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Musicians Note

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  • Musicians Note

    7. DELTA AIRLINES: MAKING DARK TIMES EVEN DARKER.
    From Chris of Philadelphia-based music band Espers:
    "friends, especially musicians, please take a moment to read my rant about delta airlines. this was a very sad and alarming experience.
    "espers went to LA over this past weekend to play a festival [Arthur Nights]. we flew out via delta airlines. usual policy states that you can carry a guitar on if it is in a soft case, as it will fit into overhead bins. we fly 10+ times a year for shows and carry on 2 acoustics, 2 electrics. sometimes we have to assure folks that it is 'cool,' as the agents at the very front gates can be unaware that it is ok to carry on, but it always works out. we always confirm this when tix are purchased as well as day of flight via phone call. we did all of this with delta.
    "when we departed philadelphia, they had concerns but let us carry the instruments through security and left it to the discretion of the actual flight crew. this happens frequently and the flight crews are always accomodating and very helpful with stowing the guitars. basically, if there should be 100% no room, they 'pink tag' the guitar as they would a baby carraige and walk it down from boarding gate and hand-pack it in an area that isn’t back w/ the usual stuff. they unload and deliver by hand at the boarding gate upon exiting the plane.
    "so…at LAX they would not even let us enter the terminal. this is all prior to going through the scanners, etc., right at the front desk for delta where you check in. we were told that the folks at the desk would have to clear it. so we went back and the agent said we’d have to buy a seat for a guitar. i asked to speak to the manager on duty and he came down and said that the only option was to check it in and put it under. i explained that we travelled many, many times per year via air and this had never been the case. he said 'it is a dark world these days and policy like this is a result of it…' and refused an alternative. he also let me know that it was my choice to deal with him or security depending on how i 'wanted to go about this..' Meg, the owner of the guitar was in tears as she handed it to him and said 'you really have no problem destroying a guitar??' he said he would walk it himself to the plane, he put the pink tag on it and said it was indeed ensured for up
    to $2500.
    "on the plane, the crew noted that we shouldd have been able to carry it on. in the delta terminal we noticed 2 other folks w/ guitars in soft cases that had cleared check in.
    "the guitar did not get delivered at the boarding gate in philly. it came off of the belt with a large hole in it. this is the guitar that meg recorded the espers albums with, her solo work, plays live, etc.
    "when we went to the office to flip out and make the claim, they said that it might not be ensured due to the fact it was in a soft case. we explaned to them that policy stated it must be in soft case to carry on and told them our whole ride. they stated the policy like this:
    - you CAN carry in intruments as long as they fit in the bins. they reccomend soft cases to ensure this for larger instruments.
    - guitars are too big.
    - this policy is due to room concerns, not security.
    "even the folks in the baggage dept were with us, stated that the policy was very grey and unclear. we experienced inconsitency from person-to-person, city-to-city within the delta organization. had there been firm practice, we would have happily obliged with proper cases and planning.
    "musicians should avoid this airline at all costs. they were TERRIBLE and i’d hate to see this happen to other folks. please spread the word around and i apologize for the typos that are like all over the place in the above dispatch.
    onward!
    coots."

    Pre-order or Buy my latest titles in Europe:
    The Whispering Swarm: Book One of the Sanctuary of the White Friars - The Laughter of Carthage - Byzantium Endures - London Peculiar and Other Nonfiction
    Doctor Who: The Coming of the Terraphiles - Kizuna: Fiction for Japan - Modem Times 2.0 - The Sunday Books - The Sundered Worlds


    Pre-order or Buy my latest titles in the USA:
    The Laughter of Carthage - Byzantium Endures - London Peculiar and Other Nonfiction - The Sunday Books - Doctor Who: The Coming of the Terraphiles
    Kizuna: Fiction for Japan - The Sundered Worlds - The Winds of Limbo - Modem Times 2.0 - Elric: Swords and Roses


  • #2
    That story really turns the stomach.

    The worst thing about this whole "dark times" world we live in, aside from the obvious real tragedy and loss of life, is the two-bit bureacrats getting some self-righteous power trip out of it, that flies in the face of customer service, and in the end just helps the terrorists make things more miserable. The whole concept that, because there are some bad people who kill and hurt people, that gives me a right to be an asshole to other people who have nothing to do with it, boggles the mind. The airlines will blame the terrorists for why nobody wants to fly and never even consider that it might be their own damn faults to a larger degree.
    My Facebook; My Band; My Radio Show; My Flickr Page; Science Fiction Message Board

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    • #3
      This is quite typical situation in a system where decisions are left to the lowest-level personnel. We in the Eastern Europe remember it too well from the communist "dark times". During 45 years of permanent economical crisis (and a monopoly market), even a newsagent or a salesclerk in a butcher’s had some sort of power over customers, and some of them used to take advantage of it. Not mentioning the administration and the police, given too much power and a free hand against citizens. The less detailed regulations you have, the probability of such abnormal situations rapidly grows. But, on the other hand, how to evoid an overregulation?
      Last edited by Krzysiek; 10-27-2006, 12:15 AM.

