another case showing that some FA's let the power go to their head.
4 years ago, during retirement planning, I wondered if I'd miss my 2-4 flights a week and the freq flyer miles, nope. :)
When COVID is finally behind us, I hope the FAA, the airlines, unions and employees take a hard look at their customer service or lack thereof.
fireftr
Dale Ballok 11
Not always a power trip, but more often than not, a lack of common sense, that’s in short supply in today’s world!
soarby007
brent young 5
I sometimes travel with my violin. The catch is that you have to make certain these commuter aircraft have storage space. I will not check it. So if you get on one of these Rj’s you can have a problem as the space will only accolade a laptop
martingreen
Martin Green 8
Keep in mind that she was the first to board the aircraft.
srobak
srobak 3
this is precisely why she had priority boarding, as stated in the article
LeanderWilliams
Leander Williams 4
Who remembers the days when United's catch advertising gimmick was 'FLY THE FRIENDLY SKIES OF UNITED.' I guess those days have evaporated. This reminds me of an incident a couple of years before the pandemic began that my nephew had on Qantas. He was going to Australia to a music festival with his boss Janet Jackson and he was told he could not take his bass guitar on the plane even though dozens of other musicians on the flight were allowed to stow theirs in the overhead bins. I think he and Janet ultimately made an official complaint with Qantas.
LeanderWilliams
Leander Williams 1
I think I'll tell my nephew to duct tape the bass to his body next time he flies...
jhayes66
jhayes66 1
This didn't happen on United, it was an express carrier.
LeanderWilliams
Leander Williams 1
I have been in transportation since 1973. ANY entity that is a sub-hauler for United or any other carrier is bound by written agreement to operate under the same rules and regulations as the parent carrier. It doesn't matter if it was Two Wings and a Prayer airlines, they are bound by contract to service the customers of United as if they ARE United. It is the same for the many carriers worldwide to have the One World Logo on their aircraft livery. I would hate to fly on that airline when they operate under their own operating authority. [every aircraft in a fleet does not have to be committed to United]. If they don't abide by Federal Regulations they are an accident looking for an opportune time to happen.
SmittySmithsonite
Could've been an assault style violin. May have frightened the flight attendant by its looks.
jaylward
J Aylward 3
I do remember old gangster movies with the thugs toting violin cases, though if memory serves, not containing violins.

Too many people trying to have it both ways. If you use Federal regs to justify some of the things you do, you can't very well say that Federal laws don't apply here.
okie101
Ron Merriman 2
As I replyed to Gary Miller. Maybe it was an evil Black Violin.
Quirkyfrog
Robert Cowling 1
Was it Frank Zappa that had a guitar that had a sticker on it saying it wanted to kill mo mother, or was it one of his crazy songs. Just an odd tangent for a Saturday evening...
Quirkyfrog
Robert Cowling 7
There was a website that covered many of the problems with flying, and working, for United. It was called 'untied.com'. Apparently United sued the owner of that site, and it was closed down.

The stories were horrific in way too many incidences. People paying for first class, and being sent to the back of the plane, baggage being shredded, expensive special meals being given to the wrong people, angry confrontations with idiotic power tripping flight attendants, crazy pilot incidences, and on and on... I'm sure it butt hurt United management something fierce.

I will always call them 'untied', and try to avoid them whenever possible.

The only time I was ever yelled at on a flight by a flight attendant, was on a Untied flight. We had just landed, and I hadn't even started to get up as the plane taxied to the gate. YIKES! (A few other passengers yelled back at her. And I haven't flown one of their planes since that incident, although I did fly a untied express flight once, out of necessity, that had that retched powder you spread on puke in the back, and a few people joined in the puke-o-rama before we landed)
CheddarCat
Susan W 5
I refer to United as “Untied” as well. Granted, the only issue I have had on a UAL flight was a disgusting, shoe-less passenger seated behind me who insisted on placing her foot on my armrest.
WhiteKnight77
WhiteKnight77 1
Ask the offender if you can put your feet in said offender's face.
KatzyBaby
KatzyBaby 1
Always bring feathers, after multiple tickles they usually move their foot.
JamesKobler
James Kobler 6
OMG!!! United and musical instruments. They just never learn.
Go to Google and enter United Breaks Guitars - Dave Carrol. In your face UNITED.
hortod1
dj horton 2
Think it was United that killed a dog, too
coinflyer
coinflyer 6
United, this is so typical of you as a company—failing to train your staff properly and not giving a sh*t about customer service. But of course, when you hire morons to begin with, training them is next to impossible.
jhayes66
jhayes66 2
The Flight Attendant didn't work for United.
ImperialEagle
ImperialEagle 8
Hiring the dregs, Commutair certainly "got what they paid for". Just another arrogant and brain-dead f/a.
goriordan40
Gerard ORIORDAN 3
I bet THAT flight attendant has got some bollocking from United.
BrianL
BrianL 2
She doesn't work for United.
LeanderWilliams
Leander Williams 4
It doesn't matter that she works for United. It DOES matter that the airline she does work for is operating under the Authority of United Airlines and as such is bound by all of the rules and regulations and policies of United Airlines. It is basically a sub-contractor and the sub-contractor has agreed in writing to follow the United protocol.
tnhogfan
Alan Young 3
I won't go deer hunting without my violin.
redseaconsulting
Robert Mack 2
LOL (and if you heard me try to play one it would definitely cause trauma)!
SkywardEyes
SkywardEyes 3
Fun fact: as some have already said, cellists routinely buy a seat for their instruments. The ticket usually says “Cello [Last name],” and they usually can be paid cartage on top of money for performing, if for ie a summer music festival, since they have this added expense. Tuba, percussion, and harp can also be eligible for cartage, but obviously those instruments must be checked under the cabin in hard cases.

