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Thread: Andy Irvine's Sobell instruments missing amid airport chaos

  1. #1
    Registered User loess's Avatar
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    Default Andy Irvine's Sobell instruments missing amid airport chaos

    Two of Andy's Sobell instruments went missing a week ago while travelling from Dublin to Denmark for a festival - a mandola and a guitar-bouzouki. They're still missing.

    See several news articles below as well as a post from Andy on his FB page seeking assistance from anyone who might have personal connections to the baggage handling folks in Dublin.

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    https://www.irishtimes.com/ireland/2...ublin-airport/

    https://www.rte.ie/entertainment/202...g-instruments/

    https://www.thejournal.ie/andy-irvin...14034-Jul2022/
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    but that's just me Bertram Henze's Avatar
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    Default Re: Andy Irvine's Sobell instruments missing amid airport chaos

    Man, such a terrible thing to happen to such a kind man and outstanding musician...
    I do hope the instruments will turn up yet, and may whoever screwed this up see his teeth fall out.
    the world is better off without bad ideas, good ideas are better off without the world

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    Registered User Bren's Avatar
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    Default Re: Andy Irvine's Sobell instruments missing amid airport chaos

    Wow.
    Such distinctive instruments too.
    I can only hope he's correct that they're still in Dublin.
    Telephone and email enquiries to baggage handling firms are mostly going unanswered these days.
    It's happening all over, Bertram. There would be a lot of toothless people if your wish was to come true! In addition to the hiring problems that many industries are having, airports and airlines have additional rigorous security clearance burdens and backlogs for staff working there.

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    Registered User Simon DS's Avatar
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    Default Re: Andy Irvine's Sobell instruments missing amid airport chaos

    https://thesession.org/discussions/47254

    Difficult to stay neutral on the subject.

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    Registered User Jill McAuley's Avatar
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    Default Re: Andy Irvine's Sobell instruments missing amid airport chaos

    Fingers crossed that the increased media stories about this can help track the instruments down - there was a story in the papers here a couple of weeks ago about an American tourist who was traveling with a custom made, very pricey recumbent tricycle that he checked in at Dublin Airport and that didn't show up when he landed back in the States - due to the news articles about it someone who knew a baggage handler at Dublin Airport asked them to keep their eyes peeled and the worker ended up spotting the giant cardboard box containing the tricycle tucked away in the oversize luggage storage area. Here's hoping the power of more people being aware the instruments are missing can have the same successful outcome for recovering Andy's instruments!
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    Default Re: Andy Irvine's Sobell instruments missing amid airport chaos

    Reminds me of the old adage - Breakfast in London, dinner in New York, luggage in Tokyo! Trouble is that, to your average baggage handler, one piece of luggage is much the same as any other, whatever it may contain.

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    but that's just me Bertram Henze's Avatar
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    Default Re: Andy Irvine's Sobell instruments missing amid airport chaos

    Quote Originally Posted by Jill McAuley View Post
    ...ended up spotting the giant cardboard box containing the tricycle tucked away in the oversize luggage storage area.
    That is indeed a probable outcome for this story as well. When I had my OM checked in once from DUS to KOI, it was immediately classified as oversize to avoid the bumpy ride normal luggage undergoes in the automatic system, but that means manual handling (no problem back then, but this is a different world today, apparently).
    the world is better off without bad ideas, good ideas are better off without the world

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    Default Re: Andy Irvine's Sobell instruments missing amid airport chaos

    Trouble is that airports are seen by their owners as a cash-cow and passengers and their belongings take second place - they’re basically a shopping centre with ancillary travel facilities!

    A number of years ago (during my professional days) I went on a tour of a, soon to be opened, new terminal. The guide was in charge of ground operations and, in the shiny new automatic baggage handling hall, he explained that when the terminal opened, rather than one company handling baggage, there would be three; in order to introduce competition and lower prices. At the moment, he said, if the control tower notice that something has fallen off a baggage trolley, they ‘phone me and I send somebody from the handling company out to pick it up and make sure it reaches it’s correct destination. In future, I first have to send somebody out to find which handling company it belongs to. Such “improvements” all add to the likelihood of things going astray.

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    Registered User Eric Platt's Avatar
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    Default Re: Andy Irvine's Sobell instruments missing amid airport chaos

    Double fingers crossed he gets them back soon and with no damage.

    Would hate to be flying now. Especially with instruments. Even a carry on mandolin case doesn't seem safe enough anymore. (And yes, I have a Hoffee).
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    Default Re: Andy Irvine's Sobell instruments missing amid airport chaos

    Latest update from Andy doesn't look promising. Really gutted for him. Have attached most recent photos of the missing instruments to this post.

