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TheRedBaron
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AA booted a Cellist from the Aircraft (did not allow the Cello on a paid ticket)

Sat Aug 04, 2018 5:10 pm

So It seems that training is failing in major airlines, specially if they allowed the cello on the previous flight, the article sadly does not specify what kind on aircraft was used. Maybe the Cello did not fit...but bad communication and attitude is so prevalent in this days.

https://www.nbcchicago.com/news/local/c ... 26481.html

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TWA772LR
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Re: AA booted a Cellist from the Aircraft (did not allow the Cello on a paid ticket)

Sat Aug 04, 2018 5:14 pm

At least the guys cello didnt get ruined. When i worked for LH in IAH, right when i got on they were ralking to a guy whose cello they had lost. This thing sat in the middle of the bag room in IAH exposed to the Houston heat and humidity. I saw it when i worked fof TK and went to LH a few weeks later. After that phone call, i told the manager "are you talking about the cello thats been in the bag room for weeks?" She asked me how i saw it when no one from LH did. THE DAMN THING WAS SITTING IN THE MIDDLE OF AN OPEN AREA!!!
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USAIRWAYS321
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Re: AA booted a Cellist from the Aircraft (did not allow the Cello on a paid ticket)

Sat Aug 04, 2018 5:16 pm

Thanks for joining us everybody! It's time now to grab some popcorn and settle in for another round of the A.net classic, "Who Can Defend the Airline and Blame The Passenger in the Most Absurd Way!"
 
Cubsrule
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Re: AA booted a Cellist from the Aircraft (did not allow the Cello on a paid ticket)

Sat Aug 04, 2018 5:18 pm

Cello parent here. AFAIK the procedure hasn’t changed in many years and is the same on all carriers: buy a second seat (like a customer of size would) and put the cello in it. I can’t imagine a seat and cello combination that would not work; heck, I saw a double bass (a much larger instrument) in a seat on WN not too long ago.
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BoeingGuy
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Re: AA booted a Cellist from the Aircraft (did not allow the Cello on a paid ticket)

Sat Aug 04, 2018 5:39 pm

747d10 wrote:
The news article neglected to mention the fact that the cello was accompanied by it's emotional support piano.
Ok, I'll go back to rarely ever posting..... :sarcastic:


That was actually kind of funny.

Although I tend to defend AA, I had some pretty bad experiences with a few of their reservation agents last year after an involuntary schedule change. I e-mailed AA about it and they assured me they dealt with it. At least they were responsive about it.
 
artofzen
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Re: AA booted a Cellist from the Aircraft (did not allow the Cello on a paid ticket)

Sat Aug 04, 2018 6:13 pm

Aircraft was a 737 https://kopitiambot.com/2018/08/04/amer ... -get-home/

Pilot doing victory sign as she leaves was strange.

While she was leaving, the pilot claimed that he was hit with her cello which caused him to bleed, even though there was no evidence of blood or injury.

“My wife then took a picture of him and he was doing the victory sign to her and said ‘this is why we need to get her out,” Tang wrote.
Last edited by artofzen on Sat Aug 04, 2018 6:40 pm, edited 1 time in total.
 
slvrblt
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Re: AA booted a Cellist from the Aircraft (did not allow the Cello on a paid ticket)

Sat Aug 04, 2018 6:20 pm

Cubsrule wrote:
Cello parent here. AFAIK the procedure hasn’t changed in many years and is the same on all carriers: buy a second seat (like a customer of size would) and put the cello in it. I can’t imagine a seat and cello combination that would not work; heck, I saw a double bass (a much larger instrument) in a seat on WN not too long ago.


Yep...there are seat and cello combinations on AA that don't work, although I have no idea what aircraft she was on. Cello has to be in either a coach bulkhead window seat (one that has a divider, or literally, a bulkhead- some don't have a physical bulkhead, like the 757's) or in a first class seat.
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mailmover
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Re: AA booted a Cellist from the Aircraft (did not allow the Cello on a paid ticket)

Sat Aug 04, 2018 6:33 pm

artofzen wrote:
Was 737 https://kopitiambot.com/2018/08/04/amer ... -get-home/

Pilot doing victory sign as she leaves was strange.