Had this flight been UA mainline there probably would have been no issue. It’s usually the regional airlines, their smaller aircraft/smaller carry-on capacities, and, in this case, a FA that seemingly didn’t care about regulations that result in carry-on issues.

Flying with an instrument as a professional musician is a nervous experience, for sure. Fortunately my woodwind instrument fits under most seats...but I must shell out the bag fee r/t to check my reed knives (or send them ahead for less, which risks them being lost).

A damaged instrument while flying to perform or audition is what keeps musicians up at night. Glad this violinist knew the regulation and was able to bring her instrument on board.
LeanderWilliams
Leander Williams 1
I think that a lot of the smaller regional airlines do not instruct their flight attendants on the rules and regulations of the flag carrier that they represent. An obvious reason is that the regional airlines have a harder time retaining aircrews because a lot of them get their foot in the door with the regionals, and then lose them to the airlines. It's a tough position to be in but they are supposed to give that instruction. I cringe when I think one day to read an NTSB report that says cause of accident was failure of the flight crew to follow correct procedure while representing a major carrier on a regional line.
jbsimms
James Simms 4
United breaks Guitars, kills family pets, & assaults & arrests passengers who won’t give up their seat for a non-Rev employee…..

https://youtu.be/5YGc4zOqozo
wkessinger
Bill Kessinger 2
The video has nothing to do with this story????
GeorgeLeaf
George Leaf 2
My limited experience has been the violinist had a seat booked next him for his instrument and insisted he and the instrument remain seated in front of the wing to protect his perfect pitch which was his livelihood.
Airtottie
Tottie Mitchell 2
I see Classic FM mentioned. I live in Virginia and listen to Classic FM every day on Global player. Also here in Hreece where I am on vacation. Excellent music programs.
RaymondHoff
Raymond Hoff 2
United Breaks Guitars

