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Sep 8, 2015 - 3:55:35 PM

15035 posts since 12/2/2005

Big shakeup at United Airlines today.

Chairman Jeff Smisek and two other senior execs have resigned - and from all appearances, in response to a corruption probe.

I am no fan of United Airlines, and much of the the stuff that pisses me off about them happened under Smisek's watch.

Story here.

Sep 8, 2015 - 9:03:08 PM

BDCA

USA

5589 posts since 1/30/2007

Yikes!! I received a personal E-mail from Jeff a few weeks ago and he never mentioned it...

So I'm guessing the new former CSX chairman will introduce railroad innovations like overhead straps so you can stand when the plane is over booked and maybe a steam whistle??

This is terrible news! I want Continental back! Waaaa!!... I am flying again on Monday...

 

Bob

Feb 23, 2016 - 12:01:40 PM

Dave Churm

Canada

82 posts since 7/24/2007

What an awsomes POST!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Thankyou very much
a Canadian picker

Feb 23, 2016 - 12:12:08 PM

15035 posts since 12/2/2005

quote:
Originally posted by Dave Churm
 

What an awsomes POST!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Thankyou very much
a Canadian picker


Glad you found it helpful, Dave!

Feb 23, 2016 - 1:19:10 PM

BDCA

USA

5589 posts since 1/30/2007

Further to my last post, United has improved, no straps, more and more of the new Embraer 175s (which will handle a banjo in the overhead) and ladies and gentlemen! FREE SNACKS!  My last 3 or 4 flights I have had no complaints.

 

Bob

Feb 23, 2016 - 2:26:26 PM
Players Union Member

Sunwhite

Australia

11 posts since 1/6/2011

I plan to travel from Australia to Europe for 8 weeks in May 2016; a long time to be without my banjo. I have a Deering Goodtime open back that I would like to take with me. This may be a dumb question but... How difficult would it be to remove the neck and strings and reassemble in Europe? It's something I have never tried but it seems to me that the pot and neck could then travel well protected by my clothing in my suitcase. Is setting up a banjo too technically challenging ?

Cheers, Brian

Feb 23, 2016 - 5:18:55 PM

9 posts since 2/22/2016

I almost always fly with my banjo in a padded bag (made by Betty Vornbrock) and have never had an issue. I was once flying with a friend on Southwest. His banjo was in a hard case, and he was going to check it, but they suggested he carry it on and he did.

Feb 23, 2016 - 5:46:23 PM
likes this

15035 posts since 12/2/2005

quote:
Originally posted by Sunwhite
 

I plan to travel from Australia to Europe for 8 weeks in May 2016; a long time to be without my banjo. I have a Deering Goodtime open back that I would like to take with me. This may be a dumb question but... How difficult would it be to remove the neck and strings and reassemble in Europe? It's something I have never tried but it seems to me that the pot and neck could then travel well protected by my clothing in my suitcase. Is setting up a banjo too technically challenging ?

Cheers, Brian


Goodtime openback? Not hard at all. Do a few test runs of disassembly-reassembly first. But if you follow the advice in the original post, it's probably not necessary, as long as you have a hard case for your banjo, and assuming the airline(s) you're flying have instrument carriage polices similar to those in the US. For most legs of your trip you'll be flying full-line larger airliners with bins that can easily handle a case.

Feb 24, 2016 - 3:36:29 AM
likes this

347 posts since 6/1/2003

I've been traveling with my openback banjo for 10 years and never a problem no matter what carrier I flew with. I flew to Greece, Portugal, England, France, Italy, Argentina, Mexico and Cuba. I put my banjo in a Colorado Alpine gig bag and put it in the overhead bin. But being that I ALWAYS reserve an aisle seat I make sure I'm standing when other people are putting their bags in the same overhead bin. I do that to make sure no one is placing anything on top of the banjo. I've never had any damage in all these years.

Feb 24, 2016 - 2:02:50 PM

314 posts since 12/29/2010

Skip,Rich Freeze here, You did an awesome job on Your report, Keep up the Good Work. Thank you for keeping us informed. Thank You Very Much

Rich Freeze

Feb 24, 2016 - 3:33:28 PM

banjo-kiel

Germany

107 posts since 1/31/2005

Thanks a lot for this very helpful thread. To throw my 5 Cents in:



I found it extremely helpful to:



1. use a hardshell case with arched top (my guitar once was broken when a flat top was pressed by some heavy luggage.  The case was ok but the guitar inside was broken as the top sunk in without itself being broken) 



2. put off the bridge



3. make sure that the headstock is fixed very securely, as most of the damage which occur happen to be broken headstocks (as eagleisland points out) 


Mar 21, 2016 - 5:11:45 AM

22 posts since 1/10/2004

In 1966 I got a chance to see The New Christy Minstrels at my university. I was really anxious to here their banjo player. Hc came  in without his banjo and had a guitar instead. He said that Continental had broken his banjo and kept telling us this about every three or four songs, I was almost as angry as he was.Banjos just don't belong jn cargo holds of planes.

