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Violinist Anastasia

Violins Cases for travelling by airplane

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I am looking for a good violin case thats not to expensive, but sturdy enough to withstand the torture of the airport workers who are known for damaging instruments. Would it be worth inventing in a Hiscox case?? I like the GEWA, but they are out of my price range.

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5 hours ago, Violinist Anastasia said:

I am looking for a good violin case thats not to expensive, but sturdy enough to withstand the torture of the airport workers who are known for damaging instruments. Would it be worth inventing in a Hiscox case?? I like the GEWA, but they are out of my price range.

I would say never ever ever put a violin in the hold ...

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Yes, take it as carry on. I was just wondering if there are any compact cases just for a violin (no bow). There used to be, but I cant find any right now. Who makes one?

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6 hours ago, Violinist Anastasia said:

I am looking for a good violin case thats not to expensive, but sturdy enough to withstand the torture of the airport workers who are known for damaging instruments. Would it be worth inventing in a Hiscox case?? I like the GEWA, but they are out of my price range.

Carry it on.  Buy early boarding so that flight attendants don't harass you.

As far as I know, there are no completely safe cases.  If you have a nice violin, don't even consider checking it... that's madness.

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1 hour ago, Stephen Fine said:

Carry it on.  Buy early boarding so that flight attendants don't harass you.

As far as I know, there are no completely safe cases.  If you have a nice violin, don't even consider checking it... that's madness.

Each airline behaves differently to musical instruments and to make it worse, each airport has an attitude, some friendly and others not. 

Cellists and bass players ( who should really use a locally borrowed bass ) have it the worst. I have had several cello travel-specifc cases including a David Gage, damaged and several normal cello cases ( Gewa, Bam ) damaged. Much can not be done. Claims are rarely addressed. Only one instrument of mine was damaged by our security helpers as they removed the instrument from the case while a friend had her cello dropped and neck/ button separated from the back.

We should all try to get through to the gate with the instrument. Some Gate attendants ( usually there one hour before scheduled departure ) may help by providing space for the instrument before boarding. If they need to put the instrument in the cargo hold, have them walk the instruments down to the tarmac with the appropriate tag, from the jet bridge if boarding from an elevated terminal.

With current air travel being so over-sold, there is no guarantee that the instrument can be carried on. I have had success with Southwest here in the US. United is not easy to work with. I refused to fly Delta, but i am told they are much better than before. American is pragmatic as they are a bit more expensive - during the winter it is also easier to fly through Dallas rather than Denver or Chicago.

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Carry it. I checked my violin once ever, in a good case. Made it just fine, case looked great, until I opened it. The violin was mostly fine, with a chunk of wood missing. TSA had opened it to look inside, and who knows how they did it, but took a chunk of wood off.

So yeah, even if you find the Fort Knox of violin cases, some idiot might just open it and throw it against the wall anyways. 

By the way, at LHR, I once saw a baggage handler toss a guitar in what looked like a soft case from the plane to the ground with my own eyes. Horrific, and a bit hilarious. I'm sure it shattered beyond repair.

Never check an instrument ever.

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I've never run into any problems with carrying on a violin or viola in a standard case, for a domestic (US) airline. I carry a copy of the TSA regulations for carry on instruments with me. 

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On 12/5/2019 at 7:04 PM, martin swan said:

I would say never ever ever put a violin in the hold ...

Well said.

Anyway tell us your price range.

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I have a Bobelock case for my viola - very sturdy with a stiff, protective plywood construction that is difficult to compress.  But it is also a heavy case becaue plywood is heavy.  Bobelock cases retail for over $200 on Amazon, and also at my local violin shop, but I bought it used from a local violin shop where I take lessons for just $100.  So I recommend you check with your local violin shops to see if any have some used Bobelock (or Gewa) cases.

I just purchased a Jakob Winter JW 51025 case for my violin.  I saw this case selling for $250 in the US on Amazon.  I emailed the Jakob Winter company in Germany and they sent me a link to the best priced retailer in Germany for the same case.  It is significantly cheaper in Germany.  You can buy it at:  https://www.thomann.de/intl/jakob_winter_jw_51025_n_b_violinkoffer.htm for 106.72 EUR plus 30 EUR for shipping to U.S. and less for shipping in Europe or UK. That comes to a little over $150 delivered in the U.S.  if you use PayPal, there will also be a $5-10 charge for converting USD to EUR.  I don't know if it will incur an import duty/tax by U.S. Customs, but I don;t think it will. 

It is not quite as firm a case as the Bobelock, but it is quite firm and very well padded.  I also like that it has a channel formed in the top that ensures the padding in the lid will not touch your strings or bridge. It seems very well constructed except that the latches can't be locked, so they may be prone to pop open.

