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 Flight restrictions for musicians
Author: bob49t 
Date:   2006-08-10 22:14

Today's news of the recent flight restrictions are applauded for anti-terror reasons of course, however it will impact heavily (if prolonged) on our travelling musical community. Today, one of my patients drew my attention to the potential plight of touring orchestras and indeed individual pros joining orchestras abroad, by plane.

Musicians are likely to be one of the groups of travellers most affected by these measures.

Worryingly, I have only 3 wks to go before a chamber course in the South of France. "No hand luggage" means that my instruments (Bass and standard pair in a Wiseman case) would have to go in the aircraft's luggage hold. Well of course...... that's not happening......... so we'll be thinking of alternative methods of transport.

We're watching this space with great interest and not a little apprehension.

BobT

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 Re: Flight restrictions for musicians
Author: Chris P 
Date:   2006-08-10 22:40

I think you might be alright travelling by smaller airlines from a local airport across to France taking your claris as hand luggage, I certainly won't want anything of mine being trashed by baggage handlers, only to find out too late your instruments have been smashed to bits when you get there.

But check with your airline or local airport if you can.

I know I won't like to go to France by coach again, especially not on the same old Scania coach I last went there on - just wish I'd taken a load of cushions with me as the seats were unbearable!

Eurostar seems the better option all round - I'd take the train if I were you.

Chris.

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 Re: Flight restrictions for musicians
Author: Mark Charette 2017
Date:   2006-08-10 23:15

1) No hand-carried luggage was only on flights originating from Heathrow
1.a) No liquids in hand-carried luggane
2) 3 weeks is a long time away

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 Re: Flight restrictions for musicians
Author: David Spiegelthal 2017
Date:   2006-08-10 23:27

Bob T,

You needn't fear the cargo hold -- pack your instruments as if you were shipping them via the Postal Service or UPS -- keep them as usual in their cases, then pack the cases in a cardboard box with plenty of bubble-wrap or styrofoam peanuts around them. Make yourself a homemade strap-handle for the top of the box to make it easier to carry around the airport, then check the box as luggage. I travelled that way with a bari sax a few years ago and had no problems.

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 Re: Flight restrictions for musicians
Author: Musinix 
Date:   2006-08-11 00:13

I purchased a new R-13 from a sponsor of this bulletin board, only to have it arrive with a cracked bell and very loose rings after being shipped via FedEx. It must have happened during transit as the vendor inspected it prior to shipping. I subsequently returned it for a refund.

Thomas Fiebig

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 Re: Flight restrictions for musicians
Author: neil.clarinet 
Date:   2006-08-11 00:35

I think a big concern would be not just being thrown into the hold but the pressure during flight. Some airlines may have pressurised holds to keep it the same as the atmosphere, others may not so effectively. The pressure in the hold and fluctuating temperatures could harm an instrument, especially a fragile wood.

Anything that prevents terrorism will always be welcomed but it has serious implications for travelling musicians. I wouldn't travel with my clarinet in the hold. I would find an alternative way to travel wherever possible.

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 Re: Flight restrictions for musicians
Author: DAVE 
Date:   2006-08-11 00:35

David S. brings up an interesting point. I figure that all of our instruments at some point were in the cargo bay of a plane due to their coming from France, etc. Of course if you were to mail off your instrument for repair as I have done many times, it surely goes in a plane. Its probably not that big a deal if you pack it well. However, I would prefer to just take it with me.

Which reminds me of an incident that happened just a few months ago. A friend of mine was flying out of NYC to a city close to Nashville and was forced to buy an additional seat for his VIOLIN!!! And to make this more ridiculous, the flight was nearly empty! He tried to explain that the union here has instituted a policy with the airlines and even showed a copy of the letter that is available to show to the agents and it did nothing. I think this was United Arlines...