Apr 13, 2016 - 2:21:27 AM
likes this

3135 posts since 4/29/2012

quote:
Originally posted by Sunwhite
 

I plan to travel from Australia to Europe for 8 weeks in May 2016; a long time to be without my banjo. I have a Deering Goodtime open back that I would like to take with me. This may be a dumb question but... How difficult would it be to remove the neck and strings and reassemble in Europe? It's something I have never tried but it seems to me that the pot and neck could then travel well protected by my clothing in my suitcase. Is setting up a banjo too technically challenging ?

Cheers, Brian


I do this all the time. Mine's a Goodtime parlor banjo so when dis-assembled it fits in standard carry-on luggage. One issue last time I did it was that the small adjustable spanner I use to re-assemble it was not allowed in hand-luggage on the UK-US leg so I had to put it in checked luggage (it was fine on the way back where the rules are explicit - Non-bladed tools less than 6 inches are ok). I've even successfully taped up the strings so I do not have to use a new set at the other end. If you put it in checked luggage you may want to get a short length of plastic drainpipe for the neck. Stuff the everything with socks and underwear and it doesn't even take up much room.

Apr 13, 2016 - 4:18:24 AM
likes this

3135 posts since 4/29/2012

(It won't let me edit my previous post)...And as far as setup is involved, it only has a single rod, the tailpiece isn't adjustable and you aren't changing head tension - So you just need to make sure it's back together as it was (make a note of where the washers go when you take it apart) with everything tight  enough and with the bridge in the same place.

Jun 23, 2016 - 6:45:40 AM

AndyM

USA

1332 posts since 1/29/2004

I must praise Sun Country Airlines for their courtesy allowing me to carry on my banjo on a recent trip from Mpls to Anchorage, Ak.  I carried my banjo as a carry on, to and from Anchorage,  like I did it all the time as mentioned above and had absolutely no trouble at all.  It fit in the upper compartment with ease.  Several of the Flight Attendants and even one of the pilots smiled and made positive comments about me having phun in Alaska.  Even going through Security, the fellow operating the scanner commented what a nice banjo it was.  Fly Sun Country when possible!!!

Aug 3, 2016 - 4:17:25 AM

banjoy

USA

9338 posts since 7/1/2006

I posted this information to another thread on this topic, and thought this would be useful in this thread as well...

U.S. Department of Transportation Issues Final Rule Regarding Air Travel with Musical Instruments

Airline reform for musical instruments in the books

New Rules as published in the Federal Register

US DOT -- Final Rule - Musical Instruments

If you need to file complaints, this is the place to start with USDOT and with the airlines:

US DOT -- Traveling With a Musical Instrument

Jan 9, 2017 - 10:12:20 PM

362 posts since 11/5/2010

Just wanted to report in.

I few over the holidays with my custom longneck. I was kind of nervous, never traveled with my nice banjo before.

I flew American. I purchased priority boarding. Everything went very smooth, no incidents.

I carried it on with no questions asked. There was plenty of room in the overhead, even for my longneck.

On the return trip an attendant even recommended I store my banjo with their bags in the 'closet'.

Safe travels friends.

Jan 28, 2017 - 11:04:34 AM

4577 posts since 3/6/2006

quote:
Originally posted by OldInTheNewWay
 

Just wanted to report in.

I few over the holidays with my custom longneck. I was kind of nervous, never traveled with my nice banjo before.

I flew American. I purchased priority boarding. Everything went very smooth, no incidents.

I carried it on with no questions asked. There was plenty of room in the overhead, even for my longneck.

On the return trip an attendant even recommended I store my banjo with their bags in the 'closet'.

Safe travels friends.


When I fly, I go Southwest. I like their business model. Real jets, no change fees or checked baggage fees, etc., etc. But...they are usually full flights, and the overheads are usually jammed full. I've never tried to take my longneck on board, as all I'd need to hear would be "sorry sir, you'll have to have that checked." It's pretty obvious that a longneck banjo case (or any banjo case) doesn't fit into the little container by the gate agent with the sign "if your so-called carry-on doesn't fit in this, then it ain't no carry-on" or words to that effect. Happy to hear it went well for you, but there's no guarantee. Yes...I've read all the posts about being nice to gate agents, flight attendants, and that all helps, but sooner or later...

Jan 28, 2017 - 11:25:27 AM

15035 posts since 12/2/2005

quote:
Originally posted by mainejohn
 

When I fly, I go Southwest. I like their business model. Real jets, no change fees or checked baggage fees, etc., etc. But...they are usually full flights, and the overheads are usually jammed full. I've never tried to take my longneck on board, as all I'd need to hear would be "sorry sir, you'll have to have that checked." It's pretty obvious that a longneck banjo case (or any banjo case) doesn't fit into the little container by the gate agent with the sign "if your so-called carry-on doesn't fit in this, then it ain't no carry-on" or words to that effect. Happy to hear it went well for you, but there's no guarantee. Yes...I've read all the posts about being nice to gate agents, flight attendants, and that all helps, but sooner or later...