You can also learn more about the Natural Fiber Composite material this case is made of at 

https://www.jakob-winter.com/en/natural-fiber-composites/

 

1941544098_ThomannJW51025NBViolinCase(2).thumb.JPG.b157a9a03f6cbabe56e8b89ec5f1bff8.JPG

 

This Jakob Winter case looks very much like a Gewa Bio case available from Thomann for about the same price:

https://www.thomann.de/intl/gewa_bio_violincase_4_4_gy_mp_sh.htm

 

 

511332888_ThomannGewaBioViolinCase.thumb.JPG.d09e9f014ac50e1c8a470d37e2603ad1.JPG

 

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By the way, JW also makes a Carbon Fiber version of this case - more expensive ($283 on Amazon and 159 EUR at www.thomann.de).  I asked JW about that case.  They told me it is just a Carbon Fiber foil, rather than the fabric finish of the non-carbon version, as the outer finish of the case.  JW told me it is just for looks. It does not offer any additional protection to the violin.

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https://trinitycase.com/

 

I have a customer who has one of these. Not cheap, but he travels lots and carries a fiddle and a mandolin, and manages to get both on board with this set-up.

I usually carry a shaped Gewa, black, wear a black jacket and carry the fiddle low on my back...

Being a violin maker, if I have too much to carry on I check my bag with a Bobelock shipping violin case in the suitcase, clothes packed around it both inside and outside of the case. Sometimes I take the set-up down, sometimes not. 

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I am travelling to Europe early next year and bought a Tonareli Cello-shaped Fiberglass Violin Case. It is pretty nice I think. I was able to find one new on Ebay that was almost $100 less than usual because of some minor scratches. I plan to take it on board.

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Just bought a Bobelock "half moon" case - it is very compact, and was only $175. It is not the lightest case I've found, but appears to be very sturdy. Despite the compactness, it has plenty of room inside for a full-size shoulder rest (velcro'd under the violin neck) and a decent-sized compartment at the other end of the case. The zippered nylon outer jacket has an accessory compartment area for strings, pencils, etc. and has room for some sheet music. 

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On ‎12‎/‎13‎/‎2019 at 1:56 PM, Zeissica said:

I've never run into any problems with carrying on a violin or viola in a standard case, for a domestic (US) airline. I carry a copy of the TSA regulations for carry on instruments with me. 

This. Always have a copy of the regs in the case. 

 

On ‎12‎/‎14‎/‎2019 at 4:19 AM, Fiddler45 said:

If my fiddle doesn't go in the passenger compartment, neither will I.

...and this.

I have never had problems on transatlantic or European flights either. However, plan ahead. Print the specific information from each carrier's terms and conditions (check for code shares and print their terms and conditions too). Arrive early and pay for early boarding to make sure there is space in the overheads. Stand firm in the face of intransigence if it occurs, be polite and escalate through the management structure if necessary. Having said that, the only close call I ever had was with my daughter's travel harp.

 

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On ‎1‎/‎2‎/‎2015 at 8:26 AM, Stephen Fine said:

http://www.thestrad.com/cpt-latests/us-department-transportation-finalises-law-carrying-instruments-board-airlines/

 

"Airlines are now required to train air crews, gate agents, counter agents, and baggage personnel in the appropriate procedures necessary to comply with all FAA musical instrument transportation policies."

 

Our prayers have been answered!  However, space is on a first-come-first-served basis.  So, get to the front of the boarding line by whatever means necessary.

 

For the full text of the rule: http://www.dot.gov/airconsumer/final-rule-musical-instruments

Here is a link to the regs, from the sticky thread at the top of the forum

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12 hours ago, Televet said:

Always have a copy of the regs in the case. 

Unfortunately, the "regs" give final say to the flight crew.

If a member of the crew doesn't like the look of your case, they can prevent you from boarding.  I have had this happen to me.

So far, I haven't had trouble if I purchase an upgraded (early boarding) ticket, but, before, I once had a ticket scanner grab my case out of my hands and demand that I board the plane without it.  Her point was that "the plane is too small, it won't fit in the overhead."  When I explained that I've flown dozens of times with it on every size of plane, she refused to believe me.  I had another deny me boarding when she thought I was being over-dramatic about its value and the fact that I couldn't board without it.  She thought I was just going to give in and let her gate-check it, but of course, instead, I ended up just having to take the next flight.  In both cases, it clearly seemed like they were on power trips.

I'm glad that other people haven't had bad experiences, but carrying "the regs" will just annoy them if you try to argue with them.

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