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British Airlines - Instrument Surcharge

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eddie1 13 Feb 07 - 06:48 AM
The Fooles Troupe 13 Feb 07 - 06:53 AM
Bill D 13 Feb 07 - 09:06 AM
Bill D 13 Feb 07 - 09:19 AM
Scrump 13 Feb 07 - 09:30 AM
eddie1 13 Feb 07 - 09:38 AM
The Fooles Troupe 13 Feb 07 - 08:09 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 13 Feb 07 - 08:38 PM
Uncle_DaveO 14 Feb 07 - 06:43 PM
Grab 15 Feb 07 - 08:23 AM
Sandra in Sydney 15 Feb 07 - 07:47 PM
Bob Bolton 15 Feb 07 - 08:46 PM
John MacKenzie 16 Feb 07 - 05:21 AM
GUEST,chris 16 Feb 07 - 07:31 AM
Scrump 16 Feb 07 - 07:36 AM
Fidjit 16 Feb 07 - 05:36 PM
GUEST,TIA 17 Feb 07 - 12:17 AM
GUEST,Reshad 14 Oct 08 - 06:23 AM
Seamus Kennedy 14 Oct 08 - 11:04 AM
JennyO 03 Jan 12 - 08:17 PM
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Subject: BS: BA - Additional Luggage Charges!
From: eddie1
Date: 13 Feb 07 - 06:48 AM

BA have announced that as from September, they will be charging for additional items of luggage being checked in. Figures quoted on Teletext are £30 for domestic flights, £120 for short(????) international flights. Total weight limit is 23kgs but these charges will be imposed on extra items of luggage.
This means they now have another reason for demanding we check in musical instruments!

Eddie


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Subject: RE: BS: BA - Additional Luggage Charges!
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 13 Feb 07 - 06:53 AM

So now there is a very good reason for setting up a business short term hiring quality instruments to travelling musos.... :-)

Some people see problems as barriers, others see them as opportunities....


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Subject: RE: BS: BA - Additional Luggage Charges!
From: Bill D
Date: 13 Feb 07 - 09:06 AM

That is a VERY expensive charge. I wonder if it will hold up?


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Subject: RE: BS: BA - Additional Luggage Charges!
From: Bill D
Date: 13 Feb 07 - 09:19 AM

and it seems it will be even more if not pre-paid.


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Subject: RE: BS: BA - Additional Luggage Charges!
From: Scrump
Date: 13 Feb 07 - 09:30 AM

Strangely enough, Foolstroupe, that idea had occurred to me :D


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Subject: RE: BS: BA - Additional Luggage Charges!
From: eddie1
Date: 13 Feb 07 - 09:38 AM

Teletext has now been amended.
Long haul flights - £240 return
European flights – £120 return
Domestic flights - £60 return

You can get 30% off if you book on the internet and it doesn't apply to flights to the USA and a few other places. I wonder how they'll handle a flight to the US that starts with a hop to Europe?

Eddie


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Subject: RE: BS: BA - Additional Luggage Charges!
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 13 Feb 07 - 08:09 PM

For £240 you probably BUY and sell on the other side of the pond after the trip, a reasonable quality 'hack' instrument...


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Subject: RE: BS: BA - Additional Luggage Charges!
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 13 Feb 07 - 08:38 PM

An allowable business expense for the professional musician.

There are musical instrument rentals in most major center(re)s.


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Subject: RE: BS: BA - Additional Luggage Charges!
From: Uncle_DaveO
Date: 14 Feb 07 - 06:43 PM

Musical instrument rentals, yes, but short term musical instrument rentals?

I know of one situation where someone from out of my city came to participate in a ceremony, where he was to sing with guitar. He found the only way he could get a guitar for the two days he needed it was to buy the instrument, full price, with the understanding that he could sell it back to them two days later for $50 less.

Dave Oesterreich


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Subject: RE: BS: BA - Additional Luggage Charges!
From: Grab
Date: 15 Feb 07 - 08:23 AM

From the BBC article about this:-

Travellers to the US, Canada, the Caribbean, Nigeria, Mexico and Brazil will still be able to check in two pieces of luggage free of charge - because those countries have a system based on pieces rather than weight.