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 Re: Flight restrictions for musicians
Author: Mark Charette 2017
Date:   2006-08-11 01:12

Rather than spread misinformation on what is and is not allowed, it's much easier just to go to the TSA site or check your airline:

NWA
Continental (includes statement on UK outbound)
Delta (US Travel
Delta UK outbound
Delta US inbound[/usr]
TSA

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 Re: Flight restrictions for musicians
Author: Tobin 
Date:   2006-08-11 01:45

I believe, from another thread on the same topic, that all commercial transit planes are pressurized equally.

The cargo area is the exact same pressure (and temperature) as the seating area.

I do like the idea of packing the instrument case et al in a box with bubblewrap or styrofoam or what have you...nice idea Dave.

James Tobin

Gnothi Seauton

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 Re: Flight restrictions for musicians
Author: ohsuzan 
Date:   2006-08-11 02:48

Also, when packing your instruments, whether for shipment to a repairer or as baggage, be sure to check that the instrument is completely secure in its own case.

Some (many?) cases hold the instrument loosely enough that the instrument can buffet up and down (and perhaps sideways, too) against the inside of the case during transport. Loose screws and bent keys result.

My solution to this is to make sure that the instrument, within its case, does not rattle at all. If it rattles, it means it is hitting against something.

I use a sheet of bubble wrap inside the case. Corrugated cardboard would probably work as well, if you don't want to put plastic against the horn (although I think most new instruments come with the joints wrapped in plastic, so I doubt if it's an issue).

Susan

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 Re: Flight restrictions for musicians
Author: David Spiegelthal 2017
Date:   2006-08-11 03:20

In all medium and large airliners, the pressurized and air-conditioned interior is the entire circular inner shell of the aircraft (think of it as the bore of a clarinet), separated approximately in the center by the floor of the passenger cabin. So the passenger cabin is the upper half of the interior, the cargo hold is the lower half -- and they share the same pressurized, climate-controlled air. Remember that some people bring pets aboard aircraft, and you don't see them in the passenger cabin, do you? They seem to survive the flight in the cargo hold -- and so will your clarinet, if it's carefully packed.

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 Re: Flight restrictions for musicians
Author: bob49t 
Date:   2006-08-11 06:09

Well, thanks for the interesting and varied responses.

Mark C.......as of yesterday, UK government has applied the Heathrow restrictions nationwide. We fly with KLM and their website upholds the edict.

As you say 3 wks is a long time, and anything can happen, however I would surmise that it might be difficult to stand down from this increased security with the everpresent threat.

Dave S.... Interesting point about pets.

In general, one hears more horror stories of cargo damage to timber instruments than metal ones ........many of them where there has been no percussive damage......mostly cracking (previously assumed to have been due to pressure/temperature change.)

I'll investigate the KLM cargo hold pressure/temp situation and report back.

BobT

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 No Subject
Author: thegreatestmusician 
Date:   2006-08-11 06:47





Post Edited (2006-08-11 06:50)

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 Re: Flight restrictions for musicians
Author: thegreatestmusician 
Date:   2006-08-11 06:49

Just read the news about carry on luggage to the US. If you read Q&A on air travel in yahoo news .. I believe Code Red is only for flights between Britain and the US and flying worldwide is Code Orange. As I myself have to travel back to the US for college in a couple weeks, electronics, and other carry on luggage for eg. instruments are still allowed on board except for liquids and such on flights to and from Britain and the US. I will be expecting to travel with my clarinet on board. There is no way I'm checking my instrument as I travel. 3 wks is still quite far away to worry about your instrument. These restrictions are only for a limited time period, but then again, anything can happen within this time frame. Got a couple questions about traveling. Would you ever check-in your instrument? Would you put your instrument in a suitecase? How would it affect the instrument? I've been told not to put instruments in car boots because of the temperature that could affect the clarinet. I believe the same applies to checking your instrument in a cargo.



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 Re: Flight restrictions for musicians
Author: Tim P 
Date:   2006-08-11 10:03

I'll let you all know in afew days. I leave today from a small airport on the east coast going to Portland Ore. I packed my clarinet in my checked luggage. clarinet is in a hard case and the case is in middle of luggage bag.
I also packed a metal folding stand. the whole thing should look very interesting on the xray screen. If only I had an old fashion wind-up "Big Ben" alarm clock to pack.......

