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Apr 27, 2015 - 11:06:25 AM

Gary S

USA

129 posts since 1/15/2013

quote:
Originally posted by Gary S

... Second flight's overheads are too small.  ...


I should have said, "second flight's overhead isn't an option".  I took this two-flight trip once before.  You're directed to put carry-on luggage on a cart outside the plane as you board.  I'm not up for a negotiation in that situation.  Better use the flight case.

Thanks.

Edited by - Gary S on 04/27/2015 11:10:09

Apr 27, 2015 - 7:54:38 PM
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Bunkie

USA

133 posts since 4/5/2010

Thanks very much to all who contributed to this thread.  I knew I'd likely have to check the banjo, which I did, and packed it accordingly with the help of the suggestions above.

Left the form-fitted but somewhat fragile 1930's vintage case home, used a newer Guardian case with plenty of padding inside, including velcroed-in triangular blocks that snuggle up to the peghead front and back.

I'm  not sure I would have been smart enough to weave a piece of paper with instructions on how to remove and replace the resonator through the strings.  Did do that, and at both ends of our round-trip the resonator had obviously been removed, and just as obviously put back on with the thumbscrews finger-tight (not loose, not machine-tight) just like I had suggested.  My message started and ended with "Thank you for keeping us safe!" and my guess is it was appreciated.

Case was scuffed up, some damage to the black covering material.  To my mind that's just what the case is for, and a little liquid electrical tape will glue the torn section right back down again.  I'll most likely switch back to the old case for car trunk travel anyway.

Thanks and hats off to a great community here on BHO.  Seems like I can type darn near anything into a search and count on some great suggestions from fellow pickers.

Happy travels, all.

May 1, 2015 - 6:03:17 AM

Boringperson

Northern Ireland

51 posts since 9/10/2009

Wow! That's a heck of a post and much appreciated. Can I make a confession? The rest of you won't come looking for me? I took up mandolin so I wouldn't have to drag my banjo over the Atlantic. Three nerve-wrackin' ordeals like that were quite enough.

The companies' rules seem pretty arbitrary at the best of times ad 'policies be damned' is a great way to describe how some desk staff feel, but, for what it's worth, my advice is that politeness is golden in this situation. Have you ever turned down someone who said 'is there something you can do to help me out?'

Mark

May 1, 2015 - 8:29:09 AM

15035 posts since 12/2/2005

quote:
Originally posted by Boringperson

Wow! That's a heck of a post and much appreciated. Can I make a confession? The rest of you won't come looking for me? I took up mandolin so I wouldn't have to drag my banjo over the Atlantic. Three nerve-wrackin' ordeals like that were quite enough.

The companies' rules seem pretty arbitrary at the best of times ad 'policies be damned' is a great way to describe how some desk staff feel, but, for what it's worth, my advice is that politeness is golden in this situation. Have you ever turned down someone who said 'is there something you can do to help me out?'

Mark


Thanks, Mark. I would point out that the original post focuses on US-based airlines, and that policies in other nations may be different. Thus, I personally don't imagine your desired to travel with a mando represents anything beyond a practical adaptation to local conditions. Meantime, if you can shed any light on relevant policies and issues from a European perspective, you are most cordially invited to add those insights to this thread.

May 1, 2015 - 10:14:06 AM

BDCA

USA

5589 posts since 1/30/2007

BTW IF you fly on a US airline OR you fly to the States, new US FAA regulations apply allowing instrument in the cabin on a space available basis.

 

At the same time if you fly a US airline to Europe, all the European rules apply including very generous passenger compensation rules. My son received a $1200 check from Delta for a long delay in London on his way to South Africa a few months ago. More than his ticket!