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      • #4
        A friend of mine, who happens to be a Federal Judge, reckons we should just have an 'All risks airline' where you just walk on without security of any kind. He thinks that we'd be just as safe, on the odds, as we are with all the totally incompetent 'security' we get where most of the officials are paid minimum wage and get about an hour's training. You can tell the difference where the security people are employed in Europe at good wages and are well-trained. They are far less officious and more inclined to use their own good judgement. As usual in the US, the main emphasis is on how to cut costs. The irony here is that the best security equipment is made in the US but is used more overseas than it is here, because it costs 'too much'. This bizarre obsession with cost cutting (or rather, I suspect, with profit adding) which infects USUK is another example of what we've been discussing on neighbouring threads. It has little to do with our security and a great deal to do with making the maximum profits, rather than a fair profit. We're all working for the stockholders, I guess, one way or another.

        Pre-order or Buy my latest titles in Europe:
        The Whispering Swarm: Book One of the Sanctuary of the White Friars - The Laughter of Carthage - Byzantium Endures - London Peculiar and Other Nonfiction
        Doctor Who: The Coming of the Terraphiles - Kizuna: Fiction for Japan - Modem Times 2.0 - The Sunday Books - The Sundered Worlds


        Pre-order or Buy my latest titles in the USA:
        The Laughter of Carthage - Byzantium Endures - London Peculiar and Other Nonfiction - The Sunday Books - Doctor Who: The Coming of the Terraphiles
        Kizuna: Fiction for Japan - The Sundered Worlds - The Winds of Limbo - Modem Times 2.0 - Elric: Swords and Roses

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Michael Moorcock
          A friend of mine, who happens to be a Federal Judge, reckons we should just have an 'All risks airline' where you just walk on without security of any kind. He thinks that we'd be just as safe, on the odds, as we are with all the totally incompetent 'security' we get where most of the officials are paid minimum wage and get about an hour's training. You can tell the difference where the security people are employed in Europe at good wages and are well-trained. They are far less officious and more inclined to use their own good judgement. As usual in the US, the main emphasis is on how to cut costs. The irony here is that the best security equipment is made in the US but is used more overseas than it is here, because it costs 'too much'. This bizarre obsession with cost cutting (or rather, I suspect, with profit adding) which infects USUK is another example of what we've been discussing on neighbouring threads. It has little to do with our security and a great deal to do with making the maximum profits, rather than a fair profit. We're all working for the stockholders, I guess, one way or another.

          Hello,

          Another thing that I would like to add to the
          incompetent 'security'
          is a strange thing that I experenced.

          I almost tried-out for a position with the

          is TSA in the late summer of 2002, for a notoriously badly run organization,that they turned out to be, they sure wanted everyone to be "perfect" at the time of hire.

          I had to sign over my medical records,have them run the background check,fill out all kinds of papers,then I was to go get a medical check up,by the company,who made everyone climb flights of stairs and monitor their heart rate,other physical excertions and testing,knowledge testing and learning capability and everything else under the sun. hehe! They wanted to know every detail about my life and I had to have a number of references.

          After all that,all we hear is bad news from TSA and airport security.

          -and we learn everything is not safe at all. Weird.

          -Lemec
          Last edited by lemec; 10-27-2006, 05:55 PM.

          "With a deep, not-unhappy sigh, Elric prepared to do battle with an army." (Red Pearls)
          - Michael Moorcock

          Comment


          • #6
            Having flown twice in the last two weeks, I have an opinion...

            Of course, security is an illusion. I checked in without ID in one airport, and accidentally carried two banned items into a plane.

            I'm all for the all-risk airline, Mike. Where is the start-up capital?

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Doc
              Where is the start-up capital?
              Maybe raise it selling shares in Homeland Security?

              Comment


              • #8
                An all-risks airline? Hey, I used to fly Dan Air...

                My posts seem to have been aborting themselves of late - let's see if this one works. The musicians issue is a serious one in the UK, as exporting music is something we're good at (and it's a pleasantly non-destructive export). Some rock musos are relying on hiring or borrowing stuff at the other end (not ideal), while many European classical musicians, whose instruments tend to be (a) horribly valuable (b) horribly fragile and (c) highly personal to the player, are simply giving up on the idea of playing in the US altogether - I know at least one orchestra that cancelled a whole tour because of the combination of visa issues and exactly this kind of 'security' concern.

