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for all the cello players out there…

November 1, 2007

a couple of weeks ago, i flew with northwest to ann arbor… i think that was the first time i flew with a cello flight case on northwest… when i checked in, the woman at the desk asked me what it was and i said cello… and since i was checking only one bag and cello case was NOT overweight, i was sure i wasn’t going to be charged… however she told me that i had to pay $80. each way and showed me a print out of their policy stating all the checked cello/bass will be charged $80. on domestic flights and more on international flights… which means it doesn’t matter if it’s undersize or underweight, which some of cello flight cases are, but as long as it either cello or bass, you’ll have to pay… i should’ve told them it was viola da gamba… i’ve been flying so often and this was the most outrageous case… usually i rarely get charged… on top of all that, miya’s koto which was also checked in for the same flight didn’t get any extra charge although it was bigger and heavier…
so if you need to fly with your cello, please AVOID northwest… they are worse than delta…

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3 Comments
  1. I actually posted about this a while back. I tell them it’s a guitar and kinda dare them to challenge me on it. Cello is expensive enough without being reamed for excess baggage. 🙂

  2. I am getting ready to fly internationally with northwest… I guess that’s bad enough news to start on… I’m trying to take my cello with me, but every day I look into it just makes me want to sell it and buy another one in Europe. On top of things my insurance won’t cover damages if I check it as excess luggage, but the airline won’t let me take it into the cabin, whether I’d buy a ticket for it or not. It’s really frustrating. One day someone will invent a fold-up cello, and we’ll be able to carry them in our pockets…Anyways, any advice on the flying bit?

  3. well, i have to say flying with gage case has been, knock, knock, pretty reliable… it’s big and not easy to carry around but still i rather have a big case that will do the job… then i don’t know how you’d be able to rent it unless you live in new york… i thought about buying one of those slim fancy cases that doubles as flight cases but then i’ve never used them… although erik friedlander uses one and seems to be working… but then i know that he checks it at the gate which also can cause another headache… also fred longberg-holm plays this cello made out out fiberglass(?) or some sort so he doesn’t have to worry about his cello too much… he still puts it in a flight case though… wish i can tell you there was an absolute solution to all this but i really cannot tell you… and as you pointed out buying another seat doesn’t even guarantee that you can bring it on to the cabin… argh…!!!

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