    Flew to Frankfurt this afternoon. Should have been this morning but flight delayed, would ya believe? Last attempt at personal interference in search for my missing bouzouki & mandola. Airlines have been utterly useless in this matter. Dublin has been checked by so many kind & helpful people. Copenhagen has been checked by my son, Cian. They allowed him to view the warehouse of lost baggage - nothing.
    Aalborg, the final destination in Denmark has been personally checked by my good friend, Dorthe, from the Skagen Festival & that just left Frankfurt from the flight schedule. So, here I am. At baggage tracing, Lufthansa could offer nothing but told me to check Customs Warehouse. There a very helpful young man brought me to three places where lost baggage is stored. Not a sign, even of an instrument, let alone, mine.
    So that’s it. Gone.
    Gone also any flight travel with instruments for me. Sick & Angry.
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    Default Re: Andy Irvine's Sobell instruments missing amid airport chaos

    I hate to think which airline he was flying with but I can guess and I’ve vowed never to fly with them again. They’re basically idiots. Their CFO was on the radio this morning complaining about the problems Heathrow airport and their bagage handlers were causing. The Representative of Heathrow responded that they don’t actually employ bagage handlers - they work for the airlines!

    Edit - https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-62295867
    Last edited by Ray(T); Jul-26-2022 at 12:43pm. Reason: Link added

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    Default Re: Andy Irvine's Sobell instruments missing amid airport chaos

    Quote Originally Posted by Ray(T) View Post
    I hate to think which airline he was flying with but I can guess and I’ve vowed never to fly with them again. They’re basically idiots. Their CFO was on the radio this morning complaining about the problems Heathrow airport and their baggage handlers were causing. The Representative of Heathrow responded that they don’t actually employ bagagge handlers - they work for the airlines!

    Edit - https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-62295867
    No need to speculate - one of the linked stories in the first post says:
    He took three flights to get there flying from Dublin to Frankfurt on Lufthansa, then Frankfurt to Copenhagen and on to Aalborg with SAS.
    The Dutch midwife who delivered my son 33 years ago had just returned that morning from a visit home to Amsterdam.
    Her bags had gone to Jakarta.

    Until this year, that sort of thing had been becoming less and less common.

    I'd even say, "until this summer" because it wasn't so bad on my trips in January, March and May.
    Bren

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    Default Re: Andy Irvine's Sobell instruments missing amid airport chaos

    This isn’t the first time that an airline has lost one of Andy’s instruments: he flew into Charlottesville, VA to play a concert at the Prism Coffeehouse one time and his checked bouzouki didn’t make it. I was able to save the day for him though, by lending him my octave mandolin, which seemed to work well enough for him! The bouzouki showed up the next day, if I’m not mistaken.

    It’s increasingly a leap of faith to entrust your instrument(s) to any airline you’re traveling with…one time I gate checked a guitar on a flight to Athens(Greece) with the assurance it would be waiting for me at the other end, only to find they hadn’t put it on the plane. They put it on the same flight the next day, but I wasn’t able to wait around and had to make a special trip back to retrieve it a week later.

    I believe that at least in the USA it’s less of an issue as a law was passed during the Obama presidency to force airlines to allow instruments to be carried on, at least up to a certain size…can anyone verify/clarify that?

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    Default Re: Andy Irvine's Sobell instruments missing amid airport chaos

    Some regulations and policies were indeed instituted in the US, but unfortunately the airlines do not always adhere to them.

    I'm afraid I don't remember the details, because I have not boarded a plane since 2009, and would rather not fly again unless there is no other choice. If a situation did come up where I had to fly for an important gig, I would not carry a prized instrument with me. I could get by well enough with better grade imported instruments if necessary.

    Somewhere in my files I have a TSA letter the music union [yes, I am a member] sent me some years ago to carry with me and show to the airlines and security if I ever fly with an instrument outlining those policies. But since then, there have been several articles in the union newspaper about incidents where the airlines would not comply.

    If you know a union member, they could call the American Federation of Musicians and get access to the specifics of the regulations.

    I'm so sorry to hear that Mr. Irvine lost his instruments. I hope that somehow, someday, they will be recovered.

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    Default Re: Andy Irvine's Sobell instruments missing amid airport chaos

    There is a report on The Irish Bouzouki Forum Facebook page that Andy's two instruments have been found at Copenhagen Airport and have been returned to him. I so hope this is true ....
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    Default Re: Andy Irvine's Sobell instruments missing amid airport chaos

    Me too

  21. #17
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    Default Re: Andy Irvine's Sobell instruments missing amid airport chaos

    News from Andy this morning via FB: his instruments have returned home to him in Dublin!

    Quote Originally Posted by Andy Irvine
    To everybody who has helped me or shown concern about my missing instruments, I give my heartiest thanks. On Monday I got an email from SAS to tell me……THEY’D FOUND MY INSTRUMENTS!!! They were rushed to Dublin & delivered to my door yesterday evening!! I can’t tell you how it feels to have them back. I have a permanent smile on my face - and so do they. Thanks to Providence & all kind people who gave their time & energy!

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    Default Re: Andy Irvine's Sobell instruments missing amid airport chaos

    Yay!!

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