Air travel with instruments

Discussion in 'The Pub' started by vltjd, Apr 29, 2016.

  1. vltjd

    vltjd Supporting Member

    Oct 23, 2011
    East of West and West of East
    From an article:

    A renowned Chicago musician is going public with her airline spat over a piece of carry-on luggage—because that piece of luggage happens to be a 1742 violin insured for almost $20 million. Rachel Barton Pine says an American Airlines captain refused to let her bring the Joseph Guarneri "del Gesu" violin aboard a Wednesday flight from O'Hare to New Mexico, where she was scheduled to perform, because he deemed it too big, reports the Chicago Tribune. When Pine, a frequent traveler, pointed out that the FAA—and American Airlines itself—allows instruments such as hers on a first-come basis as long as they fit in the overhead bin or under a seat, he still wouldn't budge. "It is not going on because I say so," she quotes him as saying. Instead of checking it as the crew suggested, she opted not to board at all.

    "These are so delicate and breakable that if you check your violin, it will get broken," Pine tells KOB 4. "There's no maybe it will get broken. It definitely will get broken." American ticket agents got her on another flight, violin and all, and the airline says in a statement that it "has reached out to Ms. Barton directly to apologize for the inconvenience." She has the violin courtesy of a lifetime loan from an anonymous patron. Last year, Pine spent the night in a Phoenix airport terminal after a similar disagreement with US Airways, notes a post at In a far more serious incident, back in 1995, the 1617 Amati violin Pine was carrying got trapped in a Metra train door; she was secured to it by its strap and dragged more than 300 feet. She was able to free herself, but the train's wheels took her left leg and mangled her right.

    While I understand the Captain is in charge, this seems unreasonable to me, especially considering how many people abuse carry on privileges.
  2. derekd

    derekd Supporting Member

    Sep 10, 2007
    In a van down by the river
    This is one side of the story. While my default position would be to side with the musician, I'd like to hear from the Capt.

    If he is as big a jerk as described here, as his supervisor, I'd start the process of seeing him unemployed. Airlines don't need this sort of negative publicity.
  3. Flyin' Brian

    Flyin' Brian Member

    Jul 29, 2005
    K7C 4K8
    Any time somebody offers "because I say so" as a reason, their judgement and mindset is questionable.

    That said, it's always interesting to hear both sides of the story.
    Washburnmemphis likes this.
  4. Tom CT

    Tom CT Old Supporting Member Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 7, 2004
    Buy a seat for the f*cking thing. Give me a break, Rachel. :facepalm
    bushitsuki likes this.
  5. cadduc

    cadduc Member

    Jan 6, 2006
    geez, I buy seats for gear that is crap compared to what she had,

    but I have traveled and carried on full sized guitars and basses, every time I am a sniveling, begging piece of jello, engaging the ticket and gate people, and the crew, including the capt. if needed, because whatever the capt. says is the law,
    they have accommodated me many many time, but in a push, buy a seat

    if you are a problem the crew will not help you, at all, and will show and prove who is in charge, which they are
  6. pickdropper

    pickdropper Supporting Member

    Aug 21, 2011
    If I had a Guarneri, I wouldn't be very comfortable with it in the overhead bin. I'd want to keep that $20 million instrument within eye sight at all times.

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