 

Bob

Jun 21, 2015 - 4:16:04 PM

4577 posts since 3/6/2006

I have flown off and on with my banjo starting in 1961, but I won't do it in this day and age. In the 60's I would check it thru...never had a problem with breakage. In the 70's I would carry it on, and the "stewardesses" would simply put it in the coat closet (where did they go?)...no problem. Unfortunately, times have changed for the worse when it comes to all facets of air travel. Today everyone wants to carry on their luggage, usually to save the checked baggage fees. For someone to carry on a banjo or guitar, in this age of limited overhead space and full flights, is, in my opinion, being rather selfish, as it inconveniences one's fellow travelers by taking up more space than is figured in for each passenger. And there's no guarantee, even with all the finesse and courtesy that one can conjure up at the gate that the flight attendant won't insist that due to lack of overhead space that the banjo will have to be checked and placed into the belly of the plane. I know...there are those they say "I've never had a problem..."  Odds are, that if they fly with their banjo long enough, they will eventually have a problem.

Edited by - mainejohn on 06/21/2015 16:16:48

Jun 21, 2015 - 4:27:20 PM

BDCA

USA

5589 posts since 1/30/2007

Actually times have changed for the better. I just got off a flight last night , a commuter connecting to an A320 Airbus, and it couldn't have been easier. I was carrying a resonator 5 string case and it just fir in the CRJ-200 and absolutely no problem in the Airbus. No comments or actions from the gate or cabin staff. Life is good!

 

I have another transcontinental flight next week and then a gig in England at the end of the month. There days there are many more things to worry about than carrying a banjo on board.

I know...there are those they say "I've never had a problem..."  Odds are, that if they fly with their banjo long enough, they will eventually have a problem.

Sure, they will also eventually have a heart attack or a car accident or maybe a hernia carrying their banjo around at a festival.

 

I have flown over 300,000 miles since I have had so much as a comment.  How much have you flown this year????

Cya!

Bob

Edited by - BDCA on 06/21/2015 16:31:48

Jun 21, 2015 - 4:41:58 PM

15035 posts since 12/2/2005

quote:
Originally posted by mainejohn
 

Odds are, that if they fly with their banjo long enough, they will eventually have a problem.


And odds are that if they fly long enough, even without a banjo, the plane will fall out of the sky and they'll all be at the bottom of the food chain, once again.

John, by all means, I respect your courtesy to others, and your thoughtfulness. I try to share those concepts (having expressed several in the original thread post). But here are two key facts: 1) this is a problem that the airlines, not the customers, created (except for Southwest, God bless 'em), and 2) you have a RIGHT, enshrined in law now (finally!) to bring your banjo aboard provided that the plane can accommodate it and you've got a low enough boarding number.

There are many players who are casual, and for whom going a week or two without practice isn't a big deal. There are others of us who teach or play professionally or semi-professionally (twice a week on the former, several times a month on the latter on this end). There are others for whom playing daily is just something they do. For many of us, traveling without an instrument just isn't a good option.

If it's a good option for you, no worries. This thread is all about how to do it if it isn't.

Jun 21, 2015 - 5:51:31 PM
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BDCA

USA

5589 posts since 1/30/2007

Well Said!

 

Bob

Jun 26, 2015 - 9:28:13 AM

4577 posts since 3/6/2006

No, I don't travel that often by air any more, and when I do, as I did twice last week, I don't take a banjo with me. I flew Southwest, and both outbound and return were full flights packed with tourists and all their paraphenalia stuffed into the overheads with the overflow being checked below. I've heard the horror stories of broken banjos and guitars and I know it happens a lot more often than "planes falling out of the skies." The late Dave Frey, 4 string virtuoso from San Francisco had the neck broken on his vintage Vegavox (or B&D, not sure which) a few years ago on a cross country flight. I'm retired, so I have the luxury of taking long road trips as time is not as critical as it once was, thus I am able to enjoy the peace of mind that comes with having my banjo with me in my car. And Bob, I'm delighted that you have never had a problem with carrying your banjo on the plane.

