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Musical instruments

You can travel with your musical instruments as checked baggage, carry-on baggage or cabin-seat baggage, depending on its size and shape.

To prevent any damage, we request that musical instruments must be stored in a protective hard case with rounded edges. Depending on the size of your instrument, you may need to check it in or purchase an extra seat.

Carry-on instruments

Hand baggage

You can bring small musical instruments (like flutes or violins) onto the plane as part of your hand baggage allowance. Please ensure they’re stored in a hard case and can be safely stowed inside the overhead locker.

Weight must not exceed 7kg (15lbs) including the case.

For all travelling classes, dimensions of hand-carry musical instrument must not exceed 93 x 39 x 24cm or 36 x 15 x 9in (height x width x depth) including the case.

Checked instruments

Large musical instruments, like a guitar or cello, which exceed the above limits or the cabin baggage allowance, must be checked. Please be aware that weight and dimension restrictions for check in baggage apply. These include the hard case of the instrument.

See check in baggage allowance

musical instruments
stowing your instrument in the cabin

Purchasing an additional seat for your musical instrument

You can store larger musical instruments (like a guitar or a cello) on a purchased seat if you do not want to check them in. You must store your instrument in a hard case, while our ground staff will fasten it upright into the seat in the canvas bag provided.

Due to temperature variation, expansion and contraction of the neck of stringed instruments may occur. We advise passengers to loosen their strings before travel to prevent any strain or damage.

Dimensions must not exceed 136 x 48 x 44cm or 54 x 19 x 17in (height, in vertical position x width x depth) including the case.^

Weight must not exceed 32kg (70lbs) including the case. +

^ If the thickness of the musical instrument’s hard case is between 31cm (12in) and 44cm (17in) the instrument must be fastened upside-down due to space constraints.

+If you are connecting from another airline, please check your baggage restrictions, which can vary from the weight allowance of Cathay Pacific and Cathay Dragon. If in doubt, always use the smaller weight and dimension restriction.Please note weight allowance includes the hard case.

Travelling on First and Business class

Seats in First and Business class may be able to accommodate a musical instrument in an upright position or a musical instrument exceeding the common dimensions of 136 x 48 x 44cm (54 x 19 x 17in). Please contact your local reservations office or local travel agent for details.

How to buy your extra seat

If you would like to purchase an extra seat for your musical instrument, please contact our local reservations office to make your booking. Please do not book online, as there is currently no provision to purchase an extra seat for musical instruments.

You must make your booking at least three working days prior to when you would like to travel, to allow us to make the necessary handling arrangements, such as deploying installation equipment.

Whilst we don’t like saying no to our passengers, we can only accept this sort of item on board if prior permission has been granted.

Find local reservations contact