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The cruel lesson I just learned from southwest airlines

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by sonofabass, Aug 19, 2007.


  1. sonofabass

    sonofabass

    Feb 10, 2006
    California
    Endorsing Artist: Aguilar Amplification, Mike Lull,MXR,Gruv Gear, Mono
    The plan was simple:
    Fly to L.A from Oakland at 9:30. Arrive at 10:30 or so...
    Rehearse for four hours, take a break, go to sound check , do the gig, sleep and then do it again the next day.

    I get there, luggage, including bass does not.

    Southwest baggage dept in Burbank unsympathetic...except one, Charisse.
    Bass is in "limbo" from the time I dropped it at the check in until around 7:00 am the next morning .

    4:30 or so they let me know - after I call THEM (at this point I'm calling once or twice every hour) that my cloths have arrived in Burbank. Ok, that's awesome but where's my axe?!???

    because the description of a guitar case does not match their chart; You see, my case isn't in that universal acoustic guitar shape. "We're now looking for a rifle case" .

    The last statement from SWA comes 10 minutes before I'm to hit the stage with a rented p.o.s Fender P bass.
    I put on the game face and play the show with this crap. And all is ok outwardly. On the inside I'm balling like a two year old.

    <b>(I DO WANT TO THANK ALL OF THE WELL WISHERS AND POSITIVE THINKERS AT THE MINT ON FRIDAY NIGHT!!!!!) </b>


    They call me at around 8:00 am saying that they'd located my bass and that the flight would be in at 9:30, bass would be in a cab by 10am and, because of the 4 hour window I should have by 2)

    Ok, big sigh.....until 1:30 rolls around.
    I call again. "ummmm where's my bass?"
    "Ummmm, what are you looking for sir?"
    "My bass that I've been missing since YESTERDAY?"
    "Oh, it's sitting here....."
    (like it sat in Oakland.....just sat for anyone to do anything with....)

    "**** it, I'm coming to get it"

    and boy oh boy was it a good thing that I did because the picture below is what I found
    l_0e011acc1885fdc63a68272faa5e088d.
    Now, nothing just laid on this bass. This case was either dropped for a great height or purposely thrown against something.
    (side note...there was a young bassist in the office looking for HIS bass.....hope that young man has better luck than I)

    Luckily, despite such reckless treatment of MY precious instrument, Rhonda was pretty much unscathed.

    Sharon, the supervisor was called and she bent the rules in a big way.
    Although I could not get reimbursed for the rental I 150 dollars in travel vouchers (which I gave away) and she said that once she got a fax of the receipt would write me a check for the replacement of the case.

    I never let the bass out of my site and played Saturday night's gig at Levitt pavilion and all was well.

    I gate checked this morning and we are both home :)

    We should have driven.

    <b>what I have learned:</b>
    1. NEVER LET YOUR GUARD DOWN. Unfortunately, a lot of people in these
    low (but still a f/n paying job) paying jobs don't give a **** about anything , ESPECIALLY not what YOU worked hard for (which is probably why they can you rock that kind of job) .
    <b>You have to handle your gear like they were your kids</b> for a lot of us, it's all we got.
    2. SKB bass case can not i repeat CANNOT take a big beating

    3. GATE CHECK if you can. Even if you can't bring it on you have a btter chance of it at least getting on the same plane with you.

    4. What I used to do and will do again if for whatever reason item 3 doesn't fly.
    Have the TSA take you and the bass to the Xray machine, do their tihng while you watch and then put TSA tape around it showing that it's already been inspected and it doesn't need to be opened again. This has worked for me in Oakland, L..A.X and JFK


    Charisse and Sharon in Burbank, thank you for not meeting justified anger and frustration with hostility. Thank you for keeping your heads cool and focusing more on what you CAN do instead of what you can't.
     
  2. BellBottomBlues

    BellBottomBlues

    Feb 21, 2007
    New York
    Endorser:Fender User:Rotosound, LaBella, Ashdown, Lindy Fralin
    should should get flight cases.

    I use Anvil Flight cases for all my gear that moves out of the practice space. Its sturdier, and can sure as hell take a beating. I've gotten into a car accident and had my rear end totaled. I lost my Eastwood EEB and a Fender Bassman head. My P-Bass in the anvil case was safe and secure, but unfortunately squished the Eastwood bass case to bits.
     
  3. owch man. At least the bass was okay right?
     
  4. sonofabass

    sonofabass

    Feb 10, 2006
    California
    Endorsing Artist: Aguilar Amplification, Mike Lull,MXR,Gruv Gear, Mono
    yeah man, bass is safe and sound. thank goodness!
    l_6ead5503372ef19a97603d42e6897faf.

    i went all the way yo new york last month without incident but this happens on what was supposed to be an hour flight....go figure
     
  5. BassMan250

    BassMan250

    Jan 26, 2007
    Denver, CO
    Question: I'm flying out to Denver for college in 2 weeks, and I was planning to take my Jazz on the plane as one of my carry-ons. It's in the standard Fender hardshell case, which isn't too big as cases go. I heard that airlines usually let you take guitars on board but you have to have the flight attendant store it up front. Is that the case or do I have to check it?
     