The key to success on Southwest is a low boarding number. As long as you're no more than halfway through the "B" boarding group your odds of overhead space are good - particularly if you make a beeline for the back of the plane (people tend to like to sit closer to the front).

So how to do that? If you buy the cheapest ticket - the "wanna get away" fare - the odds are you'll start out in the "C" group if it's a popular flight. But joining their FF program helps. Purchase the "early checkin" option - it's only $25 round trip and it allows you to check in online 24 hours prior to departure, which also improves your chances at a low number. Often, with online checkin, you can also purchase an A group board for about $40 - and if THOSE aren't available when you check in they're often available at the airport when you show up in person.

Even with your fees, their tickets are STILL cheaper than the other airlines and you'll almost certainly be able to carry the banjo aboard.

Edited by - eagleisland on 01/28/2017 11:27:00

Jan 28, 2017 - 1:30:37 PM

4577 posts since 3/6/2006

quote:
Originally posted by eagleisland
 
quote:
Originally posted by mainejohn
 

When I fly, I go Southwest. I like their business model. Real jets, no change fees or checked baggage fees, etc., etc. But...they are usually full flights, and the overheads are usually jammed full. I've never tried to take my longneck on board, as all I'd need to hear would be "sorry sir, you'll have to have that checked." It's pretty obvious that a longneck banjo case (or any banjo case) doesn't fit into the little container by the gate agent with the sign "if your so-called carry-on doesn't fit in this, then it ain't no carry-on" or words to that effect. Happy to hear it went well for you, but there's no guarantee. Yes...I've read all the posts about being nice to gate agents, flight attendants, and that all helps, but sooner or later...


The key to success on Southwest is a low boarding number. As long as you're no more than halfway through the "B" boarding group your odds of overhead space are good - particularly if you make a beeline for the back of the plane (people tend to like to sit closer to the front).

So how to do that? If you buy the cheapest ticket - the "wanna get away" fare - the odds are you'll start out in the "C" group if it's a popular flight. But joining their FF program helps. Purchase the "early checkin" option - it's only $25 round trip and it allows you to check in online 24 hours prior to departure, which also improves your chances at a low number. Often, with online checkin, you can also purchase an A group board for about $40 - and if THOSE aren't available when you check in they're often available at the airport when you show up in person.

Even with your fees, their tickets are STILL cheaper than the other airlines and you'll almost certainly be able to carry the banjo aboard.


I've flown SW many times and I do all that, but am still reluctant to carry on a banjo, although I did do it a number of times in the 60's and 70's when the airlines were more laid-back, and usually half full. I've seen guitars brought on board and crammed into the overhead and maybe it's my shyness or something, but I feel guilty about taking someone else's space. Something I must have acquired as a result of living a number of years in Lake Wobegone.

Nov 8, 2017 - 1:52:18 PM

585 posts since 11/4/2007

Thanks for a very thorough discussion and your excellent recommendations!

Jan 9, 2018 - 9:02:03 PM

2411 posts since 12/31/2005
Online Now

Do not check your 17th Century viol.  Heartbreaking Story

Jan 28, 2018 - 9:28:48 AM

1484 posts since 3/27/2008

Excellent helpful article.

Thank you for posting it and taking the time to research and compile the information

Feb 18, 2018 - 8:06:18 PM

1484 posts since 3/27/2008

Re: Flying Internationally with a resonator banjo...

Hi Skip...

I've read your initial updated post a number of times, and again, thank you so much for the research and great info.

On Feb 28, I am flying on Emirates Airways from Washington D.C. (Dulles Airport) to Colombo (Sri Lanka) with a stop in Dubai. 

I want to bring one of my resonator banjos with me.

Any banjo is well above their posted carry on bag length dimensions of 22 x 15 x 8 in.

On the Emirates website, they say:

#####

Sports equipment and musical instruments

Sports equipment and musical instruments are subject to the same size and weight restrictions as other forms of cabin baggage. However, it is possible to transport these items in a separate, paid seat in the cabin.

Please note that certain conditions and limitations may apply when transporting musical instruments. To review these conditions or if you have any questions regarding musical instrument transport, please get in touch with us.

#####

So, it looks like they are officially applying the 22 x 15 x 8 in. dimension rule to carry on instruments as well.

I do have a Mark Leaf case, which I hear are very durable and protective.

What would you recommend I do?

1) try to carry on the banjo perhaps in a soft case (or a regular size Superior case with a soft cover) and then gate check it if they insist?

2) Just use my Mark Leaf case and check it in?

Also... How would you secure the big Mark Leaf case? with straps and/or a case bag?

Thank you very much.


Feb 19, 2018 - 5:41:11 AM

4555 posts since 6/3/2011

The only recommendation that I have is to remove the screws that hold the resonator on. I recall someone posting about the baggage inspectors damaging a resonator by prying it off of the banjo.

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