He's signalling that two seats just opened up...
 
Gatorman96
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Re: AA booted a Cellist from the Aircraft (did not allow the Cello on a paid ticket)

Sat Aug 04, 2018 6:38 pm

USAIRWAYS321 wrote:
Thanks for joining us everybody! It's time now to grab some popcorn and settle in for another round of the A.net classic, "Who Can Defend the Airline and Blame The Passenger in the Most Absurd Way!"

AA's instrument in the cabin policy clearly states that the additional seat must be a window in the bulkhead (with a divider) for the instrument. Based off of the image provided in the article, this was not the case so AA was well within their rights to ask the passenger to exit the plane. Considering the fact the passenger was escorted off of the plane by LEOs meant she didn't go willingly which is the passengers fault. Was there a miscommunication? Probably as it's clear from the video English is not her native language, but that doesn't give her the right to behave in a way that police officers must be called to diffuse the situation.

"If your instrument doesn’t fit in the carry-on baggage space, you can choose to buy an additional seat which:

- Costs the applicable adult fare plus any applicable taxes or carrier-imposed fees
- Is a bulkhead (divider) window seat (not in an Emergency Exit row)
- Is directly next to yours

If you choose to buy an additional seat for your instrument, please note that seat baggage must not weigh more than 165 lbs. (75 kg) and must meet seat size restrictions based on airplane type."
 
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Re: AA booted a Cellist from the Aircraft (did not allow the Cello on a paid ticket)

Sat Aug 04, 2018 6:39 pm

Cubsrule wrote:
Cello parent here. AFAIK the procedure hasn’t changed in many years and is the same on all carriers: buy a second seat (like a customer of size would) and put the cello in it. I can’t imagine a seat and cello combination that would not work; heck, I saw a double bass (a much larger instrument) in a seat on WN not too long ago.


Cello parent? LOL. Is that a common term used by musicians that own that particular instrument? If it is I think it's quite brilliant.
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USAirKid
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Re: AA booted a Cellist from the Aircraft (did not allow the Cello on a paid ticket)

Sat Aug 04, 2018 6:46 pm

artofzen wrote:
Aircraft was a 737 https://kopitiambot.com/2018/08/04/amer ... -get-home/

Pilot doing victory sign as she leaves was strange.

While she was leaving, the pilot claimed that he was hit with her cello which caused him to bleed, even though there was no evidence of blood or injury.

“My wife then took a picture of him and he was doing the victory sign to her and said ‘this is why we need to get her out,” Tang wrote.


Was that really the victory sign? It might've just been the pilot communicating the number "two" for some reason to someone else outside the camera view.
 
Cubsrule
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Re: AA booted a Cellist from the Aircraft (did not allow the Cello on a paid ticket)

Sat Aug 04, 2018 6:47 pm

slvrblt wrote:
Cubsrule wrote:
Cello parent here. AFAIK the procedure hasn’t changed in many years and is the same on all carriers: buy a second seat (like a customer of size would) and put the cello in it. I can’t imagine a seat and cello combination that would not work; heck, I saw a double bass (a much larger instrument) in a seat on WN not too long ago.


Yep...there are seat and cello combinations on AA that don't work, although I have no idea what aircraft she was on. Cello has to be in either a coach bulkhead window seat (one that has a divider, or literally, a bulkhead- some don't have a physical bulkhead, like the 757's) or in a first class seat.


That’s an issue of something specific to AA seats (I don’t know what) that doesn’t really have anything to do with fit. Virtually any cello will fit physically in virtually any seat. That’s why communication from the airlines about policy is so important.

FWIW pre-9/11 this was in some ways easier because you could buy a ticket for “Cello Smith,” so the airline knew ahead of time what they were getting in the second seat. That’s no longer possible.
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NeBaNi
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Re: AA booted a Cellist from the Aircraft (did not allow the Cello on a paid ticket)

Sat Aug 04, 2018 6:52 pm

slvrblt wrote:
Cubsrule wrote:
Cello parent here. AFAIK the procedure hasn’t changed in many years and is the same on all carriers: buy a second seat (like a customer of size would) and put the cello in it. I can’t imagine a seat and cello combination that would not work; heck, I saw a double bass (a much larger instrument) in a seat on WN not too long ago.


