Close, but when I was coming home from my year of study abroad in Beijing, I carted along a cello that I bought in an antiques market there.
When checking in, I knew they would try to put it down below, so I just "accidentally" left it back with a friend who had already checked in. When I got to the gate, the CSA gave me a sideways glance, but didnt stop me. The flight from PEK
was full, so the FAs scrambled, and put it in the closet at the very end of the plane. Was last off the plane because of that, but I dont think any of us here would complain about that.
On the flight the next day NRT
, I was op-upped to b/c, and at the back of the cabin was a small closet about 4 feet high. They stashed the cello right in there. Very easy, since I had to pass right by it to exit the aircraft anyways!
Now, if they saw my cello at checkin, would they have tried to make me check it down below? Probably. Would I have fought tooth and nail over that? Betcha I would!