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Thread: Flying with a Wessex Dolce on SAS

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2018
    Stockholm, Sweden

    Flying with a Wessex Dolce on SAS


    I'm wondering if any of you have any experience flying with a Wessex Dolce? I will be flying SAS to Sweden and I would prefer to not buy a hard case for the trip, but I'm not sure how sturdy the case that comes with the Dolce is.

    My plan is to check it as extra luggage and pack it as securely as possible inside the case with bubble wrap and a buffer for the bell. Also, do any of you know if you can mark luggage as fragile? In that case, does it usually help or is it basically a fraud?

    I would also be very grateful for any advice on flying with a euphonium on SAS in general.

    Thanks in advance!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2016
    The Netherlands
    I have worked at Schiphol Airport for a few years and have seen how the luggage handlers throw around with the luggage. In my experience, a "Fragile" or "Handle with care" label does not have much effect.

    However, this was more than 10 years ago. I am sure the luggage distribution system has been mostly automated since then. I don't know if this makes things better or worse though...
    Martin Monné
    • Wessex Festivo, 4-valve compensating (2017)
    • Hirsbrunner HBS 378 Standard, 4-valve compensating (1983)
    • Mahillon Bass Saxhorn, 4-valve (1927)
    • Anton Hüller Tenor Horn, 3-valve (Early 20th Century, HP, wallhanger)

  3. #3
    It would be good if someone has real-life experience checking this case as luggage. Of course, that's still anecdotal evidence.

    I suspect the Wessex case would protect as well as any for the visible handing - we can see the cases come down the conveyor sometimes after a flight lands, and the handlers now and then miss one, which falls on the ground. If they don't miss it, then they often throw it a short distance to the carts. A well-padded case might handle that fine. And the automated systems MarChant mentioned could reduce risk as the bags move around the airport.

    The main risk I see is the in-plane handling. There is someone in the belly of the plane lining up the cases and strapping them in place (a stack/line at a time). My Sterling in its hard, wood case sustained a bit of damage on a flight once. But there was no visible damage! The case was strapped so tightly under that plane that it bent the flat sides of the hard case enough that the tuning slide got bent and would not move. Again, nothing was visibly wrong with the case or horn, and it was pretty nice of Delta to pay for the repair given that fact. Anyway, this concern would have a lot to do with the shape and size of the bags on either side of yours. I get the impression from photos of the Wessex case that it has substantial thickness on the sides. That might be enough to do the trick.
    Dave Werden (ASCAP)
    Euphonium Soloist, U.S. Coast Guard Band, retired
    Adams Artist (Adams E3)
    Alliance Mouthpiece (DC4)
    YouTube: dwerden
    Facebook: davewerden
    Twitter: davewerden
    Instagram: davewerdeneuphonium

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2018
    Stockholm, Sweden
    Thanks a lot, both of you, for the replies!

    I probably won't pay extra for a "Fragile" label if that's the case, then. Okay, so it might even be a positive that it is a bit soft. Thanks!

  5. Get there early and tell the person at the desk you have a "small" instrument to stow as carry-on luggage according to the regulations:

    Caveat: this may not apply to international flights, even those coming home from abroad.

  6. I flew many times with my Dolce, however I refused to use the case that came with it. I used an SKB travel case and stuffed the bell with bubble wrap and foam. That seemed to do the trick
    T.J. Davis

    Wessex Dolce
    G&W Kadja

  7. I have flown back from China and from UK to USA numerious times with instruments in cases such as that for the Dolce and have never suffered one damaged. Not saying there is not a risk, but my perception is no more than in courier shipping. The main thing is to make sure the bell is well protected (Wessex provides a bell plug) and the instrument cannot move within the case.
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