Yep...there are seat and cello combinations on AA that don't work, although I have no idea what aircraft she was on. Cello has to be in either a coach bulkhead window seat (one that has a divider, or literally, a bulkhead- some don't have a physical bulkhead, like the 757's) or in a first class seat.

Interesting, the AA page on musical instruments below only mentions:
If your instrument doesn’t fit in the carry-on baggage space, you can choose to buy an additional seat which:
- Costs the applicable adult fare plus any applicable taxes or carrier-imposed fees
- Is a bulkhead (divider) window seat (not in an Emergency Exit row)
- Is directly next to yours
If you choose to buy an additional seat for your instrument, please note that seat baggage must not weigh more than 165 lbs. (75 kg) and must meet seat size restrictions based on airplane type.

Source: https://www.aa.com/i18n/travel-info/baggage/specialty-and-sports.jsp
Nothing about needing a First Class seat there, and nothing specific about the bulkhead needing to be a physical one, although there is the vague "based on aircraft type" at the end.

We know the original aircraft she was on was a Boeing 737-800 (and not the MAX 8). All the -800s except one (which has been reconfigured) have the physical (non-curtain) bulkhead AFAIK, so it's very unlikely that the first flight was on the reconfigured one out of 300-odd 737-800s that AA has, and even if that was the case, there is zero chance the flight after that, also on a 737-800 that she was refused on for the exact same reason had the curtain dividers and not the physical bulkhead.

My issue with this situation is that the passenger seemed to have done everything she was required to do, and yet she had to suffer, for what exactly? Did anyone at AA involved in this process at any stage stop and think that this situation would definitely not end well for them? For all the complaining that we do about (social) media and how every story like this gets magnified, that's the reality. Perhaps carriers and their employees need better training to deal with these types of situations so they don't end up causing PR fiascos for their airlines.
 
Gatorman96
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Re: AA booted a Cellist from the Aircraft (did not allow the Cello on a paid ticket)

Sat Aug 04, 2018 6:54 pm

USAirKid wrote:
Was that really the victory sign? It might've just been the pilot communicating the number "two" for some reason to someone else outside the camera view.

Take note that the person claiming the CAPT was flashing the victory sign is the passenger who was escorted off of the plane by law enforcement. Completely unbiased opinion.
 
bioyuki
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Re: AA booted a Cellist from the Aircraft (did not allow the Cello on a paid ticket)

Sat Aug 04, 2018 7:17 pm

Gatorman96 wrote:
AA's instrument in the cabin policy clearly states that the additional seat must be a window in the bulkhead (with a divider) for the instrument.


If that's the policy, that's fine. Why wasn't it enforced on the passenger's previous flight? Also in terms of policy, it's vaguely and ambiguously written given, which is on the airline.

Gatorman96 wrote:
Based off of the image provided in the article, this was not the case so AA was well within their rights to ask the passenger to exit the plane.


See above about equal enforcement

Gatorman96 wrote:
Considering the fact the passenger was escorted off of the plane by LEOs meant she didn't go willingly which is the passengers fault.


You're coming to conclusions and assigning blame without any facts. This is all conjecture and speculation. The passenger may have been completely in her rights to stay onboard. Just because LEO was called doesn't mean the airline was correct, as we've seen from an incident just months ago.

Gatorman96 wrote:
Was there a miscommunication? Probably as it's clear from the video English is not her native language


Once again see above about this being your conjecture and speculation. Also, while it appears that English is not the passenger's native language, it seems her (as well as her spouse's) English is at the level of fluency. Using her status as a non-native English speaker to assign blame to her for 'miscommunication' is moderately racist and xenophobic. English isn't my native language either, so does that automatically mean any miscommunication is my fault?

Gatorman96 wrote:
but that doesn't give her the right to behave in a way that police officers must be called to diffuse the situation.


