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Airlines Change Tune on Size Limits of Hand-Carried Music Instruments

Author:小编,Post Time:2016/7/13 14:55:44

Cathay Pacific and Dragonair are going to allow passengers to bring bigger musical instruments on board, following the lead of MTR Corp Ltd.

The airlines announced yesterday that maximum dimensions for instruments have been expanded to 93 by 39 by 24 centimeters, up from 78 by 25 by 15cm. The new dimensions mean passengers can now bring flutes, violins, trombones, erhus - also known as Chinese violins - and clarinets as carry- on baggage.

Including their hard cases, the instruments should not weigh more than seven kilograms and should fit into the overhead lockers.

Instruments such as guitars or cellos that do not fulfill the size restrictions must be checked in or the passenger should pay for an extra seat. Bookings need to be done three working days prior to travel.

Cathay Pacific stopped international guitar performer Keith Wong Yung- hong from carrying his HK$60,000 classical guitar on a flight last August. He later found a 10cm crack in the checked-in guitar.

Dragonair banned flute players from the Global Symphony Orchestra from carrying their instruments as hand luggage in January. The performers later discovered the instruments' hard cases were broken and two of their flutes fell apart.

Tourism sector legislator Yiu Si- wing welcomed the new policy though he said it came a bit late.

MTRCL introduced a pilot registration system for oversized musical instruments in November last year. The scheme was expanded to cover sports equipment last month.

There are a lot of orchestra members traveling abroad during summer, Yiu said.

The lawmaker had previously received complaints about the inconvenience in size limits, and he hoped the new policy would be able to reduce conflict between airlines and passengers.

He also called on the airlines to be flexible in their handling of instruments.

"If the instrument exceeded the dimensions for just one to two centimeters, the airline companies should allow passengers to hand carry them, depending on the plane model and the size of overhead locker," Yiu said.

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