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Airplanes and Instruments

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hesperis 10 Oct 01 - 11:41 PM
JedMarum 11 Oct 01 - 12:22 AM
marty D 11 Oct 01 - 03:57 AM
Grab 11 Oct 01 - 08:07 AM
RichM 11 Oct 01 - 09:15 AM
catspaw49 11 Oct 01 - 09:22 AM
53 11 Oct 01 - 10:54 PM
Nancy King 11 Oct 01 - 11:26 PM
Peter Kasin 11 Oct 01 - 11:31 PM
Murray MacLeod 11 Oct 01 - 11:40 PM
hesperis 12 Oct 01 - 02:02 PM
Clinton Hammond 12 Oct 01 - 02:23 PM
Rich(bodhránai gan ciall) 13 Oct 01 - 11:23 AM
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Subject: Airplanes and Instruments
From: hesperis
Date: 10 Oct 01 - 11:41 PM


I was sent this on a music list, and since I'm not a US musician, don't know if it is accurate or not. But for once, something looked worth passing on.


In a side-effect of new airport restrictions, the new airport security bill before Congress would prevent real musicians (like me and you) from carrying musical instruments onto planes. I urge you as musicians and friends of musicians to call your reps regarding carry-on instruments on board planes. Like many musicians with valuable and delicate instruments I always take my hollow-body guitar on board the plane with me because temperatures in the luggage hold, not to mention very rough handling (even with fragile stickers plastered all over what's obviously a guitar case), could be the death of an instrument. They ALWAYS X-ray my instrument first to be sure of what's inside. This courtesy to musicians may now be threatened. I've been known to fret for up to 24-hours before a flight for fear they'd try to make me check my guitar. Personally I don't know what I'd do if I couldn't carry on my instrument. Take a train? A boat? Become an accountant?

Please read the explanation below from the American Federation of Musicians.

Thanks, Kimi Reith


Dear Musicians and Friends of Music, Please take 3 minutes to make 3 calls about the safety of our musical instruments on flights. Peace

Capitol switchboard is 202-225-3121 for the House Capitol switchboard is 202-224-3121 for the Senate (addresses below)

>From the American Federation of Musicians Concerning carrying valuable musical instruments on board airlines

In view of the horrific events of September 11, 2001 the AFM (American Federation of Musicians) has been working to formulate a practical response. We are deeply concerned about the loss of the privilege to carry our instruments onto the plane. President Lee and the Legislative Office are working hard to prevent passage of any legislation that would put valuable musical instruments in the cargo hold of the plane where they would be subject to severe turbulence and uncontrollable climactic changes.

It is urgent that every musician respond to this challenge by calling and writing your Senators and Representatives . Without your voice, our efforts would be hollow. It is important that you tell your legislators that professional musicians have unique needs and must be heard on this issue.

Again, in the meantime, President Lee and the Legislative Office will continue to work to see that no additional hardship is imposed on our musicians. We ask that you prepare to do your part before the end of this week. The telephone number to the Capitol switchboard is 202-225-3121 for the House and 202-224-3121 for the Senate. Letters should be addressed as follows:

The Honorable ________ The United States Senate Washington, D.C. 20510

The Honorable ___________ The United States House of Representatives Washington, D.C. 20515

Please be sure to include your name, address and telephone number in the letter.

The airline security bill is scheduled to come to the Senate floor by Wednesday or Thursday of next week.

The House bill will come up soon after that. Since time is of the essence, we suggest that you call your Congressperson's office and obtain a Fax number. Or you may call the office and voice your concerns directly with the office staffer in charge of the "AIRLINE SECURITY" issue.

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Subject: RE: Airplanes and Instruments
From: JedMarum
Date: 11 Oct 01 - 12:22 AM

I cannot imagine how my guitar in its case, and banjo in its case would FIT in the cabin of an airplane ... even if they were allowed. Most instruments are old with high quality, well fitted and insulated cases that are made to protect them in the normal airline handling enviroments, and experience has shown me that the instruments travel well as checked baggage. I do make sure they are insured, because mishaps happen ... but I cannot imagine imposing the burden to my fellow passengers, not mention stressing the security check-point risks of trying to carry on my guitar/s or banjo. In fact, while it is an incovenience to me (they even made me check my harmonicas on the last flight) it better serves the rest of the passengers in the cabin, and the safety issues if they always make toters of guitars (ie., large, acoustic guitars) check them.