For the third third time, pure conjecture and speculation. And as we've seen in the past, police officers are often unnecessarily called and the fault could lie with the airline/crew/pilot, not the passenger.
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Cubsrule
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Re: AA booted a Cellist from the Aircraft (did not allow the Cello on a paid ticket)

Sat Aug 04, 2018 7:18 pm

NeBaNi wrote:
My issue with this situation is that the passenger seemed to have done everything she was required to do, and yet she had to suffer, for what exactly? Did anyone at AA involved in this process at any stage stop and think that this situation would definitely not end well for them? For all the complaining that we do about (social) media and how every story like this gets magnified, that's the reality. Perhaps carriers and their employees need better training to deal with these types of situations so they don't end up causing PR fiascos for their airlines.


Empathy and communication go a long way. Employees need to know when to say “I don’t know” and find an answer when asked. I had a situation on DL last week where the system was only printing bag tags to my connecting city. The agent worked on it for a while, admitted she didn’t know what was going on, and called a supervisor who I think wound up creating tags by hand. Despite the original agent’s inability to fix the problem, communication and a positive attitude ensured a good outcome.
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bioyuki
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Re: AA booted a Cellist from the Aircraft (did not allow the Cello on a paid ticket)

Sat Aug 04, 2018 7:23 pm

Gatorman96 wrote:
Take note that the person claiming the CAPT was flashing the victory sign is the passenger who was escorted off of the plane by law enforcement. Completely unbiased opinion.


Pot, kettle, black. While you were so comfortable assigning the entirety of the blame to the passenger in this situation, now suddenly you're talking about bias and opinion, when it comes to defending the pilot/airline?
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trex8
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Re: AA booted a Cellist from the Aircraft (did not allow the Cello on a paid ticket)

Sat Aug 04, 2018 7:27 pm

Cubsrule wrote:

FWIW pre-9/11 this was in some ways easier because you could buy a ticket for “Cello Smith,” so the airline knew ahead of time what they were getting in the second seat. That’s no longer possible.

My daughter is a professional cellist and you can still book "cello surname" at least on UA, WN and at least a few years ago on DL. Whether any gate agent bothers to look and figure it out or the system gives them any heads up is another issue! The WN boarding system can be an issue sometimes.
 
EricR
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Re: AA booted a Cellist from the Aircraft (did not allow the Cello on a paid ticket)

Sat Aug 04, 2018 7:27 pm

This site needs a “social media” forum where junk news such as this can be posted
 
Cubsrule
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Re: AA booted a Cellist from the Aircraft (did not allow the Cello on a paid ticket)

Sat Aug 04, 2018 7:30 pm

trex8 wrote:
Cubsrule wrote:

FWIW pre-9/11 this was in some ways easier because you could buy a ticket for “Cello Smith,” so the airline knew ahead of time what they were getting in the second seat. That’s no longer possible.

My daughter is a professional cellist and you can still book "cello surname" at least on UA, WN and at least a few years ago on DL. Whether any gate agent bothers to look and figure it out or the system gives them any heads up is another issue! The WN boarding system can be an issue sometimes.


Interesting. I was under the evidently mistaken impression that this was no longer possible with Secure Flight because “Cello Surname” has no gender or date of birth.
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bioyuki
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Re: AA booted a Cellist from the Aircraft (did not allow the Cello on a paid ticket)

Sat Aug 04, 2018 7:35 pm

NeBaNi wrote:
My issue with this situation is that the passenger seemed to have done everything she was required to do, and yet she had to suffer, for what exactly? Did anyone at AA involved in this process at any stage stop and think that this situation would definitely not end well for them? For all the complaining that we do about (social) media and how every story like this gets magnified, that's the reality. Perhaps carriers and their employees need better training to deal with these types of situations so they don't end up causing PR fiascos for their airlines.


100%. From an intent perspective, it appears that the passenger did everything in her control on her side to ensure a normal travel experience. It has yet to be seen if the crew exercised similar good intentions to try and reseat her on the aircraft vs. just booting her off the plane.

All too often on this board, people forget the reasonable person principle. It semes like the passenger operated as a reasonable person, paying for a second seat, making sure the seat was next to her etc. On the other hand, people on this board will be in my opinion, unreasonable, and shout out arguments saying that the pax should have read every line of the policy, she should have knew what aircraft type was operating her flight, she should have known the definition of what a bulkhead is, what the difference is between a hard divider or a soft divider, and it's the passenger's fault.

