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Flying with British Airways

Find out what you need to know when travelling with large or small musical instruments when flying with British Airways.

Last updated: 02 January 2024

Travelling with large musical instruments

When an instrument in its case is longer than 80 cm, such as a guitar or cello, it will require a seat booked for it or it will travel in the hold as checked baggage. An additional seat for larger musical instruments cannot be booked online.

If you need to book an additional seat for any instrument in its case between 80 and 140 cm long, you will need to contact British Airways directly, or by booking through your travel agent. This should be at least 72 hours in advance of your journey, and not less than 48 hours before you fly.

Seat booking procedure

In order to be correctly linked with your own seat on one ticket, BA recommends booking the additional seat for your musical instrument at the same time as you book your travel.

If you want to add an additional seat for your instrument after you have booked your flight, you must contact British Airways or your travel agent to add it into your booking as soon as you can and at least 48 hours before you fly.

Any additional seat added in after the initial booking is completed using a different booking code and may not be as obvious at first to the airport staff, even though it's in your booking.

Additionally, if your flight has been cancelled and rebooked or changed for any reason, the additional seat booking may have been re-processed, and the booking may need refreshing for the additional seat to be seen. If you have any issues at the airport, ask to speak to the duty manager, as they can look in more detail at your booking.

Travelling with smaller musical instruments

Instruments in their cases under 80 cm long can be taken in the cabin as part of your hand baggage allowance, in place of the second larger piece of carry-on baggage.

View the latest information on taking musical instruments on British Airways.

If you have any difficulty when flying with your instrument, contact your regional office so we can help.

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