  6. Silaxian

    Silaxian

    Dec 16, 2002
    Charlotte, NC
    That's some rather shocking damage to that case. It is hard for me to imagine that even the most careless handling could have caused that. But with regard to SKB cases I have my Mesa Boogie Bass 400+ mounted in one, and that case (with my amp and rack gear in it) took a fall from 6' onto a concrete floor and had no damage other than a cosmetic scratch (none of the gear inside was screwed up either, which amazed me).
     
  7. Pilgrim

    Pilgrim Supporting Member

    I live near Denver and can't imagine they will let you carry on that bass in a hard case. That is a huge item. If you're REALLY lucky they will let you gate check it and you'll get it back along with the strollers, etc.

    I'd call the airline ahead of time and feel them out - but realize that ANY gate agent can change their mind and make ANY call they feel, ANY time they feel inclined to do so. No kidding.

    Bottom line: go prepared to check it in case you have to. And the standard Fender hardshell case is NOT - repeat, NOT - made for shipping. If you are absolutely forced to use it, pad the entire bass inside the case so that it can't move. Also add a stout strap around the case so it doesn't fly open. Call the TSA and find out if they can inspect it so it does NOT have to be re-opened.

    And if that's the only case you have, consider having it shipped to you separately. Much less hassle.
     
  8. BassMan250

    BassMan250

    Jan 26, 2007
    Denver, CO
    OK, maybe I'll just ship it and go bass-less for a few days ... my cousin took a few long flights recently and got to carry on her guitar, but maybe that was a one-time thing or there's a different policy with basses since they're bigger.
     
  9. zazz

    zazz

    Feb 27, 2004
    Cebu
    from my experience ..if the flight is not too full then u might well get to take ur bass in a soft case on board..but check in the hard case if u have one.

    but if u do have to check it in....its just luggage... your bass to the airline has the same profile as some girls bag of undies..... so if it gets lost ..just replace the word "my bass" with "my undies" cause thats what it is to them.
     
  10. After my last flight to Chicago, it will take an act of God to get me back on a plane! 30 years ago it was a blast to fly - now it is akin to getting your prostrate checked!!!!!!!!
     
  11. sonofabass

    sonofabass

    Feb 10, 2006
    California
    Endorsing Artist: Aguilar Amplification, Mike Lull,MXR,Gruv Gear, Mono
    "I'd call the airline ahead of time and feel them out - but realize that ANY gate agent can change their mind and make ANY call they feel, ANY time they feel inclined to do so. No kidding.

    Bottom line: go prepared to check it in case you have to. And the standard Fender hardshell case is NOT - repeat, NOT - made for shipping. If you are absolutely forced to use it, pad the entire bass inside the case so that it can't move. Also add a stout strap around the case so it doesn't fly open. Call the TSA and find out if they can inspect it so it does NOT have to be re-opened."



    couldn't agree with this more!
     
  12. sonofabass

    sonofabass

    Feb 10, 2006
    California
    Endorsing Artist: Aguilar Amplification, Mike Lull,MXR,Gruv Gear, Mono
    SIDE NOTE: IF YOUR BASS GETS LOST

    and it's in a rectangle case...you need to (in the most post 9-11 appropriate language) tell them that it looks life a RIFLE Case other than that, based on their charts they will be looking for a box shaped like a guitar. Part of the reason it took so long for them to find my bass.
     
  13. zazz

    zazz

    Feb 27, 2004
    Cebu
    l_0e011acc1885fdc63a68272faa5e088d.

    acctually that looks just like my musicman stingray bass case which today went international to asia in checkin luggage and survived without one scratch!!!!!!!
     
  14. seanm

    seanm I'd kill for a Nobel Peace Prize! Supporting Member

    Feb 19, 2004
    Ottawa, Canada
    Does anybody just rent a bass out of *choice* rather than risk flying with one?

    I remember seeing the rider from some old blues guy online. He required the venue to provide the amp and guitar. I guess at that point in his career he could play anything and didn't want the hassle of carrying around a rig.
     
  15. Poop-Loops

    Poop-Loops Banned

    Mar 3, 2006
    Auburn, Washington
    Use ubb code, n00b. HTML does nothing!

    I hate flying and airlines. You'd think that with all the computers nowadays, they could track their own luggage. No dice.
     
  16. zazz

    zazz

    Feb 27, 2004
    Cebu
    u know i wondered why out of all the luggage that philippines customs could have checked it was this case they homed in on......well yeah...a rifle.
     
  17. sonofabass

    sonofabass

    Feb 10, 2006
    California
    Endorsing Artist: Aguilar Amplification, Mike Lull,MXR,Gruv Gear, Mono
    yeah, I flew this to New York Last month, without a scratch.
    This was just "hey, let's throw this thing around and see what happens" someone did this on purpose
     
  18. sonofabass

    sonofabass

    Feb 10, 2006
    California
    Endorsing Artist: Aguilar Amplification, Mike Lull,MXR,Gruv Gear, Mono
    my next case - like my old peavey cirrus case will have a bass clef or some thing else (besides the blue bass clef id tags) that point to it being an instrument, not a rifle.
     
  19. zazz

    zazz

    Feb 27, 2004
    Cebu
    sorry for you....i would be gutted if that was mine.
     
  20. Thinkarogadum

    Thinkarogadum

    Jun 11, 2006
    NE OH
    I think SKB would replace that case at no charge because they have that million mile guarantee.

     

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