Carry On Luggage

Aug 24th, 2009, 11:59 AM
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Carry On Luggage

My son will be travelling to Vienna next week. He is taking his tenor saxophone and a backpack with a small laptop as carry-on luggage and he plans to check one suitcase. We are not concerned about the the domestic connection (Chicago to Washington on United) but from Washington to Vienna he will be on Austrian Airlines, which has a one carry-on policy. Austrian Airlines has told him they will take the saxophone only if it fits in the on-board storage locker, although their telephone rep has entered a "request" for the saxophone as carry-on. Otherwise, he will have to send it as his second piece of checked luggage. Obviously, he is reluctant to check a valuable instrument. If anyone has any suggestions or experience with this type of thing, we'd appreciate your input.
jentrav is offline  
Aug 24th, 2009, 01:20 PM
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what are the dimensions of the case?
J62 is offline  
Aug 24th, 2009, 02:15 PM
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I think it's about 53 inches, which is 2-3 inches over the official limit. I should tell you that two friends who are international flight attendants for United and American have said that would never be a problem for them...they allow guitar cases, which are longer. Of course all airlines (and flight and gate attendants!) seem to have different policies. Thanks for any help.
jentrav is offline  
Aug 25th, 2009, 04:02 AM
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I have also seen large instruments in the cabin sometimes and I also think it will not be a problem. I would not easily believe that a check-in agent forces your son to send the valuable instrument as checked baggage !!

They could store it standing in the business or first class wardrobe !
Fabio is offline  
Aug 25th, 2009, 04:59 AM
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I have also seen larger instruments (like guitars) but I think a lot will depend on 1) how full the flight is, 2) the attitude of the FA/check-in agents that day, and 3) the fact that he really has 3 carry-ons. [I'd at least get that down to 2].

Our daughter's high school orchestra went to Europe to play several concerts 3 yrs ago. The whole trip was on LH. They were told if it's larger than a clarinet case, it has to be checked; that all other sizes exceeded allowed carry-on limits. Part of this could have had to do with the numbers involved, so this may not be a good analogy but thought I'd pass it along anyway in case it helps.

Regardless, make sure it is fully insured (which I'm sure you already know) in case he does have to check it at the last minute.
dfr4848 is offline  
Aug 25th, 2009, 12:36 PM
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Thanks for your help, everyone. Just a clarification: at most, he will have two carry-ons, the sax and a backpack. He will only check one suitcase. And yes, the instrument is absolutely fully insured!
jentrav is offline  
Aug 25th, 2009, 04:41 PM
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There really shouldn't be any problem. The saxophone is counted as the one carryon, and the backpack as his personal item. I had no problem carrying a violin to/from Hong Kong the last two years.
rkkwan is offline  
Aug 25th, 2009, 05:06 PM
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Thanks, rkkwan. I will pass that info along to my son. We don't think it will be a big problem...just trying to be prepared!
jentrav is offline  
Sep 2nd, 2009, 02:03 PM
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Just an update for those of you who offered advice with the saxophone carry-on. Both United and Austrian Airlines let our son carry the sax on board, with no problems or questions at all. As a precaution, he had only checked one piece of luggage (weighing exactly 50 pounds) so that he would not have been penalized if he had to check the instrument. Thanks to all of you for your help and advice!
jentrav is offline  
Sep 2nd, 2009, 03:01 PM
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I never have problem taking my violin with the airlines. The issue has always been the Hong Kong airport authority. Regardless of airlines (whether it is Continental, Northwest or most recently ANA), it used to be the check-in agent needed to give me a special tag for oversized carry-on to go through HKG security.

But recently, it has always required an escort from the check-in staff to the security entrance to let me go through.
rkkwan is offline  
Sep 3rd, 2009, 04:51 PM
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jentrav -- Thanks for giving the update regarding your son and his saxophone as carryon. It's nice to hear the "after" of some of the questions on these forums.
travlsolo2 is offline  

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