While i am not a professional on the way to a big gig, I just could not bare the thought of going 10 days without playing the clarinet.

If it arrives in shambles my next post will be: repair technician in portland??

If it arrives in good shape then my family will most likely be asking for advise on how to dismantle the thing. My son's apartment is small, i am told.

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 Re: Flight restrictions for musicians
Author: lifeforms 
Date:   2006-08-11 10:36

The likelyhood on damage occouring to the instrument in the hold is very minimal - except if it moves itself in the box. The problem comes with baggage handling.

In the hold, it is pressurised and to some degree heated. Certainly for a short flight to france from the UK the less heat, than in a cabin, shouldn't cause a problem alone.

The chances of the restrictions being lifted by three weeks is also minimal. The restrictions in the uk are limited to all uk airports, no matter where your plane is heading for, including internal flights too. It applies also to flights coming in from the US. On the plus side, a lot of flight companies are waving the excess baggage charges, so nows the time to bring everything over ;-)

If its a worry, Eurostar over, or ferry even, to an area that has an airport then fly internally (if they don't have the restrictions too)

I would never let my instruments travel with out me - too many people dealing with my expensive instruments, and no real cover for them.

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 Re: Flight restrictions for musicians
Author: Mark Charette 2017
Date:   2006-08-11 10:45

bob49t wrote:

> Mark C.......as of yesterday, UK government has applied the
> Heathrow restrictions nationwide. We fly with KLM and their
> website upholds the edict.

What I said. The websites listed were very clear about UK outbound.

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 Re: Flight restrictions for musicians
Author: David Peacham 
Date:   2006-08-11 11:49

As regards passengers flying out of UK airports, then I suggest looking at:

http://www.dft.gov.uk/stellent/groups/dft_about/documents/page/dft_about_612280.hcsp

Of course, this is to assume that the UK government, rather than the TSA or US-based airlines, is still in charge of our country.

-----------

If there are so many people on this board unwilling or unable to have a civil and balanced discussion about important issues, then I shan't bother to post here any more.

To the great relief of many of you, no doubt.


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 Re: Flight restrictions for musicians
Author: Tony Beck 
Date:   2006-08-11 12:14

I once packed a clarinet in checked luggage for a trip from the US east coast to California, and had no problem. It was my backup instrument, just in case. Otherwise I have always carried them.

Packing an instrument in a special box as checked luggage may be a problem now. All checked bags are subject to being opened and searched, including your double packed clarinets. Chances are they won't be nearly as well packed after inspection.

The best bet may be to pack them well and express them to your destination for pickup when you arrive.

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 Re: Flight restrictions for musicians
Author: Tobin 
Date:   2006-08-11 12:15

You can always request red "Fragile" stickers from your airline when you check the baggage.

That way the handlers are *supposed* to recognize the contents are delicate.

thegreatestmusician: Your questions were already answered above.

David Spiegelthal:
"You needn't fear the cargo hold -- pack your instruments as if you were shipping them via the Postal Service or UPS -- keep them as usual in their cases, then pack the cases in a cardboard box with plenty of bubble-wrap or styrofoam peanuts around them. Make yourself a homemade strap-handle for the top of the box to make it easier to carry around the airport, then check the box as luggage. I travelled that way with a bari sax a few years ago and had no problems."

The temperature of the cargo area and passenger area are the same.

Gnothi Seauton

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 Re: Flight restrictions for musicians
Author: bob49t 
Date:   2006-08-11 21:37

Thank you all for your thoughtful and informative responses. I said I'd report back.

I got a reply today, from KLM, who suggest under the current restrictions that we can use the fragile cargo hold.

Of course the ideal scenario is that the "no hand luggage" restrictions are lifted and we can have 'em in the cabin.

Let's just assume the worst.........packing as Tobin suggests and getting the FRAGILE labels seems a good plan as a second string.

Tony B's worries abt post-inspection repacking is duly noted.

All this, after my first instinct for not putting instruments in the hold !!

