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Patitucci, TSA, Ductape...

Discussion in 'Setup & Repair [DB]' started by Don Kasper, Jun 2, 2014.

  1. Don Kasper

    Don Kasper Supporting Member

  2. Jeff Bonny

    Jeff Bonny Supporting Member

    Nov 20, 2000
    Vancouver, BC
    I don't understand the Facebook culture. How can you "like" that?

    Now if they had a "turns your stomach" button.....
    Jake deVilliers likes this.
  3. Lee Moses

    Lee Moses

    Apr 2, 2013
    It's difficult to comment on this thread without violating TalkBass protocol. I'll just have to say that Mr. Patitucci has my greatest sympathy, and leave it at that.
  4. Phil Smith

    Phil Smith Mr Sumisu 2 U

    May 30, 2000
    Peoples Republic of Brooklyn
    Creator of: iGigBook for Android/iOS
    Like'ing is they only way they can show their instantaneous solidarity with his plight. Don't hate the player, hate the game.
  5. robobass


    Aug 1, 2005
    Cologne, Germany
    Private Inventor - Bass Capos
    I wonder if he's right to blame TSA though. Wasn't it the baggage handlers (who are underpaid employees of a subcontractor for the airlines rather than underpaid government officials) who did this? I suppose it could have been TSA. I've had bad luck with TSA inspectors not properly re-closing checked bags in the past, but the last time I went through airport security in the US, TSA wanted to inspect some packages containing metal parts. They were surprisingly respectful and even gave me a box cutter to open them up, and brought me a roll of packing tape to reseal them when they were finished. JP may not yet know who is truly responsible for the damage. I hope he clarifies when he finds out, and names the Airline if indeed it was "throwers" who caused the damage.
  6. MikeCanada


    Aug 30, 2011
    Toronto, ON
    It really depends on the airport. Some of them have the "inspection area" in such a place that you can accompany your instrument/whatever it is that they want to look at in order to repack it properly. This is obviously favourable for you, and probably allows the TSA to waive liability as well, saying "you were the one that packed it, it isn't our fault it's broken." Some airports have that area in a part of the airport where you are not allowed to go as a civilian/not airport security/customs/TSA. Usually it is through/behind a bunch of security and red tape, and there is no way you are getting back there. I do not remember the specific airport(s), but there have been a number of stories where everything has been fine for people travelling with their instruments until they encounter one of these airports, then it gets repacked poorly, and the instrument gets damaged/destroyed.

    Although I don't understand how the system works entirely, I was also under the impression that TSA, customs (are they the same thing in the USA or independent of each other?), and the airline all have the "right" to search whatever you are taking with you. While TSA and Customs operate at/above the law in a lot of cases, I assume the airlines all have a bunch of fine print and crazy insurance policies protecting them, so they don't seem too worried.

    It is extremely unfortunate that things like this happen. Even in the case of suitcases that are packed to/beyond their capacity in order to comply with luggage restrictions, I don't see why the airport wouldn't allow you to be present and repack it. If everything was scanned/x-rayed/whatever they do as you checked your bag, they wouldn't have to hunt you down and they could inspect everything right there. In that system if they find something they don't like, they don't have to try to find the owner of the bag. the theft and vandalism stories that crop up once in a while wouldn't be an issue either, as it would be pretty hard for them to do that right in front of the person who owns the stuff. They could download the work of repacking everything to someone who isn't getting paid to do it (you), waive liability in the process, and everyone would be happier.

    The downsides? Check-in would take slightly longer, and a bigger/more accessible area where bags could be inspected would need to be there. I am sure it wouldn't take too long for them to realize that they could sell packing tape for $1 a foot and "rent" you a box cutter for $5, and they've paid for all of the costs of implementing the new system in the first day.

    Given this would mean that everyone involved would be accountable for their actions and we would get to see what they do when they go through our stuff, I can't see it happening. I'm sure that "the good of the people" or "public safety" would be sighted, and the argument would be made that if you got to watch how they search everything, you could find a way to exploit that. But really, if someone watching you search a bag/instrument case/package can then figure out a way to hide something the next time, you aren't doing a very good job of searching it.
  7. robobass


    Aug 1, 2005
    Cologne, Germany
    Private Inventor - Bass Capos
    Yeah, it's amazing how security protocols differ from airport to airport. I have been in places in the US where you opened up your bags for a security officer before checking them, but mostly that's not the case. I think that most checked bags go through a scanner and are only opened up if something suspicious is observed, like matches, or a chic camcorder which maybe won't be reported if it goes missing? Maybe many scanners aren't big enough for a bass trunk. I've air-freighted basses in plywood crates which seemingly were not opened for inspection. I think that most TSA people are basically contentious. This is an entry level government job, after all. If they shine at that, then maybe they will move up the ladder. But, they seem to do a piss poor job of repacking bags they've had to open. And, when there is damage or loss its' hard to pin down where, when, and under whose watch it happened, so going after them for restitution is difficult. Still, I bet 98% of damage comes from careless baggage handlers, which has nothing to do with TSA, Customs, or any other security personnel.
  8. shwashwa


    Aug 30, 2003
    john and david gage speculated that it was the tsa who damaged the bass because there was no damage what so ever to the outside of the bass case and they speculated that in order to create such bad damage to the bass then the case would have had to receive a severe bump leaving some sort of mark or some kind of evidence. im sure one can imagine however, a situation where the case is dropped from a large height and lands on a soft pile of other luggage therefore not damaging the outside but still jarring the bass inside. from what john says though, the bass was pretty secure and snug and padded inside so they consider this an unlikely scenario. the bass now has a removable neck, and handling the body without the neck on it is awkward and precarious because there is really nothing to hold on to, so they guess that maybe during an inspection someone lost their grip. also, the neck of the bass was in a separate case attached externally to the main case for the body and also received no damage. in any event, whoever damaged it did not fess up and just pretended it never happened and left john to discover it himself when unpacking it.
  9. drurb

    drurb Oracle, Ancient Order of Rass Hattur; Mem. #1, EPC

    Apr 17, 2004
    Hmm... it doesn't seem to have gotten that bad. :D (conscientious?)
    Last edited: Jun 7, 2014
  10. robobass


    Aug 1, 2005
    Cologne, Germany
    Private Inventor - Bass Capos
    AAGH! Never trust your spell checker!
  11. I doubt that the baggage handlers would have opened the flight case - I don't think they would have had a reason to do so. They might treat it rough, but my guess is that the flight case would protect it. It's more plausible to me that TSA opened the case to inspect for a bomb or something, and while the bass was out it was either dropped or hit by something coming by at a close distance (hand truck, etc.). A real, real shame.
  12. Michael Karn

    Michael Karn

    Apr 16, 2014
    I say the TSA all the way, Todd Coolman told me how they did their best to destroy his French bass just trying to put it back in the flight case (right in front of him but not allowing him to touch the bass or even get near it, luckily it survived the flight with no damage), and baritonist Gary Smulyan had one of his extremely rare and expensive Otto Link mouthpieces dropped and ruined by a TSA idiot
  13. Learning Point: Don't fly with an expensive bass. Don't fly with any uninsured bass.
  14. Michael Karn

    Michael Karn

    Apr 16, 2014
    That's funny, because he finished the story by saying that was the last time he flew with his A bass. Of course, this was when it was still occasionally possible to fly with a bass.

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