https://youtu.be/5YGc4zOqozo
mdinos
Michael Schmidt 2
As I read the FAA regs, the musical instrument is “allowed” as carry-on, but I see nowhere in FAA regs that an airline is “required” to accept it as carry-on as the musician claimed. Admittedly the FARs are really boring reading, but I was intrigued by the musicians claim. There are many things the FAA regs “allow” that airlines don’t allow. An example is an emotional support pig is allowed in the cabin by the FAA, but airlines aren’t required to allow them. :)
Minto31
Ian Murray 2
It reminds me of the song "United break guitars" I know the song is on a streaming channel...Do not know how to post links (useless on computers).
jandwr
jandwr 2
I knew it would be United before I even read the article. Yup.
cookiepotter550
Give people the opportunity to have power and look how they abuse it. She should be FIRED! How dare she - and thank God for the pilot. I had an experience with a pilot who thought he was "all powerful" and wrote AA that he should NOT be in control of an airplane with his anger issues - DID get a personal letter back. Do not know what happened to him. These power trips where people "know better" and make that statement about "federal regulations" has GOT TO STOP.
bcw1136
Bob Williamson 2
United just keeps stepping in it....
jburns57
James Burns 2
After all, "United breaks guitars." (google it) So can't blame her.
Ccooperev
Charles Cooper 2
United is notorious for this sort of thing.
CarlCinardo
Carl Cinardo 4
Well then, I guess we can scrap the masks also!
MLSellers
Mildred Sellers 3
Don't we wish???
they are all MASK POLICE. they don't do anything but check mask compliance.
I went to the lab and wanted a glass of water but the F/A was asleep on his jumpseat in the galley.
Flying is just a bus ride experience today.
srobak
srobak 4
when that happens I simply get the water myself.
pagheca
pagheca 2
FAA: "Regulations permit musical instruments to be stored in our overhead bins as a personal item."
Me: "I am an organist, find an Antonov 225".
srobak
srobak 2
volvodadfast
Ichiro Sugioka 2
This and the duct tape incidents, it seems United is having problems with flight crew training. (FA might be surprised by the replacement value of the instrument. )
srobak
srobak 2
I have no problem with duct taping passengers who are a threat. It's either that or they get the George Floyd Kneel. Simple choice, really.
tomUK
Tom Burke 0
I think the duct-tape incident was on American. Indeed, didn't United just recently say that it was their policy to not carry duct-tape on board?
wannabehocker
wannabehocker 2
I'm willing to bet that shortly after this exchange, this same flight attendant went on to announce that all passengers must have a face mask covering their nose and mouth at all times
mmc7090
mmc7090 2
The airlines are full of incompetent and inexperienced. You get what you deserve is the true marketing slogan. United and racial equality as a goal has removed the merit based system. Even the FAA is bracing with a kinder genteler program of enforcement so not to offend racial quotas.
bixlercs
Samuel Bixler 1
Similar incident from several years ago: https://abcnews.go.com/GMA/video/instruments-banned-airplane-violinists-fight-bach-23893862
TWA55
TWA55 1
Maybe the flight attendant should be checked into the hold. UAL needs to instruct flight attendants for those who have forgot, that Fed Regulations will always trump airline policies. Maybe a look at the FAR's is in order, I mean they are so hard to understand.
pilot62
Scott Campbell 1
The FA was probably just new, annoying on a power trip, a little on the lame side of the bus, but yea or hungry and tired
E1craZ4life
Edward Bardes 1
It's times like these that make me wonder how United is able to stay in business these days.
roncoleman
R C 1
Federal law allows, but does not dictate that instruments have to be allowed in overhead bins. Hunt is just plain wrong. If she wants a guarantee that it will be in the cabin she is free to buy a seat for it.
LeanderWilliams
Leander Williams 1
I have to respectfully disagree with you on the law..
https://www.transportation.gov/briefing-room/us-department-transportation-issues-final-rule-regarding-air-travel-musical
roncoleman
R C 1
It says “if space is available” - in small commuter jets her violin likely exceeded the space allotted for her seat.
alanhamilton
Alan Hamilton 1
How quickly United forgets! I wouldn't want to check it after this-https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PGNtQF3n6VY
jeliop
John Eliopoulos 1
Prosecute and fire.
srobak
srobak 2
prosecute for _what_ exactly? is this like jailing trump for his crimes?
the FA should certainly be suspended unpaid and sent to remedial training before being allowed to crew up again.
waypoint66
David Rice -1
And then as the fired FA is leaving the airport, unleash a pack of wild dogs to rip her to pieces, and then simply claim, "we don't follow the law in restraining our animals".
jimsarushfan
Huck Finn 1
Damn flight attendants have turned into a bunch of gestapo.
bigkahuna400
bigkahuna400 1
Yeah, well I am surprised United and all regional co's are still in business anyway. Will NEVER fly on them, maintenance is horrible....Just stay away from them.
BrianL
BrianL 1
vs. who?

https://www.wsj.com/articles/southwest-flew-millions-on-jets-with-unconfirmed-maintenance-records-government-report-says-11580380201
Nessus
Gary Miller 1
I bet they ask all the MAFIA TYPES to put their machinegun (Violin) in the back. lmao
okie101
Ron Merriman 1
Maybe it was an evil black one.
MLSellers
Mildred Sellers -2
The PUST the stupid mask "FEDERAL MANDATE" but don't follow other Federal laws....amazing these new F/As are all now the Face Mask Police but don't comply with FAR or FAA rules......hhhmmmmmm
Quirkyfrog
Robert Cowling 0
If wearing a face mask removes that much humanity from your, there wasn't much to start with.
srobak
srobak 3
If you think it is only about wearing a mask - then it is your humanity that is severely in question.
Quirkyfrog
Robert Cowling 0
Oh, lord, bite me...
srobak
srobak 1
another shining example of your stellar humanity. next!
craiglgood
Craig Good 0
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5YGc4zOqozo
lorianderson
Lori Anderson 0
I appreciate that this passenger didn’t want to check her instrument. What would happen if a dozen members of the orchestra were on the same flight and there wasn’t room for all their instruments in the overhead compartment?
SkywardEyes
SkywardEyes 3
Some woodwind cases fit under the seat.

Brass instruments usually can be checked; there’s no risk of cracked wood or damaged pads in an unpressurized hold.

Harp and most percussion would be checked outright due to size.

Like woodwinds: string players have much more to worry about re damage with unpressurized stowage.

