facebook twitter rss vimeo


Balsom Twitter storm forces British Airways Dal segno

International trumpet star Alison Balsom has forced British Airways into reversing their policy on charging passengers to take their musical instruments on board flights as hand luggage.

Alison Balsom
  Alison Balsom shared her disapproval with her 17,000 Twitter followers that created a social media storm

International trumpet star Alison Balsom has helped force British Airways into a humiliating apology and reversal of their policy to charge musicians to bring their instruments on board flights as hand luggage, after she branded the company a "greedy disgrace".

Pointed disapproval

The newly appointed Artistic Director of the Cheltenham Music Festival recently shared her pointed disapproval of the policy to her 17,000 Twitter followers, writing:

"That's it, I'm done @British_Airways — we've all been so patient with the lowering standards but not to let professional musicians bring on their (small) instruments as hand baggage? We take hundreds of thousands of flights -it's our living. A greedy disgrace."

Struck a chord

It literally struck a chord with fellow musicians after it was re-tweeted, with others sharing their experiences of travelling with British Airways under their intransigent new policy.

On Tuesday, British Airways customer services posted a message to the classical music website, Slipped Disc which stated that a new policy would see instruments carried on flights being charged, but following Balsom's intervention, hours later (and apparently after discussions with the Musicians Union) the social media storm forced them to return to their original policy position.

She later tweeted: "Delighted that @British_Airways and @WearetheMU have been in talks. @British_Airways this is a great opportunity to win back support from thousands of regular customers. The ones that NEED to take hand luggage. Thank you."

We are sorry for the misunderstanding. We appreciate how precious instruments are to musicians and offer special arrangements for transporting themBritish Airways spokesperson


A British Airways spokesman was reported on the Daily Telegraph website (under a patronisingly tasteless byline which described the award winning musician as 'Trumpet Crumpet'), as saying: "We are sorry for the misunderstanding. We appreciate how precious instruments are to musicians and offer special arrangements for transporting them, which are detailed on ba.com .

We will always do our best to accommodate smaller musical instruments in the cabin.

In order to ensure there is enough space for all customers to store their belongings, larger musical instruments can be carried in the hold in a hard case. Alternatively customers can choose to buy an extra seat to carry them in the cabin at a discounted rate."

Yamaha Neo

Interview with Yamaha on the new Neo euphonium launch

January 16 • 4BR Editor Iwan Fox talks to Jeremy Smith of Yamaha to find out more about the launch of the brand new Neo and Custom euphonium.

Flowers Cheer

Results: 2018 Butlins Mineworkers Championships: Championship Section

January 14 • Flowers bloom again in Skegness as David Childs leads them to Butlins title.


Results: 2018 Butlins Mineworkers Youth Section & Junior Ensemble

January 14 • It's Butlins joy for 3BA Brass and Shirland as they take the Youth and Junior titles in Skegness

Eccles Borough — Butlins 2108

Results: 2018 Butlins Mineworkers Championships: Sections 1-4

January 13 • Butlins titles and big money payouts for Eccles Borough, Haydock, Hoover Bolton and Stamford Brass as the 2018 contesting year gets underway in Skegness.

Regent Hall Concerts - RAF Wind Soloists

Friday 19 January • Charlton House. Charlton Road. London. SE7 8RE SE7 8RE

Black Dyke Band - Morley Town Hall

Saturday 20 January • Morley Town Hall, Morley, Leeds LS27 8DX

Wantage Silver - Gary Curtin

Saturday 20 January • Reading Central Salvation Army RG1 7JR

The Brighouse & Rastrick Band - EYMS Brass Band at Hull City Hall

Saturday 20 January • Hull City Hall. 67 Carr Lane,. Kingston upon Hull HU1 3RQ

The Hepworth Band - Soprano Sarah Ogden

Sunday 21 January • Christ Church, Sude Hill, New Mill, Holmfirth HD9 7BL

Milnrow Band

January 17 • *PRINCIPAL TROMBONE*. The Milnrow Band has a vacancy for Principal trombone.. Our own Bandroom is easily accessible by car (J21 M62) or by the Manchester Metrolink.

Milnrow Band

January 17 • *Cornet Vacancies* Due to maternity leave and work commitments, The Milnrow Band has immediate vacancies for 2 FIRST CLASS CORNET PLAYERS (positions negotiable). Our own Bandroom is easily accessible by car (J21 M62) or by the Manchester Metrolink.

Rhyl Silver Band

January 16 • Rhyl Silver Training Band seeks players in all sections but particularly cornets, trombones and basses. All ages and abilities accepted in this easy going friendly band.. . We rehearse Fridays 6.00 - 7.30pm in our purpose built premises.

Julian Bright

Conductor, Compere/MC, Cornet Soloist