Jun 26, 2015 - 10:03:01 AM

BDCA

USA

5589 posts since 1/30/2007

Actually things have gotten a lot better in the past year. As long as you can wangle getting on early, you will have NO problems bring a banjo on a full sized plane (Airbus, Boeing or 175). Sure one ca always pull an example of someone who fell victim to checking it in when they didn't have to and then paying the price, but that's really a bit of Chicken Little. If you look at the thousands of folks who fly with instruments ever week, you would be better off worrying about being hit by lightning.

I will be flying 4 trips in July including 1 international, all with a banjo and a guitar in the hold. I am not afraid! laugh


Bob

Jun 26, 2015 - 11:02:25 AM

78 posts since 4/14/2012

Just came home from flying on 4 completely full Southwest flights. By paying the $12.50per leg Early Bird fee, I was able to board among the 60 A group flyers and parked my banjo in the overhead each time with zero problems. banjo flew in a pretty substantial Access gig bag rather than my heavy-duty Price fiberglass flight case, because I was confident there wouldn't be any issues

Jun 26, 2015 - 11:41:58 AM

BDCA

USA

5589 posts since 1/30/2007

Getting better all the time!!  BTW my next trip is to RDU on United.

 

Bob

Jul 10, 2015 - 7:16:51 AM

BDCA

USA

5589 posts since 1/30/2007

When it rains it pours!

I usually travel with a guitar in the hold and a banjo or two in the overhead. My trip to Raleigh, NC was no exception. I flew from Phoenix (avoiding commuter planes out of Tucson)  to Dulles, wher ethere were torrential rains, and then on to Raleigh. My suitcase was first off the carousel but my guitar never arrived. United's computers were down and there was a lot of chaos in the network. I was told my guitar was in Dulles and would be delivered that evening...it wasn't. The next day I called the automated baggage line and was told they were still looking for my guitar. I called reservations and they put me through to a person who told me the guitar was on a flight arriving in a few minutes and it would be delivered in a few hours. It was.

I purchased a new plastic Gator case for a forthcoming tour of England and this was the trial flight. The guitar was well cared for and there were no scuffs or damage and it was pretty hot in the delivery van. 95F outside and sunny.

When I opened the case it was soaking wet and almost steaming. Everything was soaked, strings guitar, TWO TSA inspection notices!. Had this been a wood instrument it would have been ruined. Glue joins would have failed, top would have rippled and it would have to be scrapped. Luckily, I travel with a CA Acoustics carbon guitar and there was no dame to the instrument but I am fear the Fishman electronics have been ruined, ad possibly the tuners.

I will be making a claim on the way back on Monday.... This is a first for me! I'll be looking for a case with a bailer...

Bob

Jul 10, 2015 - 10:41:21 AM

4555 posts since 6/3/2011

quote:
Originally posted by BDCA
 

When it rains it pours!

I usually travel with a guitar in the hold and a banjo or two in the overhead. My trip to Raleigh, NC was no exception. I flew from Phoenix (avoiding commuter planes out of Tucson)  to Dulles, wher ethere were torrential rains, and then on to Raleigh. My suitcase was first off the carousel but my guitar never arrived. United's computers were down and there was a lot of chaos in the network. I was told my guitar was in Dulles and would be delivered that evening...it wasn't. The next day I called the automated baggage line and was told they were still looking for my guitar. I called reservations and they put me through to a person who told me the guitar was on a flight arriving in a few minutes and it would be delivered in a few hours. It was.

I purchased a new plastic Gator case for a forthcoming tour of England and this was the trial flight. The guitar was well cared for and there were no scuffs or damage and it was pretty hot in the delivery van. 95F outside and sunny.

When I opened the case it was soaking wet and almost steaming. Everything was soaked, strings guitar, TWO TSA inspection notices!. Had this been a wood instrument it would have been ruined. Glue joins would have failed, top would have rippled and it would have to be scrapped. Luckily, I travel with a CA Acoustics carbon guitar and there was no dame to the instrument but I am fear the Fishman electronics have been ruined, ad possibly the tuners.

