New Zealander Esther Kim, booked to fly from Auckland to Wellington for a concert, told violin case was too large to take as carry-on luggage


Following The Strad’s news story last week, a spokesperson for Jetstar has confirmed that violinist Esther Kim will be reimbursed for the cost of the flight she was unable to board after being told her violin case was too large to take as carry-on luggage, she said.

’As the passenger did not travel with us we’ve organised a full refund of her flights,’ the Jetstar spokesperson said.

Kim, who has studied at the Eastman School of Music and the Leopold-Mozart-Zentrum at Augsburg University, was booked to travel from Auckland to Wellington for a concert on 1 August, returning the following day. However, she said that staff at the boarding gate told her that her violin would not be allowed on board and could only travel in the hold. Kim chose to abandon the flight and rebook – at substantial extra cost – with Air New Zealand.

As The Strad reported in September 2013, Jetstar is one of the few airlines which has instituted an unequivocal policy making special allowances for small musical instruments, beyond the usual hand-luggage rules. The policy, as published on Jetstar’s website, identifies ‘small musical instruments’ as ones ‘that weigh less than 7kg, with a maximum size of 85 x 36 x 23cm’ and states that they ‘can be brought on board and stored in the overhead lockers’ with the weight counting as part of the total carry-on baggage allowance.

Kim’s case is a standard model oblong Accord weighing 2.5kg and measuring 81 x 26 x 15 according to the manufacturers.

Photo: Esther Kim