More instruments destroyed by airlines

Looking at the pictures of the guitar and bass brings a tear to your eye.



  • petesopete

    Seeing this makes me happy I got a U-bass. It fits perfectly in overhead compartments so I don’t have to worry about this.

  • gjgustav

    Not that this absolves the airline of responsibility and common courtesy, but I wonder what kind of case he had the instruments packed in? Perhaps something like a pelican case is needed.

    • marv08

      You really do not need an expensive Pelican case. Proper flight cases are not that expensive (aluminum guitar cases can be found for below $70). They are normally cheaper than original brand cases and, more important, they are normally not black. So apron vehicles are far less likely to run over them, as one can actually see them in poor lighting.

  • abdoradus

    I don’t think the airline has any control over the handling of the luggage. Isn’t that done by some contractor hired by the airport? Somebody should be liable for damaged luggage though. I think the proper way to travel with a valuable instrument is to buy a seat for it.

    • marv08

      It is absolutely irrelevant who handles the luggage. Your contract is with the airline, and the airline is responsible for returning your property in good shape. How they ensure that is not the travelers business. If your property is not properly packaged, they have to either refuse it, or obtain a waiver from you and properly mark the bag using a “limited release” tag. The moment you agree to hand over your baggage as a “limited release” any right to reimbursements are gone.

  • GadgetGav

    It is depressing to see instruments destroyed like that, but I have to echo other comments here. The baggage handling is usually contracted and will be different contractors at each airport. The airline should have confidence that their chosen contractor will do the right thing with passenger’s luggage, but it’s not directly the airline who handles it. A technicality because your contract is with the airline, so you can only get compensation through them… More worryingly, there’s no mention of hard cases being used to protect these instruments. He says taking them on as carry on was denied, but doesn’t say if they were in any kind of case. It seems a stretch to assume that you’d be allowed to take two full size guitars into the cabin (plus I’m guessing at least one regular carry on bag) regardless of how full or empty the flight was. If you had brought the instruments to the airport without cases assuming you could carry them on then you’re left between a rock and a hard place if the gate staff won’t let them on, but can you really have any expectation that uncased instruments won’t be damaged? You don’t have to take many flights to see they typical treatment that cases get when they’re loaded and unloaded. A quick check on the airline site that I’m flying with next month brings up a whole page about musical instruments. They can be carried on if they fit the carry-on bag dimensions otherwise they have to be checked or you can book an extra seat for your instrument. Cathay Pacific’s site has a whole page for musical instruments that says basically the same.

    If this damage happened to checked instruments in flight cases, that’s one thing, but if the person made a one post WordPress site to decry Cathay Pacific because of their lack of planning, that’s something else entirely…

    • marv08

      Sorry, but this does not make sense. No check-in agent on earth would accept an instrument without a case as checked baggage. Actually, at several airports they did not accept my Gibson Custom Shop cases without shrink-wrapping (or, alternatively, me signing a waiver), as they said the handle and fittings look too expensive and fragile.

      • GadgetGav

        Nothing much about the story makes sense. It’s published under a pseudonym on a single post WordPress blog but the person complains of “spite” for their profession, so are they a seasoned professional musician? What really doesn’t make sense is if they showed up at the gate with two hard shell flight cases expecting to carry them on. It also doesn’t make sense that two guitars in canvas cases or without cases would be checked into the hold. Without more information from the person behind the blog we don’t really know what’s going on.

  • GadgetGav