                Comment


                • #9
                  I have friends who have not taken gigs in the US because they are paranoid that their dalliance, in the past, with Islam (actually Sufism) might cause them to be summarily arrested and carted off to Guantamo.
                  Osama and Co are initially to blame for this situation, but knee-jerk US response to Islamic pacifists is also creating not only a lot of paranoia but making sure we don't get to hear some good musicians who are about as much a threat to anyone's peace as Mickey Mouse (well, less, actually).

                  Pre-order or Buy my latest titles in Europe:
                  The Whispering Swarm: Book One of the Sanctuary of the White Friars - The Laughter of Carthage - Byzantium Endures - London Peculiar and Other Nonfiction
                  Doctor Who: The Coming of the Terraphiles - Kizuna: Fiction for Japan - Modem Times 2.0 - The Sunday Books - The Sundered Worlds


                  Pre-order or Buy my latest titles in the USA:
                  The Laughter of Carthage - Byzantium Endures - London Peculiar and Other Nonfiction - The Sunday Books - Doctor Who: The Coming of the Terraphiles
                  Kizuna: Fiction for Japan - The Sundered Worlds - The Winds of Limbo - Modem Times 2.0 - Elric: Swords and Roses

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    When I go, I'm flying Air Bizarre. It's a good airline. You buy a one way round trip ticket. You leave any Monday, and they bring you back the previous Friday... That way you still have the weekend eekend

                    Steven Wright

                    http://www.humorhorizons.com/steve.html

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Carter Kaplan
                      Maybe raise it selling shares in Homeland Security?

                      Actually, this could be a great strategy. Everything else in government seems to be for sale. Of course, Halliburton would control the company, should we fund it through selling shares of Homeland Security...

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        My wife is a non practising Muslim, but I do not allow any fear to influence what I do or where I go. I am too stuborn and too much of an idealist to give in to that or those people. If things got worse and I actually ended up being interrogated that might cause me to change but so far so good.

                        The Mahar Arar case is rightly causing controversy here in Canada right now.

                        http://www.cbc.ca/news/background/arar/

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          These guys pretty publicly converted to Islam a few years ago and knowing what happened to Cat Stevens before people started turning up in Gauntanamo are probably more paranoid than they should be, but there attitude (or at least the attitude of some of the band) is 'why risk it'.
                          Nice guys, of course, and complete pacifists, but maybe that makes you all the more nervous. I've suggested they talk to the US consul BEFORE they get on a plane.

                          Pre-order or Buy my latest titles in Europe:
                          The Whispering Swarm: Book One of the Sanctuary of the White Friars - The Laughter of Carthage - Byzantium Endures - London Peculiar and Other Nonfiction
                          Doctor Who: The Coming of the Terraphiles - Kizuna: Fiction for Japan - Modem Times 2.0 - The Sunday Books - The Sundered Worlds


                          Pre-order or Buy my latest titles in the USA:
                          The Laughter of Carthage - Byzantium Endures - London Peculiar and Other Nonfiction - The Sunday Books - Doctor Who: The Coming of the Terraphiles
                          Kizuna: Fiction for Japan - The Sundered Worlds - The Winds of Limbo - Modem Times 2.0 - Elric: Swords and Roses

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Actually even though - or perhaps I should say - despite being an Engineer I am always somewhat reluctant to place my life in someone elses hands or the hands of a million mass produced parts any of which could pop at a moments notice. Something like flying is always going to be a finite risk although I get more nervous when my chlidren are in the air between Canada and say Europe. I used to fly monday and friday between London and Stockholm and on two occasions there was some concern due to thunderstorms!

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              I was always more nervous when my childen were with me, too. It's that sense that there's very little you could do to protect them if anything went wrong.

                              Pre-order or Buy my latest titles in Europe:
                              The Whispering Swarm: Book One of the Sanctuary of the White Friars - The Laughter of Carthage - Byzantium Endures - London Peculiar and Other Nonfiction
                              Doctor Who: The Coming of the Terraphiles - Kizuna: Fiction for Japan - Modem Times 2.0 - The Sunday Books - The Sundered Worlds


                              Pre-order or Buy my latest titles in the USA:
                              The Laughter of Carthage - Byzantium Endures - London Peculiar and Other Nonfiction - The Sunday Books - Doctor Who: The Coming of the Terraphiles
                              Kizuna: Fiction for Japan - The Sundered Worlds - The Winds of Limbo - Modem Times 2.0 - Elric: Swords and Roses

                              Comment

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