It's still a real sod though for those of us going on holiday in Europe. Maybe the solution is a dozen or so yards of gaffer tape to produce one item of incredibly unwieldy and oversized luggage! They're not charging by volume, are they? :-/

Alternatively your guitar case can become your suitcase. Get an oversized case (or a smaller guitar) and pack clothes around the guitar in the gaps between case and instrument. If you slacken the strings, you can even pack all your T-shirts, socks and undies inside, and the gap between the guitar top and the lid is great for keeping shirts and trousers flat. Spare shoes go in your carry-on. This probably isn't a solution for women who like to travel with huge wardrobes, but most guys can probably make it work.

Graham.


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Subject: RE: BS: BA - Additional Luggage Charges!
From: Sandra in Sydney
Date: 15 Feb 07 - 07:47 PM

Alistair Hulett's latest newsletter posted on Folk Alliance Australia list today.

................................

From: a.hulett
Sent: Friday, 16 February 2007 02:04
To: a.hulett
Subject: The Gallow's Rant Update - BA's New Baggage Regs



The Gallow's Rant

February Update – A Bitter Complaint ON BA'S NEW BAGGAGE REGS


Last week British Airways announced changes to its regulations in regard to
checked baggage that will have a significant impact on musicians who use the
airline for their professional work. From February 13th, all passengers who
are checking in more than one item of luggage will have to pay £120 per
extra item, even if the combined weight is under the new weight limit of
23kg.



This means a touring musician like myself, travelling to Australia from
Britain on tour will need to add another £240 to our prepaid ticket cost, to
carry my instrument and a suitcase, even if the combined weight of these is
under the stipulated limit.


Sporting equipment such as skis, golf clubs and surfboards are exempt from
this charge but musical instruments are not. At least that is what the BA
website currently appears to say. The 'official position' from employees and
management alike, however, is divided and confused - as I recently
discovered when I sought clarification from British Airways.


On February 13th I rang Customer Services at BA and was told that Terminal 4
desk-staff at Heathrow were divided 50/50 over whether or not to allow
musical instruments on without charge, as de facto sporting equipment.
Fronting at the check-in desk to try potluck means risking paying the full
levy instead of receiving a 30% reduction for buckling in advance and
coughing up the charge before arriving at the airport. This was the best
information customer services were able to provided at the present time
(13/01/07).


The agent I spoke to eventually gave me the telephone number for the London
office of Executives Assistants. Initially the response from the person I
contacted there was that inconsistencies like this were currently being
ironed out, and that the clause in the regulations that lists musical
instruments along with wheelchairs and baby carriers as 'allowable outsize
baggage' would probably cover travelling musicians till more specific
regulations were announced.


Along with a representative from the Musicians Union who had arrived at the
same point as me, I asked to have this clearly stated in writing but we were
both refused. After several courteous but ultimately fruitless emails had
been exchanged between the BA, the MU and myself, the Executives Assistants
Office finally referred us back to the Customer Services desk that had put
us in touch with their office in the first place.


Several hours of polite exchanges and positive trade union engagement had
produced no concrete result whatsoever. I do nevertheless have all these
emails on file and will happily pass them over to any interested parties who
want to read or distribute them. At very least, British Airways owes
professional musicians who bought air tickets from them in good faith, a
clear statement on what we will face when we arrive at the check-in desk
with our suitcase and instrument.


At present neither the management or the desk-staff at British Airways
appears able to do this with any degree of consistency. If a charge is to be
levied for two items, on musicians but not on sportspeople, then it should
at very least be waived for musicians who bought their tickets before the
changes to baggage regulations were announced. Had we been aware of the
extra costs involved, we could have negotiated our performance fees
accordingly.


I strongly urge all musicians and their audiences to contact British Airways
Customer Relations, immediately. Please register your complaint at the
disgraceful way professional artists such as we, who have provided the
airline with business over many years, are presently being treated by them.


Yours in Solidarity


Alistair Hulett


Singer, guitarist and songwriter

www.alistairhulett.com


Send letters of complaint to

Customer Relations
PO Box 5619
Sudbury
Suffolk
CO10 2PG


Also complain by telephone to BA Customer Services on 0870 850 9 850

And the BA Executives Assistants Office on 0208 476 0920 and by email via
www.ba.com


Musicians Union Members should email or phone their regional branch to
express support for the union's ongoing efforts to fairly resolve this
matter.

All musicians and those who support them should certainly avoid booking
travel arrangements with British Airways for the foreseeable future.