I will be making a claim on the way back on Monday.... This is a first for me! I'll be looking for a case with a bailer...

Bob


It would seem as if someone used it as a life raft.  surprise

Jul 16, 2015 - 8:16:32 AM

4931 posts since 6/23/2009

Any of you road warriors fly a lot and own a 12" diameter rim open back?  



I have a Price Fiberglass flight case for sale. You can check your banjo with confidence. Write me offline if interested. Go to my homepage and send me a message. 



I am finally getting OFF the road! Hooray! 


Jul 16, 2015 - 9:26:42 AM

BDCA

USA

5589 posts since 1/30/2007

quote:
Originally posted by Tom Berghan
 

Any of you road warriors fly a lot and own a 12" diameter rim open back?  

 

I have a Price Fiberglass flight case for sale. You can check your banjo with confidence. Write me offline if interested. Go to my homepage and send me a message. 

 

I am finally getting OFF the road! Hooray! 

 

I keep my 12" Ramsey in the overhead 100% of the time. That way I ALWAYS have it when I arrive...and it's dry!  I think a Price case is designed for roadies...

 

Bob

Jul 16, 2015 - 9:46:24 AM

BDCA

USA

5589 posts since 1/30/2007

Every now and then almost everything goes wrong on a trip. My return trip from Raleigh - Durham on Monday was a perfect storm...  I arrived at the airport early so I could report my soaked guitar to the baggage guys. Not that DAMAGE MUST BE REPORTED WITHIN 24 HOURS. I reported it by phone when I eventually received my guitar but was told to make an in person report at the airport. At the airport I was told to get a quote for repairing the electronics if they were, in fact, damaged, and submit it to the closest baggage office IN PERSON.

about 20 minuets after going through security I received a notice that my flight was delayed "due to late arrival of the aircraft" This wouldd make my Chicago connection tight but not impossible. The delay was extended until it became obvious I would not make my connection to Phoenix. I called the Priority phone number and explained that I needed to rebook. I was informed there were no more flights out of Phoenix and they rebooked me for the next day. I could have flown on another airline but I was offered no assigned seating and I would not risk ending up in the middle seat in a back row with my banjo AND guitar in the hold.

I checked the United ap and discovered that the plane I was waiting coming out of Newark had NOT been delayed on it's prior flight from Mexico City. I checked the FAA web site and discovered there were no current weather issues or delays. I called back United and explained that they needed to provide hotel accommodation for me in Chicago. They refused stating it was weather related. I tried to explain it wasn't and the agent warned me not to argue with her. I figured I sort it out in person.

When I arrived in Chicago, i went straight to the United counter and was able to get a better connection the following morning. I the requested accommodation and was refused, stating it was weather related. I tried to explain but Manuel no comprende... I asked for a supervisor and explained that the plane was not late due to weather but operations, because it had arrive in Newark on time. She instructed the agent to call Zone 6 and determine what caused the delay. After the call he looked up, told me I was right and proceeded to make a reservation. He apologized because all the better United hotels were sold out but provided a $75 voucher for acceptable accommodation at the Airport Super 8 and $15 in food vouchers. Most of the other United passengers on the hotel shuttle had to pay their own fare but had United "discount" vouchers. Chicago had severe thunderstorms earlier and I saw on the news the next day that 300 people slept on cots that same night.

Tuesday morning's flight was on time, arrived early and I had a text from United that my guitar was waiting in baggage claim as it had arrived on an earlier flight. My suitcase was the first off.

I hope this proves useful.

Two weeks till my next gig in England.

Bob

Aug 13, 2015 - 1:38:07 PM

BDCA

USA

5589 posts since 1/30/2007

Just completed a flight from Phoenix to Edinburgh Scotland and back via Houston, Toronto and Newark. I checked the banjo on the way over as I needed the guitar on arrival. I cut a bubble wrap case cover for the banjo, a Gold Tone flatop with a tenor neck, and it arrived in perfect condition.I only needed the tenor after our 1 week gig in England.