Cellists and double basses either buy a designated seat for the instrument in the cabin, which of course uses no overhead space, or get a very expensive hard travel case for under the plane. Even with the latter, most would far rather buy the extra seat so they know their livelihood is right there with them in the cabin.

Violinists and violists do not usually buy extra seats because their cases will fit in the overhead bin, but as you say, what happens if there are several instruments on the flight.

Generally, if an ie entire orchestra is going to tour, the airline knows in advance they are all on the flight, so the orchestra will try to work out all of those instrument stowage details ahead of time. They have to, for everyone’s sake. Also, usually an entire orchestra won’t go on the same flight: some musicians will go earlier.

If a few/dozen musicians are traveling on the same flight to ie a summer festival, they need to be aware of their boarding zone (and have a backup plan if near the end of the line) or request preboarding.

Guess the x factor is willingness of others to be sympathetic to your plight in regard to no more overhead bin space. An instrument that you make your living on is not the same as a rollerboard with clothes. But, as some have rightfully alluded to, musicians don’t get special rights when we travel in regard to the carry-on bin space. It’s there for everyone.

If a violinist had the misfortune of a delayed incoming flight and unfortunately ended up having to board a connection flight last, I would hope there’d be enough understanding that room could somehow be made for bin storage of their instrument. If not, the musician would probably have to ask about taking the next flight because under-cabin stowage really could cause serious damage to certain instruments.
tzoia1
Franco Prizzi 2
Hopefully orchestra would have traveled by bus......usually not a bad experience for musicians.
MLSellers
Mildred Sellers 1
Carrington the LONDON ENGLAND Philharmonic with ALL their hand instruments was a breeze. Well, then again, I did fly during the age of Civility....1969 to 2009....there are in fact rules for carriage of delicate instruments. It's the rudeness in today's F/As. They are merely Mask Police that do nothing but look for one to be off some face so they can use the limited authority they were given.
phowry
Phil Howry -5
It's understandable that musicians need to travel with their instruments from time to time; however, the FAA regulation does have a "space available" condition. Just because a musician allegedly boarded early does not speak to the "booked" capacity of the flight, or how many other bags the musician placed in the overhead compartment.

Bottom line, this situation tells me more about the character of the musician than a critique of the flight attendant and/or airline; e.g. did the musician consider purchasing a seat for the violin?
tzoia1
Franco Prizzi 4
Good point of view, but I don't think this musician acted wrong.
The F.A. should have noticed the customer there was no space in bins, not stating the airline doesn't go with federal law.
But she had a priority boarding just to avoid risks on a RJ also, i think this demontrate situation awareness by the ruly customer.
Bottom line, my critique is for F.A.
srobak
srobak 3
except there was space in the bins - as they were first on the flight.
WhiteKnight77
WhiteKnight77 1
Please explain how all the overhead bins are already full if she was the first person aboard and paid for said privilege of doing so.
ghstark
Greg S 2
Of course you're correct, this 'federal law' business is complete bullshit. Federal law doesn't *require* that musical instruments be placed in carry-on bins, it permits it. But I'm sure the flight attendant was wrong and misunderstood the company policy.
srobak
srobak 2
sorry - but booked capacity of the flight has no bearing on how many people get to bring carryons aboard. First come first served always has. Proof of that is the inevitable announcement at the gate 3/4ths the way through boarding stating "there is no more room for carryones - get a check bag tag here and leave it at the end of the jetway".
pardiac
Ken Pardiac -6
The federal law says that an airline MAY allow musical instruments in the overhead bins. It does not require that they be stowed there. The airline was committing no violation of law in asking for the violin to be stowed with baggage. That being said, the flight attendant should have allowed the violin onboard. The passenger has no reason to complain; her demands were met.
roncoleman
R C -2
How do you know that she should have allowed it? Some tickets these days do not include access to the overhead bins. In any case space is limited - if everybody showed up with a violin and a demand there simply would not be space. The flight attendant was merely trying to be fair to other paying passengers. Maybe Hunt should charter her own aircraft in the future.

[This comment has been downvoted. Show anyway.]

MLSellers
Mildred Sellers 1
F/A was being the usual police in todays markets....there is not the niceness that flights used to have. They are all just MASK POLICE and to heck with any other rules or laws. It is pitiful and I am glad I retired after 40 years of fun, and good feelings with passengers and respect going both ways. I truly did fly in the Golden Age of Flying.
PKVol
Patrick Keohane 2
Mildred, you have commented on this post, as of the time of my posting, eight times, and in six of those posts you mentioned that F/A's are merely "MASK POLICE" today. I think we all get your bias and repeatedly posting the same comment in response to other's reasoned posts adds nothing to the conversation. Have a good day and enjoy your retirement, I think many customers are probably glad to have some crew members no longer serving.

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