Today (15/2/07) I received the following message from the Glasgow Branch of
The Musicians Union

"The Musicians Union is advising all of our members not to use BA and to
maintain the embargo until such time as BA accept that musical instruments
should be added to the sporting equipment exemption."

_______________________________________________
Ausfolk mailing list
Ausfolk@folkalliance.org.au
http://mail.folkalliance.org.au/mailman/listinfo/ausfolk_folkalliance.org.au


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Subject: British Airline's - Instrument Surcharge
From: Bob Bolton
Date: 15 Feb 07 - 08:46 PM

I hope this doesn't overflow the copy-post regulations!

British performer Alistair Hulett posted this, about a new £120 surcharge for carrying musical instruments:

The Gallow's Rant

February Update – A Bitter Complaint ON BA'S NEW BAGGAGE REGS

Last week British Airways announced changes to its regulations in regard to checked baggage that will have a significant impact on musicians who use the airline for their professional work. From February 13th, all passengers who are checking in more than one item of luggage will have to pay £120 per extra item, even if the combined weight is under the new weight limit of 23kg.

This means a touring musician like myself, travelling to Australia from Britain on tour will need to add another £240 to our prepaid ticket cost, to carry my instrument and a suitcase, even if the combined weight of these is under the stipulated limit.

Sporting equipment such as skis, golf clubs and surfboards are exempt from this charge but musical instruments are not. At least that is what the BA website currently appears to say. The 'official position' from employees and management alike, however, is divided and confused - as I recently discovered when I sought clarification from British Airways.

On February 13th I rang Customer Services at BA and was told that Terminal 4 desk-staff at Heathrow were divided 50/50 over whether or not to allow musical instruments on without charge, as de facto sporting equipment. Fronting at the check-in desk to try potluck means risking paying the full levy instead of receiving a 30% reduction for buckling in advance and coughing up the charge before arriving at the airport. This was the best information customer services were able to provided at the present time (13/01/07).

The agent I spoke to eventually gave me the telephone number for the London office of Executives Assistants. Initially the response from the person I contacted there was that inconsistencies like this were currently being ironed out, and that the clause in the regulations that lists musical instruments along with wheelchairs and baby carriers as 'allowable outsize baggage' would probably cover travelling musicians till more specific regulations were announced.

Along with a representative from the Musicians Union who had arrived at the same point as me, I asked to have this clearly stated in writing but we were both refused. After several courteous but ultimately fruitless emails had been exchanged between the BA, the MU and myself, the Executives Assistants Office finally referred us back to the Customer Services desk that had put us in touch with their office in the first place.

Several hours of polite exchanges and positive trade union engagement had produced no concrete result whatsoever. I do nevertheless have all these emails on file and will happily pass them over to any interested parties who want to read or distribute them. At very least, British Airways owes professional musicians who bought air tickets from them in good faith, a clear statement on what we will face when we arrive at the check-in desk with our suitcase and instrument.

At present neither the management or the desk-staff at British Airways appears able to do this with any degree of consistency. If a charge is to be levied for two items, on musicians but not on sportspeople, then it should at very least be waived for musicians who bought their tickets before the changes to baggage regulations were announced. Had we been aware of the extra costs involved, we could have negotiated our performance fees accordingly.

I strongly urge all musicians and their audiences to contact British Airways Customer Relations, immediately. Please register your complaint at the disgraceful way professional artists such as we, who have provided the airline with business over many years, are presently being treated by them.
Yours in Solidarity

Alistair Hulett

Singer, guitarist and songwriter

www.alistairhulett.com

Send letters of complaint to

Customer Relations
PO Box 5619
Sudbury
Suffolk
CO10 2PG

Also complain by telephone to BA Customer Services on 0870 850 9 850

And the BA Executives Assistants Office on 0208 476 0920 and by email via www.ba.com

Musicians Union Members should email or phone their regional branch to express support for the union's ongoing efforts to fairly resolve this matter.

All musicians and those who support them should certainly avoid booking travel arrangements with British Airways for the foreseeable future.
   
Today (15/2/07) I received the following message from the Glasgow Branch of The Musicians Union

"The Musicians Union is advising all of our members not to use BA and to maintain the embargo until such time as BA accept that musical instruments should be added to the sporting equipment exemption."


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Subject: RE: British Airline's - Instrument Surcharge
From: John MacKenzie
Date: 16 Feb 07 - 05:21 AM

Anybody make a guitar case that looks like a ski box?


