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Thread: Flying on Southwest with a euphonium

  1. #1

    Flying on Southwest with a euphonium

    I just thought I'd take a few minutes to talk about my recent experience flying on southwest with my miraphone m5050 in its hard case.

    I recently took a trip to Connecticut for a work conference, and as I had a concert immediately on my return, I opted to take my horn so I could be ready to go.

    I decided basically immediately that I would not check my horn, and as such, I purchased an extra seat for it. I was able to expense my own ticket, so I was only out of pocket for the horn. This made it a little less painful. SW policy dictates that you may buy a seat at no more than the child's fare, though it ended up costing about $600 round trip.

    My trip included 4 legs; Milwaukee to Baltimore, and then Baltimore to Hartford, CT.

    Since the process wasn't particularly clear after my conversation with SW staff on the phone, I made sure to arrive early to the airport. Once I talked to a ticketing agent, it was smooth sailing. Bottom line, they give you an "extra seat" coupon that enables you to pre-board, and you're all set.

    Going through security was easy, as my case just barely fit through the x-ray machine. People referred to it as the "infamous french horn", "a trumpet", and "a tuba". I'll take the latter.

    Once I arrived at the gate, I let the gate agent know I was their extra seat, and asked whether they needed anything particular from me.

    In terms of boarding procedure, there are technically only 2 seats on the aircraft this thing can sit in. The window seat in row one on either side of the aircraft. On two of my flights, the staff cared about this, and on two of them, they didn't, but if you take this route, be prepared to pre-board and make sure you get one of those seats. After I buckled my case in (with a seat belt extender), I was set to go. There were a few questions from passengers asking if it was a paid seat when everyone was trying to make sure they had a seat, but otherwise, it was all smooth sailing.

    All in all, this was a pretty easy process, and likely is what I'll do again if I travel with my horn.


  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Anderson, Indiana
    Finally, a happy ending with an airline! Thanks for posting your experience.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    West Palm Beach, FL
    Thanks Mike for taking the time in reviewing your experience flying with your horn. This could help others with similar questions. Glad to hear it worked out so well for you.
    Rick Floyd
    Miraphone 5050 - Warburton Brandon Jones sig mpc
    YEP-641S (on long-term loan to grandson)
    Doug Elliott - 102 rim; I-cup; I-9 shank

    "Always play with a good tone, never louder than lovely, never softer than supported." - author unknown.
    Symphonic Band of the Palm Beaches
    Russian Christmas Music (Alfred Reed)
    El Relicario (Jose Padilla; arr. R. Longfield)

  4. #4
    Glad things worked out well with SW. There are some horror stories and I remember the time I gate-checked my Sterling Virtuoso in the Kansas City airport and the chumps sent it to the carousel anyway. No damage, but it could've turned out poorly.
    U.S. Army, Retired (built mid-Fifties)
    Adams E2 Euph (built 2017)
    Boosey & Co. Imperial Euph (built 1941)
    Edwards B454 Bass Trombone (built 2012)
    Boosey & Hawkes Imperial Eb tuba (built 1958)
    Kanstul 33-T lBBb tuba (built 2010)
    Shen 3/4 upright bass (who cares?)

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