Ouch......that's Going To Leave A Mark


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Years ago when my former airline used CP's 767 simulator in YVR, we would also travel on CP as part of our deal, sometimes in business class, sometimes not. I would be there for a week at a time so I'd often bring my Les Paul with me. I have two cases for it, one is very solid but I was always concerned about how it was handled. One trip to YVR after not getting upgraded, I was sitting in the back of a DC10, when I noticed my guitar coming down the belt loader from the bulk cargo hold. The agent grabbed it and although it was covered in fragile tags, tossed into the bag cart. My heart stopped for a moment, but I then thought, tough case, should be okay. The next item down the belt was one of those hard shell golf bags and it also got tossed into the cart, directly onto my guitar. So afterwards, I am waiting in the baggage area to collect my prized Gibson, when out pops the same agent who unloaded the bulk hold. So I asked him, "Is it Canadian's policy to throw items marked fragile?" He replied "Yup".......exact quote.

Anyways, that's my almost disaster story.....here is a really bad one.....

http://ca.news.yahoo.com/blogs/sideshow/vintage-gibson-guitar-delta-baggage-leevees-214634001.html

Edited by blues deville
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The thing that should be noted from the original link is that Robert Barron is a Customer Service Agent and not a spokesman and got caught up out of his depth.

The WS spokesperson was pretty plainspoken when dealing with the guest as per his original article:

“Musical instruments: Although seats may not be purchased for instruments, we will accept small instruments as part of the carry-on baggage allowance. Exceptions may be made for irregular-sized instruments. All instruments must be stowed in the overhead compartment, under the seat or in other approved locations. This is left to the discretion of the cabin crew and Customer Service Agent upon checking flight and baggage loads. Instruments may also be accepted in checked baggage when they are properly packed.”

Palmer added: “There is no rule banning cellos or any other specific musical instrument. However, they must be able to be stowed in the overhead bins. If they are too large or of an odd shape, they must go below the wing. You cannot buy a seat for a musical instrument because the seat and its restraint system are designed and rated for a person.”

Edited by chockalicious
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The thing that should be noted from the original link is that Robert Barron is a Customer Service Agent and not a spokesman and got caught up out of his depth.

The WS spokesperson was pretty plainspoken when dealing with the guest as per his original article:

“Musical instruments: Although seats may not be purchased for instruments, we will accept small instruments as part of the carry-on baggage allowance. Exceptions may be made for irregular-sized instruments. All instruments must be stowed in the overhead compartment, under the seat or in other approved locations. This is left to the discretion of the cabin crew and Customer Service Agent upon checking flight and baggage loads. Instruments may also be accepted in checked baggage when they are properly packed.”

Palmer added: “There is no rule banning cellos or any other specific musical instrument. However, they must be able to be stowed in the overhead bins. If they are too large or of an odd shape, they must go below the wing. You cannot buy a seat for a musical instrument because the seat and its restraint system are designed and rated for a person.”

OK...but.....does that mean that all the other airlines are doing something that is "illegal" according to FAA and TC, or is there discretion allowed by individual airlines with reference to buying a seat for your piano.

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"With our American Airlines codeshare we are hearing daily what a nice change from everyday travel WestJet is"

Until you are involuntarily re-routed through YYZ onto a WestJet flight home to YYC and it takes the ticket staff in YYZ 3 hours to sort out what should have been a no brainer, which causes you to miss the last flight out and then have to pay for a hotel room with no luggage and not so much as an amenity kit offered.

WestJet does normal very well. However it has been my experience that irops or abnormal requests causes them some grief.

Edited by AME
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OK...but.....does that mean that all the other airlines are doing something that is "illegal" according to FAA and TC, or is there discretion allowed by individual airlines with reference to buying a seat for your piano.

I certainly stand to be corrected on this but to my recollection it means that WS seats are only certified for humans. I don't know if other airlines skirt the rules or have their seats certified for non humans. I seem to recall an incident where a restraint for a special needs child did not meet standards that caused an incident.

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OK...but.....does that mean that all the other airlines are doing something that is "illegal" according to FAA and TC, or is there discretion allowed by individual airlines with reference to buying a seat for your piano.

It could be that WestJet doesn't have or is willing to pay for the Engineering to develope a restraint for instruments, you have to remember that they are relatively new and don't have access to decades of Engineering like the legacy airlines do.

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It could be that WestJet doesn't have or is willing to pay for the Engineering to develope a restraint for instruments, you have to remember that they are relatively new and don't have access to decades of Engineering like the legacy airlines do.

