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Booking a "Musical Instrument" on a flight

knobby

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I'm looking to bring one of my accordions back from Spain with me when I next go over there, which will be by plane rather than car. Looking at the Ryanair website they have a thing for booking in a musical instrument, rather than just checked in luggage, for which they charge you a higher price (£50 for the instrument rather than £40 for a 20kg suitcase).
Do they do something special with instruments for the higher price? Handle them more carefully, or put them in a special area for transport? Or is it just another way for Mr O'Leary to extract more cash from you?
 

Chrisrayner

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I have no idea, but knowing the general reputation of Ryanair I’d be reluctant to entrust them with a penny whistle, never mind an accordion. Depending on the instrument it may be more or less sensitive to low temperatures and low pressure. I believe wax can fracture readily at low temperatures, which could be expensive. Many aircraft baggage compartments are unheated, and some are not pressurised. If I travel with an accordion, which is not often, I take it as hand baggage. Never done that with a 120 bass instrument.
 

knobby

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knowing the general reputation of Ryanair I’d be reluctant to entrust them with a penny whistle
:LOL: Yes, I know the feeling. I don't even like flying with them myself, but sometimes they are a necessary evil!
I little more digging around their website and I found the following:
1595404792096.jpg
I found that instead of paying £50 to have my accordion in the hold, I could buy it a seat on the plane for £52.60 so that's what I've done.
 

Glug

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Does that mean the accordion gets free inflight food and drinks ?
Or does Mr O'Leary not do 'free'.
 

knobby

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Does that mean the accordion gets free inflight food and drinks ?
Or does Mr O'Leary not do 'free'.
Ryanair do NOTHING for free! My accordion is not even allowed to take hand luggage (which unless it is 40cm x 25cm x 20cm or under you have to pay extra for anyway).
I think this sums them up perfectly:

Michael O’Leary, Chief Executive of Ryanair after arriving in a hotel in Manchester went to the bar and asked for a pint of Guinness.

The barman said, "That will be £1 please, Mr. O’Leary."

Taken aback, O'Leary replied, "That's very cheap," and handed over his money.

"We do try to stay ahead of the competition", said the barman. "We have the cheapest beer in England".

"That is remarkable value", Michael comments.

"I see you don't have a glass, you'll need one of ours. That will be £3 please.", the barman said

O'Leary scowled, but paid up. He took his drink and walked towards a seat.

"Ah, you want to sit down?" said the barman. "That'll be an extra £2. If you'd pre-booked it would have cost £1."

O'Leary swore to himself, but paid up.

"I see you've brought your laptop" added the barman. "That wasn't pre-booked either, that's another £3."

O'Leary was so incensed and his face was red with rage. "I've had enough! I insist on speaking to a manager!"

"Here is his e-mail address, or if you wish, you can contact him between 9.00 am and 9.01am every morning, Monday to Tuesday. Calls are free, unless answered, then there is a charge of only £1 per second".

"I will never use this bar again".

"OK but do remember, we are the only hotel in England selling pints for £1."
 

debra

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It's not all that bad with Ryanair. Unless they changed the rules recently you can book an extra chair for "mr. accompanying instrument" (or "ms. accompanying instrument" or "mrs. accompanying instrument"). They no longer do dr., otherwise it could also be "dr. accompanying instrument". So in the past a quartet could do one booking for the 4 people and 4 instruments (all "passengers" need to have unique names, that's why you use the titles). Now only a trio can bring their 3 instruments...
 

TomBR

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An unexpected feature of travelling with "Ms Accompanying instrument" a few years back was that it was required to have the window seat! In the old unallocated seat days this got questions and dirty looks from other passengers.

Ryanair set up a game and they set the rules, you can choose whether to play or not. Play it right and you get to travel cheaply. I'm grateful to them for the way (in normal times) they've made it possible for my wife to make regular visits to her mum in Dublin.
 

craptiger

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Thankfully my accordion is "just" big enough to fit in the overhead locker so I wrap it in a sheet with the straps sticking out and wear it like a rucksack over one shoulder. Nobody has ever stopped me yet, although I do get some strange looks when it goes through the x-ray machine.
 

knobby

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Well a quick update on this:

I managed to get to Spain (I'm currently coming to the end of my 2 week quarantine) and have brought back my accordion. My original flights were cancelled so managed to book even cheaper flights - only £22.99 for my accordion.
I was taken to one side at security in Alicante where my gig bag was swab tested for drugs/explosives. There was hardly anyone on the flight, and I put my accordion on the floor in front of its allocated seat. The flight attendant asked if I was happy to do that or would I prefer it on the actual seat!
Once off the plane at East Midlands I was taken into the security area where they x-rayed my gig bag but couldn't make out what it was. Obviously they don't see many accordions in East Midlands airport.
And that was it; back in the UK with my Hohner Vox 4P (y)
 

debra

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...

I managed to get to Spain (I'm currently coming to the end of my 2 week quarantine) and have brought back my accordion. ...
Great that it worked out again. Booking a seat for an accordion is definitely the safest way to travel with it. Too bad booking a seat for a musical instrument isn't possible on all airlines. Many nice accordions have been destroyed by baggage handlers throwing them around...
 

TomBR

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Travelling in the past with two concertinas (which did fit into a carry-on bag) they were checked several times at Birmingham.
I'm glad to say that, as you'd hope, Dublin airport took concertinas in their stride!

Glad your accordion travelled safely Knobby.
 

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