If anyone is interested, I'll report back after the course on the condition of the instruments etc...........actually KLM seem to have a reputation for inadvertently taking luggage on worldwide sightseeing trips...not necessarily with the owners....and we've got 2 flights each way......so here's hoping.

Thanks again.......once again the BB comes up trumps.

BobT

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 Re: Flight restrictions for musicians
Author: vin 
Date:   2006-08-12 15:48

Of course, now there is not much of a choice, but one should avoid checking any instrument if it can be avoided. Baggage handlers throw things around and even things with the fragile sticker. Also, putting a fragile sticker on often voids any liability claims if the instrument is damaged- it's a no-win situation. Also, while the hold is pressurized and temperature controlled, there is no telling how long your instrument will sit on the tarmac in the sun, rain, freezing temperatures, etc. So, claiming the hold is temperature controlled is missing the picture. There ARE plenty of places your instrument can be damaged. I have seen million-dollar cellos with fragile stickers thrown about by baggage handlers and left out in freezing weather. Under no circumstances is it safe to check instruments, however, there isn't always a choice.

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 Re: Flight restrictions for musicians
Author: ohsuzan 
Date:   2006-08-12 18:56

Does anyone know if the airlines are still allowing folks to gate-check things (e.g., baby strollers and car seats)? That might be an alternative for checking an instrument.

Susan

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 Re: Flight restrictions for musicians
Author: bob49t 
Date:   2006-08-12 20:10

Susan..... I know of no restriction on this, just "carry-on" luggage. I had thought of this as I've often been abroad on golfing holidays, checking in my clubs at the desk, but that is no guarantee they'll be any safer or dealt with differently. Indeed, we always hold our breaths until the clubs come off the carousel.

With the hand luggage also now being checked in for the hold, we might surmise that there might be a greater squeeze in the hold.

Any clarinet playing, airline baggage handlers out there, to let us into the niceties of handling Fragile items ?

Vin....thank you for your very interesting take on the subject....you're not a clarinet playing, part time baggage handler by any chance ?

BobT

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 Re: Flight restrictions for musicians
Author: Bob Phillips 
Date:   2006-08-12 20:41

The cargo hold (and the passenger space) is very dry --low humidity. I'd stuff my case with water (humidifiers).

At least one American dealer won't ship clarinets by air. There have been at least 2 recent stories here on this group about supposedly good clarinets arriveing cracked after air shipment.

Bob Phillips

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 Re: Flight restrictions for musicians
Author: 3dogmom 
Date:   2006-08-12 22:06

Animals travel in the cargo hold of planes with the baggage. Certain conditions therefore have to be met.
Sue Tansey

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 Re: Flight restrictions for musicians
Author: bill28099 
Date:   2006-08-13 14:58

I've put my backup clarinet (a Leblanc Dynamique) in my checked suitcase and taken it to the Philippines a couple of times. It seems to have survived very well with its case wrapped with shirts, shorts and underwear during the 11+ hour flight.

A great teacher gives you answers to questions
you don't even know you should ask.

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 Re: Flight restrictions for musicians
Author: Koo Young Chung 
Date:   2006-08-13 15:25

They can pressurize and keep the same temperature.

But what about humidity?

Humidity is a most important factor for music instruments' safety.

At high altitude,with room temperature and pressure the humidity can go down below 10 % or even lower.

One time I shipped a violin bow and it snapped on the head during the shipping because the hair shrank so much.(It was covered by insurance.)

Clarinets are not as susceptible as string instr.but going thru extreme

temp,pressure,humidity is no good for any instr.



Post Edited (2006-08-13 15:26)

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 Re: Flight restrictions for musicians
Author: 3dogmom 
Date:   2006-08-13 15:33

Granted, we would all grab our clarinets first if we were on a sinking ship. However, there are products available, such as The Doctor's, to accommodate such problems as humidity.