Yeah but Boeing or a seat manufacturer like Recaro does. Every time a new seat is rolled out it has to be certified by TC. The decades of engineering like a legacy carrier is a non issue.

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Yeah but Boeing or a seat manufacturer like Recaro does. Every time a new seat is rolled out it has to be certified by TC. The decades of engineering like a legacy carrier is a non issue.

You missed the point, yes every seat is certified, but there are EOs to cover additional uses of passenger seats such as instruments or even cargo and this is the engineering I was referring to.

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and you missed my point that not being a legacy carrier with yerars of engineering experience is a non issue.

Then why don't you have something in place?

Most if not all of the legacy carriers did this years ago and that is why the travelling public can't understand why WestJet can not transport instuments in the cabin when everyone else can.

So I would beg to differ that years of experience do make a difference. and 20 or 30 years from now WestJet will have developed a process/procedure and obtained all of the EOs required to meet the varing needs of all of the passengers/Guests.

Until that time WestJet does normal very well but......

P.S. This is just my opinion and really doesn't matter a whole lot to anyone so please don't get too worked up over it :-)

Edited by AME
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use an existing restraint that will hold a cello x 9g and zippidy-doo-dah.... what's the worry? Does anyone really think our "system" would have a carrier that did so, busted, for some reason? ....please....

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Anyone with a set of gonads would stand before a Judge and state that, "M'Lady's Cello was well and proper restrained, M'Lord... As is according to to regulations, with 9g straps" ....wrapped round the seat-back, and the usual seat-belt fastened for good measure. Should anyone have a problem with this method of transporting M'Lady's Cello, I suggest they take a good hit of Sambuca, and gaze at their nether regions in the mirror for a time..... 'til they wonder why, at least.... ....and then, if you're still not sure,.... try singing the LumberJack song.... :D

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My company uses a product made by this company. We have a regular (that I know of) that carries his Cello on our flights.

http://www.seatpack.net/

One question: why is it that angry pax have always experienced more abnormal events in flight than I have? I've never 'dropped thousands of feet' or had engines fail or slid off a runway* etc. People can be so melodramatic. Either that or I have a horseshoe up my....

*Came damn close!

Edited to add footnote.

Edited by Canoehead
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I've looked around and many, many airlines allow a seat to be sold for a large musical instrument. I can not find a Canadian Regulation forbidding it on Canadian Airlines but I have not and do not intend on spending the night looking ..however..............from the AC website..... with respect to musical instruments in the cabin.

In some cases, a seat may also be purchased for these instruments. Contact Air Canada Reservations for more information

If WJ does not want to permit any musical instrument in a "paid for seat" ...............I would assume it is their call. I don't believe it is a passengers....sorry.... guest's right to demand a seat for their piano even if they offer to pay for it.

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"It could be that WestJet doesn't have or is willing to pay for the Engineering to develope a restraint for instruments, you have to remember that they are relatively new and don't have access to decades of Engineering like the legacy airlines do."

Oh please, It's a fricking cello not a mobile stretcher with a heart monitor attached! How much data would a "legacy" carrier have for things like this? Sheesh

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It could be that WestJet doesn't have or is willing to pay for the Engineering to develope a restraint for instruments, you have to remember that they are relatively new and don't have access to decades of Engineering like the legacy airlines do.

Although WJ is sitting on a pot of cash reserves that on a unit basis, (ie cash per asm's generated), significantly exceeds anyone else North America, it is a business and I would imagine a business case would have to be made for spending what would probably be in excess of a $250k to develop and certify a restraint system for the thousands of cellos being transported daily across their system. Then there are the lawsuits when the priceless cello is inevitably damaged....

Even with a 5 year payout and a $100 fee per cello carried, they'd have to transport 500 cellos a year to begin to even begin for the expenditure to make sense. I doubt that's in the cards.

This may be one of those instances where there's a better business case to be made for WestJet not to chase the coveted "guests traveling with cellos" marketplace and let the other carriers have all of it.

One can't be all things to all people.

:Clever:

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................................Although WJ is sitting on a pot of cash reserves that on a unit basis, (ie cash per asm's generated), significantly exceeds anyone else North America,............................

Good ole Bean, can't start a reply without running the WJ flag up and saluting it...too funny !!! :biggrin1::biggrin1::biggrin1: :biggrin1: :biggrin1::biggrin1::biggrin1:

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