The passenger seemed to be a reasonable person. I hope the airline/crew treated her that way, but from the initial press, that didn't seem to occur.
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trex8
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Re: AA booted a Cellist from the Aircraft (did not allow the Cello on a paid ticket)

Sat Aug 04, 2018 7:35 pm

Cubsrule wrote:
trex8 wrote:
Cubsrule wrote:

FWIW pre-9/11 this was in some ways easier because you could buy a ticket for “Cello Smith,” so the airline knew ahead of time what they were getting in the second seat. That’s no longer possible.

My daughter is a professional cellist and you can still book "cello surname" at least on UA, WN and at least a few years ago on DL. Whether any gate agent bothers to look and figure it out or the system gives them any heads up is another issue! The WN boarding system can be an issue sometimes.


Interesting. I was under the evidently mistaken impression that this was no longer possible with Secure Flight because “Cello Surname” has no gender or date of birth.

She uses her own gender and dob, worked so far, until some guy who's on a terrorist watch list has same name and dob!! I've always thought she should have a frequent flier account for the cello!
 
bioyuki
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Re: AA booted a Cellist from the Aircraft (did not allow the Cello on a paid ticket)

Sat Aug 04, 2018 7:39 pm

EricR wrote:
This site needs a “social media” forum where junk news such as this can be posted


I fundamentally disagree. This forum is entitled 'Civil Aviation', and that's what's being discussed. What good is civil aviation if you don't have any paying passengers (or their instruments) to transport?

While for Americans it may seem normal for LEO to be called on a regular basis, for many other countries, that's not the norm. Having a paying passenger removed by LEO, whether lawfully or unlawfully done, is news for a lot of people.
Last edited by bioyuki on Sat Aug 04, 2018 7:41 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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lavalampluva
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Re: AA booted a Cellist from the Aircraft (did not allow the Cello on a paid ticket)

Sat Aug 04, 2018 7:39 pm

I remember when it used to be fun to fly. Now it’s becoming more of a pain in the a**. :banghead:
Remind me to send a thank you note to Mr. Boeing.
 
bioyuki
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Re: AA booted a Cellist from the Aircraft (did not allow the Cello on a paid ticket)

Sat Aug 04, 2018 7:41 pm

trex8 wrote:
Cubsrule wrote:
trex8 wrote:
My daughter is a professional cellist and you can still book "cello surname" at least on UA, WN and at least a few years ago on DL. Whether any gate agent bothers to look and figure it out or the system gives them any heads up is another issue! The WN boarding system can be an issue sometimes.


Interesting. I was under the evidently mistaken impression that this was no longer possible with Secure Flight because “Cello Surname” has no gender or date of birth.

She uses her own gender and dob, worked so far, until some guy who's on a terrorist watch list has same name and dob!! I've always thought she should have a frequent flier account for the cello!


Correct, that's what one of my friends does as well for her cello (wow, surprising amount of professional cellists and their circles on this forum!). Which I'm sure some people on this forum will argue, is illegal and violates policy. :sarcastic: :rotfl:
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fessor
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Re: AA booted a Cellist from the Aircraft (did not allow the Cello on a paid ticket)

Sat Aug 04, 2018 8:00 pm

If the tickets is bought by phone, the person who sold the ticket is informed that the second seat is for the Cello, then its only the AA to blame for not give her the seats needed for her and the Cello.
 
PlanesNTrains
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Re: AA booted a Cellist from the Aircraft (did not allow the Cello on a paid ticket)

Sat Aug 04, 2018 8:16 pm

I’m gonna guess it was an uninformed or misinformed employee(s). At least AA owned it.
-Dave


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Gatorman96
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Re: AA booted a Cellist from the Aircraft (did not allow the Cello on a paid ticket)

Sat Aug 04, 2018 8:36 pm

bioyuki wrote:
If that's the policy, that's fine. Why wasn't it enforced on the passenger's previous flight? Also in terms of policy, it's vaguely and ambiguously written given, which is on the airline.