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 Re: Flight restrictions for musicians
Author: MiniMoose 
Date:   2006-08-13 16:15

Thank God I'm not a musician that needs to travel a lot, it must be absolute hell, really a disaster. I knew as soon as this happened that if I can possibly avoid it, I shall never go on an airplane again. Things were bad enough before, but this level of intimidation, hassle and suspicion against perfectly innocent people is completely unacceptable. And all for absolutely no good reason at all. My clarinets and I are going to have to find other modes of transport, if indeed we ever need to or want to go anywhere ever again.

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 Re: Flight restrictions for musicians
Author: Tobin 
Date:   2006-08-13 19:55

From the article provided by thegreatestmusician's "cabin baggage ban on musicians" thread there is a response towards the bottom that I thought was pretty horrifying:

"Like Ms Morneweg, I am a cellist. I am travelling to Germany tomorrow to rehearse for a premiere of a new cello concerto, written for me, at the Salzburg Festival on Tuesday. I cannot cancel, because no-one else has learnt this concerto; I cannot put my priceless 18-century Italian cello in the hold - it would not be insured in there (as far as I know) and besides, to risk the desecration of such an irreplaceable work of art would be irresponsible and wrong. So I am taking the train tomorrow - a 10-hour ride, as opposed to the one-hour flight."
Steven Isserlis CBE, London, UK

Bummer. To say the least.

Gnothi Seauton

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 Re: Flight restrictions for musicians
Author: bob49t 
Date:   2006-08-13 20:31

Tobin,

Thanks for that ...I saw it too and I checked with my instrument insurers, who say that my instrument policy covers them anywhere and I asked them specifically about the aircraft "fragile hold"...affimative here also, if packed appropriately..... (but strangely, not if there ensues a sudden pressure loss)

Mr Isserlis says "as far as he knows" his instrument is NOT covered in the hold.........I would have thought that for an instrument of the quality and history of his 'cello, I would have thought he would have an "all bells and whistles".

I do however sympathise completely, regarding the irreplacability of such a masterpiece. In fact in my own way, I feel the same way about my Buffet Bass and my Eaton pair.

As far as I can see, regardless of "Fragile " stickers and special packaging, it depends totally on the specific baggage handlers dealing with the boxes.

BobT

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 Re: Flight restrictions for musicians
Author: tictactux 2017
Date:   2006-08-13 20:49

> As far as I can see, regardless of "Fragile " stickers and special
> packaging, it depends totally on the specific baggage handlers
> dealing with the boxes.

Maybe one should pay those people decent wages. Might make flying a bit more expensive, but makes those folks more immune to bribes, which in turn might make flying a bit more safe. Whose backs are the airlines' price wars fought on these days?
Just a random thought.

--
Ben

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 Re: Flight restrictions for musicians
Author: Chris P 
Date:   2006-08-14 13:06

Now you can take on some hand luggage as the threat level has been downgraded from critical to severe, but only if your hand luggage measures no more than 16cm x 35cm x 40cm.

So still not good news for musicians, or indeed their instruments.

Chris.

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 Re: Flight restrictions for musicians
Author: Liquorice 
Date:   2006-08-15 09:08

Isserlis is not the only famous soloists battling with these new restirctions. This week I've been playing in an orchestra recording a CD with Maxim Vengerov in Zurich. He's also playing Prom concerts in London. He's had to take the train between London and Zurich because he obviously doesn't want to put his Stradavarius in the hold of an aeroplane! You'd think they could make exceptions in cases like this??!



Post Edited (2006-08-15 09:10)

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 Re: Flight restrictions for musicians
Author: kev182 
Date:   2006-08-15 09:23

This is also going to be a big problem for me as I am going through Heathrow to chicago then interlochen. there is no way im going to check my clarinet, as AA or United ALWAYS looses my bags. I have auditions almost as soon as i get back so its impossible to for to check my clarinet aswell...

I think im going to call BA and ask what the restrictions will be in a few weeks



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 Re: Flight restrictions for musicians
Author: Sylvain 
Date:   2006-08-15 12:40

The NY Times has an article online today about this.
I am posting a link but you need to register first (free).
NYtimes link.

--
Sylvain Bouix <sbouix@gmail.com>

Post Edited (2006-08-15 12:43)

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