Not that I'm opposed to writing my congressman, I'd just rather write about something else!

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Subject: RE: Airplanes and Instruments
From: marty D
Date: 11 Oct 01 - 03:57 AM

I read somewhere that quite a few musicians e-mail music stores ahead of gigs now and RENT an instument for their gig. Seems like a good idea but disappointing if you really want to show off that Martin. (even if it IS only one of the cheap ones!)

Anyone else heard of this?


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Subject: RE: Airplanes and Instruments
From: Grab
Date: 11 Oct 01 - 08:07 AM

There was a thread about this not so long back. Kimi Reith can't have travelled in a plane recently (read "within the last 6 months", never mind since 11th Sept), or he/she would know that checkin has maximum weight and dimensions restrictions for carryon luggage - no exceptions. This "courtesy to musicians" is actually dead and buried, so asking about it now is flogging a dead horse.

I'm not sure where Kimi would suggest putting a guitar in a plane either - the only solution I could think of is buying an extra seat for it. Certainly a guitar in a hard-shell case won't fit in an overhead locker.


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Subject: RE: Airplanes and Instruments
From: RichM
Date: 11 Oct 01 - 09:15 AM

This is a traumatic and suspicious time for many travellers. Get a protective case, and put your instrument in the cargo hold. There are more important things to worry about than your instrument.

Like, people's lives and safety.

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Subject: RE: Airplanes and Instruments
From: catspaw49
Date: 11 Oct 01 - 09:22 AM

Thank you Rich and Jed. This is, in the grand scheme of things, a non-issue. I can certainly understand the problems of all kinds of people who are now inconvenienced while flying, but it is the price we will all have to pay.


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Subject: RE: Airplanes and Instruments
From: 53
Date: 11 Oct 01 - 10:54 PM

i'm glad that i don't have to face that problem. bob.

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Subject: RE: Airplanes and Instruments
From: Nancy King
Date: 11 Oct 01 - 11:26 PM

Do check out the (still-current-at-this-writing) thread titled "Flying with your guitar" (someday I'll learn how to do blue clickies, but it hasn't happened yet...). There are lots of good tips about cases and packing, and links to the Calton site and another site that gives very thorough and complete directions for packing and padding your instrument.

Cheers, Nancy

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Subject: RE: Airplanes and Instruments
From: Peter Kasin
Date: 11 Oct 01 - 11:31 PM

With regards to a musician I know who is flying to S.F. from New York with a guitar, it's the strings that are at issue - the fear that they could be removed and used as weapons. In order to bring a guitar on the plane, the airline told him to remove all the strings and put them in luggage. Hopefully this new bill will at least let that happen rather than banning instruments as carry-ons altogether.


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Subject: RE: Airplanes and Instruments
From: Murray MacLeod
Date: 11 Oct 01 - 11:40 PM

The terrorist wouldn't even need to remove the strings.

All he would have to do would be to threaten to play "Stairway to Heaven" or "House of the Rising Sun"


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Subject: RE: Airplanes and Instruments
From: hesperis
Date: 12 Oct 01 - 02:02 PM

Thanks. Wasn't sure if it was legit or not. I'll let the lsit know that it wasn't, too.

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Subject: *Singing*
From: Clinton Hammond
Date: 12 Oct 01 - 02:23 PM

"Airplanes and Instruments
And yuppie muuusic"


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Subject: RE: Airplanes and Instruments
From: Rich(bodhránai gan ciall)
Date: 13 Oct 01 - 11:23 AM

Has anybody tried fed-exing their instruments ahead of them?

I'd be reluctant, but it might be worth it. It's be tough if you're playing a busy tour with a different venue every night.

Just a thought.

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