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Old Jun 14, 10, 3:41 am   #1
 
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Taking a wedding dress on board - conflicting advice from Customer Services

We get married in 2 weeks, and fly shortly afterwards to Bermuda, where we will be also having a service with friends and family, and as such will be taking the wedding dress

At the time of making our reservation, I was sure I had asked if it would be possible to take the dress on board and I thought the response was along the lines of no guarantees but they would make every effort to ensure we could.

I phoned BA exec club and was told that if it doesnt fit in the hand luggage dimensions then we would have to check it in. I politely told him that it was a wedding dress and we had no desire to 'make it fit' into a box to bring it on board. He was having none of it and basically said if it wont fit the dimensions, they wont let it on

Is there anyone else we can talk to to get some idea? We really dont want to check this in and I am positive I have seen wedding dresses on board before?

Any help, greatly appreciated
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Old Jun 14, 10, 3:50 am   #2
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To be honest, as crew... The amount of wedding dresses, suit carriers, clothing carriers, hat boxes and odd shape items that I have to try and fins stowage for on a small airbus, I really do not think you will have anything to worry about. This is at LHR, not LGW, so can not comment too much on security at LGW, but I am sure you will be more than fine. Hundreds of people a day get stuff onto the aircraft, I am sure you will be able to too...

Just make sure it is well protected, i.e. covering as I am sure the crew will try and hang it somewhere for you (I hear the wing is great for airing clothing items en-route ) but there will be other items hung along with it, so just to make sure it is not marked by any other clothing or other such items placed in there.

Good luck!
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Old Jun 14, 10, 3:50 am   #3
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A (very quick!) search on ba.com (it really is not that hard):

Quote:
Carrying a wedding dress on a British Airways flight

Question
Can I take my wedding dress on board a British Airways flight as hand baggage?

Answer

Yes, if you can pack it inside your hand baggage, within the maximum permitted dimensions/allowance:

If you are unable to fit the dress into a bag that you are taking as hand luggage, it will need to be packed appropriately in a sturdy box/suitcase and checked-in as part of your checked baggage allowance:

Please note: controls over your hand baggage maximum dimensions and permitted contents are not within British Airways' ability to influence, therefore we're unable to grant you approval to carry your wedding dress in a hanging bag/suit carrier (larger than permitted maximum hand baggage dimensions). We apologise for any disappointment this may cause you.
So, in summary: no you can't if it is too large. You would be at the mercy of the crew if you did try.
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Old Jun 14, 10, 3:50 am   #4
 
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wear it !!

how about wearing it, at least until you board then change??

but seriously.....i'm not sure exactly what the rules are but from a crew perspective we will always try to accommodate bringing it on board as I'm sure most of my ground colleagues would be happy to allow it.

We do get them onboard fairly often and it is obviously a great opportunity to engage with crew/passengers. going to BDA there should be plenty of space in the wardrobes of the 777, sometimes more of a problem on SH but we normally manage.

Best wishes for the big day

JJ

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Old Jun 14, 10, 3:58 am   #5
 
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My sister has just had her wedding in Italy and was given similar advice from the Exec Club and had read the Q&A on ba.com.

As she really didn't want to check it in, she bought this box on ebay:

http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/Personalised-W...item2eadb745ac

She said it came with loads of tissue paper and fitted easily into the overhead locker. It wasn't creased when she arrived.
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Old Jun 14, 10, 3:58 am   #6
 
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My suggestion:

Get the groom to wear it when boarding.

bjorns
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Old Jun 14, 10, 4:03 am   #7
 
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Thanks for all the comments!

I had tried the search and read what it said on BA but I often find that you get more of an insight by either speaking to customer services (although not in this case) or someone who has actually 'been there and done that'. Just because the website says it should happen in a certain way, does not mean that it always does.

Moving on.. Are we actually going to be asked to prove it will fit? I would have thought it will be over my arm from check in to the lounge, where we will hang it, then over my arm again to boarding where we will hope for room in the closet in Club (BDA club is a bit of a chino and blazer brigade though). We would of course prefer not to have to fold it up to prove a point unless that is what is required?

Whilst I dont know what it looks like, it wont have a long train, and wont be very structured and as such I have no doubts it will fit into the required space but of course would prefer not to have to prove it
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Old Jun 14, 10, 4:08 am   #8
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I think that you probably will be helped out by the crew but you do run a risk. It is not BA that sets the maximum size for cabin luggage and the rules are quite clear. If it does not fit, you cannot take it on board.

So, if you do decide to try and take it you may very well be fine or you may encounter a crew member (or gate agent) that takes the rules seriously. In that case your dress will have to go in the hold and you will not have packed it properly to survive the ordeal.

I am no expert on wedding dresses, but why not simply put it in a sturdy suitcase and carry it in the hold? With CW baggage allowance you can take 4 suitcases between the two of you.
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Old Jun 14, 10, 4:09 am   #9
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It's amazing how well a wedding dress travels. Mine travelled rather extensively before being worn (I bought it in Europe and brought it to Australia but I travelled with it for a few months), and never in checked baggage. I squashed it down to hand luggage size.

It needs to be ironed regardless of how you carry it anyway, so you might as well squash it down so that it fits into the permitted hand luggage size so that you don't need to worry about possibly having to check it in.
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Old Jun 14, 10, 4:15 am   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LTN Phobia View Post
Mine travelled rather extensively before being worn (I bought it in Europe and brought it to Australia but I travelled with it for a few months)
This and you sleep standing up. You are a strange woman...
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Old Jun 14, 10, 4:27 am   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by henkybaby View Post
This and you sleep standing up. You are a strange woman...
I don't argue that I might be a bit strange but I don't normally sleep standing up!

It's more the case of falling asleep standing up, I guess.

But I was travelling around when I bought the wedding dress, so I travelled with it (and my husband-to-be was quite inconvenienced by it, as I did accidentally leave it behind when travelling to the wedding and I sent him home to pick it up - to leave it behind at the crucial time after all that travelling! Yes I am stupid.).

I could have just had it DHL'ed when I come to think of it though. To me, a wedding dress doesn't really have any sentimental value until it's been worn, unless it's a couture dress or otherwise custom-made (mine wasn't), and travelling happened before I got married. I could have just replaced it if it went missing as I had a lot of time before the wedding. But it would probably have felt like a bad omen if it did get damaged/lost.
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Old Jun 14, 10, 4:33 am   #12
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My concern would not be the crew ( who generally try their best to help) but the BAA "police" before security. They can get very ansty about out of gauge luggage. Personally I wouldn't risk it and would make suitable other arangements.
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Old Jun 14, 10, 4:38 am   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Swanhunter View Post
My concern would not be the crew ( who generally try their best to help)
That may have changed a bit, as of late. Some will be less accommodating than usual....
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Old Jun 14, 10, 4:40 am   #14
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by speedbird85 View Post
My sister has just had her wedding in Italy and was given similar advice from the Exec Club and had read the Q&A on ba.com.

As she really didn't want to check it in, she bought this box on ebay:

http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/Personalised-W...item2eadb745ac

She said it came with loads of tissue paper and fitted easily into the overhead locker. It wasn't creased when she arrived.
Perfect!

Ordered, so problem solved!

Thanks!
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Old Jun 14, 10, 4:44 am   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bermyandy View Post
Perfect!

Ordered, so problem solved!

Thanks!
I will forever wonder what this case offers that a simple carry-on doesn't...

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