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Subject: RE: British Airline's - Instrument Surcharge
From: GUEST,chris
Date: 16 Feb 07 - 07:31 AM

avoid using BA where ever possible and tell them why!


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Subject: RE: British Airline's - Instrument Surcharge
From: Scrump
Date: 16 Feb 07 - 07:36 AM

Maybe what you need is a large suitcase with a padded instrument compartment, so you can put that and the rest of your gear into it.

Sounds as if it's best to use another airline though.


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Subject: RE: British Airline's - Instrument Surcharge
From: Fidjit
Date: 16 Feb 07 - 05:36 PM

This is getting like the, "2 in a bar" crap.

There must be something. Are Morris dances excempt?

Chas


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Subject: RE: British Airline's - Instrument Surcharge
From: GUEST,TIA
Date: 17 Feb 07 - 12:17 AM

My short scale banjo case fits in a duffel surrounded by socks and such. The bastards never even know.


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Subject: RE: British Airlines - Instrument Surcharge
From: GUEST,Reshad
Date: 14 Oct 08 - 06:23 AM

Just found this on the British Airways website, filed as "answer number 2579"

Musical instruments on British Airways flights
        
Question
Can I take a musical instrument on board the aircraft?

Answer
Yes, you can take a musical instrument as hand baggage, checked baggage or on a seat purchased for this purpose.

Taking a musical instrument as hand baggage
You can carry a musical instrument as hand baggage if the item is guitar sized or smaller.

If you are travelling from or via the UK, you can carry your musical instrument as an additional free piece of hand baggage. However, if you are travelling into the UK, the instrument will be considered as part of your hand baggage allowance.

Taking a musical instrument as checked baggage
If your musical instrument is larger than a guitar it must be carried as checked baggage.

Buying a seat for your musical instrument
It may be possible to purchase an extra seat for your musical instrument, depending on availability.

That should sort things out once and for all. I'm printing this out and permanently keeping a copy of it in my carry case.

Reshad


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Subject: RE: British Airlines - Instrument Surcharge
From: Seamus Kennedy
Date: 14 Oct 08 - 11:04 AM

Tell them your guitar is a set of golf clubs in an oddly shaped case. *G*
Seriously, though, it's getting out of hand, even here in the U.S.

With the exception of Southwest Airlines (with whom I fly as often as I can), the other airlines are charging extra for each piece of checked luggage.

Now, as a traveling performers, I usually have a suitcase and a guitar, for which Southwest doesn't charge (2 pieces), but if I have to fly somewhere that Southwest doesn't go, I have to pay for both pieces.

And since my guitar is in a Calton case, there's no possibility of bringing it on board as hand luggage.

Also, the staff and security at check-in are confused as to whether you can bring on an instrument or not - some say Yes, some say NO.

There's a TSA form which was negotiated with the Musicians Union here in the U.S.allowing musicians to carry their instruments on board, but in my experience, most airline staff have either never heard of it when presented with it, or choose to ignore it.

And it's best not to get into an argument with them or you can find yourself bumped off or arrested.

I go to Ireland twice a year, so I think I'll buy a cheaper guitar to leave over there.

Seamus


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Subject: RE: British Airlines - Instrument Surcharge
From: JennyO
Date: 03 Jan 12 - 08:17 PM

Rob and I are visiting Australia from the UK for about a month from March till April this year. I've just been negotiating the minefield of conflicting information about musical instruments in hand luggage.

I noticed a post 2 up from here which included a quote from BA:

If you are travelling from or via the UK, you can carry your musical instrument as an additional free piece of hand baggage. However, if you are travelling into the UK, the instrument will be considered as part of your hand baggage allowance.

After scouring the BA website today, I can see nothing that suggests you can take on a musical instrument as an additional free piece of hand baggage.

That post was from 3 years ago. Does anyone know what the current situation is? Rob would like to take his melodeon, which might fit the size requirements all right, but it's not clear if that would then count as his carry on bag, along with his laptop, or whether he could take the melodeon as well as the carry on bag and the laptop. The other thing is, would the rules apply in both directions, or would he face different restrictions coming back? We were intending to fly BA both ways.

We are going to ring BA tomorrow, but judging by other comments both here and on other sites, the people you talk to are often confused as well and it seems to often be a case of luck or otherwise with the staff you are dealing with at the airport.


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