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Musical instruments

Musical instruments information

South African Airways accepts musical instruments for carriage, so please familiarise yourself with each option. Unfortunately, we are unable to provide a special free baggage allowance for the carriage of these goods.

Carriage options

The carriage of certain musical instruments is permitted in the cabin of the aircraft and on extra seat(s). The musical instruments must not contain any equipment or article or substance, which is, classified as dangerous goods.

As cabin baggage

Portable musical instruments may be carried in the cabin of the aircraft as approved cabin baggage under the following conditions.

These apply to all classes except where specified:

  • The total of the three outside dimensions (L plus B plus H) of the instrument must not exceed 115cms. When a carrying case is used, the dimensions of the carrying case are to be considered. If the instrument or the case has an irregular shape, the largest dimension must be taken to arrive at the overall total.
  • The shape and size should fit under the seat in front of the passenger or in the overhead lockers. The weight of the instrument inclusive of the carrying case must not exceed 8kgs.
  • Musical instruments, which conform to the above size and weight limitations, will be considered as one item of cabin baggage. Therefore, passengers travelling in Business class may carry only one more item of cabin baggage with dimensions not exceeding 52 x 40 x 23cms. Passengers travelling in Economy class will not be allowed to carry any other cabin bag.
  • It is highly recommended that the musical instrument be carried or packed in a custom built carrying case to protect it from damage. If it is not carried in a carrying case, the instrument must not have any sharp corners, which might damage other cabin bags or the aircraft panels.

On extra seat(s) in the cabin

  • Passengers may carry musical instruments in the cabin of the aircraft on a seat(s). Please notify your local South African Airways Reservations Office of your intention to carry a musical instrument on an extra seat at the time of reservation.
  • Information regarding size/weight must be provided and the extra seat must be booked and paid for. It is not acceptable for the instrument to occupy an empty seat, which has not been paid for. Your local South African Airways Office will inform you of the additional charges for the additional seat.
  • No more than 75kgs may be carried under this arrangement per seat blocked. The passenger will not receive any additional free checked baggage allowance for the purchase of the extra seat.
  • If you do not wish to carry the musical instrument in the cabin, it can travel in the hold as checked baggage. Contact your local South African Airways Office for details.

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Instruments & methods of carriage

The following guideline indicates how certain musical instruments can be transported. The final decision depends on the overall size and weight of the instrument.

Instrument Method of carriage
Bass tuba Hold stowage
Bassoon: small Hand luggage
Banjo Hold stowage or extra seat
Bass trombone Hold stowage
Cello Hold stowage or extra seat
Contrabassoon Hold stowage or extra seat
Clarinet Hand luggage
Double bass Hold stowage
Flute Hand luggage
French horn Hold stowage or extra seat
Guitar Hold stowage or extra seat
Oboe Hand luggage
Saxophone Hold stowage or extra seat
Trumpet Hand luggage
Viola: rectangular Hold stowage or extra seat
Violin: shaped Hand luggage
Violin: rectangular Hold stowage or extra seat

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