Anyone see this? YIkes! Guess I'd avoid Air India on my Trans-Atlantic flights...
The same thing happened to me when I tried to PLAY my mandolin in the airport. #
1) Paris Charles de Gaulle -- everyone has an attitude like the "great man" (or at least great nose) himself -- "L'etat c'est moi"
2) Air India
I fly out of Amsterdam Schipol and there you get the Dutch pragmatism. And they understand full well why no musician wants to check his/her instrument!
I have had no problems with instruments at CDG, as recently as May but I would never fly Air India!
I also agree that Schipol is much more tolerant than CDG. I had no problems with both a guitar and a mandolin through Schipol a few weeks ago.
Never give anyone attitude! Always smile! You can be declared an agressive passenger and then all bets are off.
As long as you are able to get through security with the instrument, you can always refuse to board if they do not allow you to take the instrument on board.
If they say you can't take that on board, the next question you ask is "Where do I pick up my suitcase?".
The airline then has the option of trying to find your luggage, delaying the flight, possibly losing their transatlantic slot, burning thousands of pounds of fuel, or finding a spot for your mando. You then smile and say "It usually fits in the overhead".
Most airlines choose door number two.
Whoa, who that's a usefuel tip !
i just made it through zagreb, degaulle and dulles airports with my mando without as problem... but they took a carabiner (rock clibing cliplink) away from me in paris becuase they said it could be used like a brass knuckle
home in time for supper with some tales to tell
Good tip, Bob! I got in trouble in Boston for the same reason, some jerk grabbed the carryon with my flutes out of the conveyor belt after it (and i) had already passed security. It's hard not to react physically when you fear your instruments are in danger.
Mid-mo M11 (#1855)
Ovation MM68 (#490231)
New flute CD:
Wellsprings 2: Joyful!
One part of this is easy to miss: this wasn't a trumpet being carried on. It was a trumpet and fluegelhorn combined case. This Protec Case is the closest I can find, and it is a pretty big case. It pushes the largest allowable carry-on. He was late for the flight, and they refused to allow it as carryon. He fought the agent, who summoned police. When police officers, not airline employees, demanded to see the case he refused to let go of it. Police officers broke his arm while getting the case. People have been shot for less.
Air India is a fine airline. I have flown it several times. If you want to get on board with an instrument, you have to show up early for the flight. Trying to get any carry-on on at the last moment is begging for trouble. Trying to get an instrument on at the last minute and physically resisting police officers is begging for disaster.
No larger than a full sized dreadnaught case, which I had no trouble with a couple of months ago at CDG.
As for getting there early, as long as you are on time for your section, I don't think it matters as long as ther eis still room in the overheads.
The attitude was the problem with the horn player.
Having first posted this, and thought about it more, I'd like to retract my aspersions on Air India-which made me uncomfortable in the first place. #I've travelled on many an Asian and African airline in great comfort. #It does seem to me that the horn player's belligerence was a problem. #I've never even been asked to put my mandolin anywhere I didn't want to put it on any flight- including to and from East Africa- (by way of Schipol) but I'd like to think I would be able to make my point without police being summoned. #I think the secret is to just look like you know what you're doing, don't ask questions, be co-operative, but simply assert -if you're asked- #that you intend to use the overhead bins, or a closet if one is available.
Patience makes sense...
Never flown it, but have flown many Asian, African and European airlines including Tarom, Aeroflot (internal) and Malev. The Eastern Europeans were not by choice.
SQ, Thai, Cathay and JAL are superior to any US airline IMHO. I wouldn't fly Garuda, nor many of the Middle Eastern lines, except Emereites.
I feel that some airlines have a better understanding of western musicians than others.
From the article, it appears it was the Air India guy tht kicked it all off. Although it doesn't make sense because there are no belts in CDG, you check in at generic counters and the luggage goes in behind the counter.
As I read the story, the "belt" in question was the belt going through the X-ray machine at security, but I can't figure out why an Air India employee would be lurking there. Perhaps the player was being escorted to the flight by Air India because he was late?
The problem with Air India is not their nationality but that they are still a state-owned airline and have no incentive for customer satisfaction. The same goes for PanAm (mercifully allowed to die), VIASA of Venezuela (the worst), Olympic of Greece (still flying because the EU doesn't want to upset the Greeks), Alitalia (yes I know they're private but they were state-owned and always get bailed out). When the airline WANTS your business you can talk to an employee who has been trained in customer service -- not that you will necessarily get your way, but they have been trained to see it from your point of view. I just had a very smooth experience on USAirways from Amsterdam and onto a small commuter plane in Philadelphia with a mandola (significantly larger case than mandolin). One agent said "no problem, that's smaller than most guitars we get" :-)