On the way back I checked the guitar and carried the banjo. I never even had the instruments mentioned once on all flights including 3 legs on Air Canada. In addition I flew some new planes, an Air Canada Embraer 190,  and the Emraer 175. In all cases there was no problem fitting either the guitar or banjo in the overhead. There were no questions about CITES items at the border crossings in Canada or the UK. Neither of the instruments were opened at any time either through security or checked in.

All in all a very good trip with one exception. I happened to see my guitar being loaded and noticed there were 2 suitcases piled on top. There may have been more but I only saw two. Then the guitar was gingerly removed from the cart, placed face down on a cart while the rest of the bags were loaded. Then the guitar was placed on the belt face down again and up she went.

When I arrived in Phoenix there was no guitar! There were no departure scans and no record of the guitar in Newark. I figured I was a victim of a baggage theft ring in Newark.The baggage folks kin Phoenix were amazed by both the fact that there was no trace of the guitar in the system and I had the photograph to prove it was loaded. When I got home water and Comcast internet had been shut off because my creditcard number was changed due to attempted fraud and I forgot to update both auto-pays..not a good night!

While waiting for my Tucson shuttle at 12:30 am, I sent a note describing the situation to the CEO of United. I received an email at 8:30 this morning from one of the CEOs assistants giving me the information that the guitar had been located in Newark at 7am and would be on the next flight to Phoenix. When I got home water and Comcast internet had been shut off because my credit card number was changed due to attempted fraud and I forgot to update both auto-pays..not a good night! It does pay to have one of those water tools so I turned the water back on, paid my bills and hit the sack at 6am after 36 hours without seeing a bed.

I have no out of town gigs scheduled for the rest of the month so no harm, no foul.

Bob


Aug 14, 2015 - 5:54:48 AM

BDCA

USA

5589 posts since 1/30/2007

Follow up on my lost guitar:

I received 8 or 10 calls from various folks at United alerting me to the progress of my guitars journey to Phoenix including a call at 9:30 from the baggage office in Phoenix informing me that they had the guitar and were delivering it to Arizona Shuttle who would hold it at their office a few minutes from my home. I could have picked it up at 11:00 PM had I wanted to.

United's performance was exemplary though no one knows why it didn't fly.

I think the lesson is to act  professionally, don't get angry and have the CEOs email address.smiley

Bob

Edited by - BDCA on 08/14/2015 05:55:34

Aug 14, 2015 - 1:48:16 PM

BDCA

USA

5589 posts since 1/30/2007

Epilog:

I picked up my guitar after lunch, it was till in tune, On the way home I received another call from United offering me a $150 travel voucher for my troubles...YMMV.

I couldn't have asked for better service and follow up from United. 


Bob

Aug 14, 2015 - 1:52:07 PM

15035 posts since 12/2/2005

That's great to hear, Bob - on all fronts.

Aug 14, 2015 - 3:10:06 PM

BDCA

USA

5589 posts since 1/30/2007

The final chapter was a short email from Jeff Smisek, United's CEO, received a few minutes ago.

Bob

Aug 22, 2015 - 8:14:32 PM
Players Union Member

Dai Evans

Canada

43 posts since 10/4/2008

Well after that roller coaster ride I have only a boring trip from Toronto to Hong Kong with Air Canada. The flight was in Economy in a 777 and I had bought a new Huber in Canada so was a little nervous but it was the smoothest transition ever. The check in staff gave me a "check at gate" tag and the crew put the banjo in the coat locker in First Class. The only complaint that I got was a surprised "heavy" comment.

I will be happy to fly Air Canada with my banjo again, great service.

Aug 23, 2015 - 8:09:10 AM

BDCA

USA

5589 posts since 1/30/2007

My transatlantic Air Canada legs were perfect with no comments what-so-ever.

 

Bob

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