What is vague or ambiguous about this?

"If your instrument doesn’t fit in the carry-on baggage space, you can choose to buy an additional seat which:

- Is a bulkhead (divider) window seat (not in an Emergency Exit row)"

It's very clearly stated that if you choose to travel with an instrument on AA inside the cabin, you must book a window seat in the bulkhead with a divider (not a curtain). This is why I find it very hard to believe that the passenger did "everything they were supposed to do" in order to travel with their instrument inside the cabin because they clearly didn't book a bulkhead on their return flight. That being said, it's also obvious that AA messed up along the line as well by letting her board in the first place and assuming she wasn't in a bulkhead on the ORD-MIA segment, the FA's are at fault for letting her travel on that segment.

There is plenty of blame to go around, but the sob story from the passenger is unnecessary and overly dramatic.
 
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aerolimani
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Re: AA booted a Cellist from the Aircraft (did not allow the Cello on a paid ticket)

Sat Aug 04, 2018 9:01 pm

It can be frustrating, dealing with airlines when flying with musical instruments. I try to follow all the rules, to ensure that I understand the policies, to be upfront about everything, and still I sometimes run into problems. If available, I will purchase priority boarding. If not, I will make sure I'm first in line. I will often choose a seat at the back to make sure I'm in one of the earlier boarding groups.

And yet, on one memorable occasion, an FA told me I would have to remove my instrument from the overhead, and they would stow it underneath. The FA said it was to make room for other passenger's suitcases because my instrument was larger than the allowed carry-on size. This, despite the airline's own policy stating that instruments are permitted, provided that they fit inside the bin (or under the seat in front), and that space is available. They also state that overhead space is provided on a first-come first-served basis. Fortunately, the Purser had a better understanding of the policy, and the dispute was quickly settled in my favour.

Personally, I think American's policy requiring you to book a bulkhead seat, is a bit overkill. There's no reason a cello won't fit perfectly well, and be sufficiently restrained, in the window seat of any aircraft in their fleet. It just can't block anyone's view of the seatbelt signs or be blocking access to an emergency exit. At least, that's my reading of the DOT policy. https://www.transportation.gov/sites/do ... 20rule.pdf

Gatorman96 wrote:
bioyuki wrote:
If that's the policy, that's fine. Why wasn't it enforced on the passenger's previous flight? Also in terms of policy, it's vaguely and ambiguously written given, which is on the airline.

What is vague or ambiguous about this?

From AA's own site: "If you choose to buy an additional seat for your instrument, please note that seat baggage must not weigh more than 165 lbs. (75 kg) and must meet seat size restrictions based on airplane type."

That seems ambiguous to me. If you're going to say there's restrictions, then those restrictions ought to be published somewhere.
 
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Super80Fan
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Re: AA booted a Cellist from the Aircraft (did not allow the Cello on a paid ticket)

Sat Aug 04, 2018 9:53 pm

Another victim of Dougie's 15 inch 737 seats.
RIP McDonnell Douglas
 
Cubsrule
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Re: AA booted a Cellist from the Aircraft (did not allow the Cello on a paid ticket)

Sat Aug 04, 2018 10:00 pm

aerolimani wrote:
Gatorman96 wrote:
bioyuki wrote:
If that's the policy, that's fine. Why wasn't it enforced on the passenger's previous flight? Also in terms of policy, it's vaguely and ambiguously written given, which is on the airline.

What is vague or ambiguous about this?

From AA's own site: "If you choose to buy an additional seat for your instrument, please note that seat baggage must not weigh more than 165 lbs. (75 kg) and must meet seat size restrictions based on airplane type."

That seems ambiguous to me. If you're going to say there's restrictions, then those restrictions ought to be published somewhere.


The other issue is that AA’s apparent bulkhead restriction isn’t a seat size restriction at all. Those seats are the same size as all the others.
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WTXJET
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Re: AA booted a Cellist from the Aircraft (did not allow the Cello on a paid ticket)

Sat Aug 04, 2018 11:18 pm

If the AA policy is so easy to understand, then how did the passenger get to her seat with the Cello? If AA knows the cello doesn't fit on a B737, then why was the passenger allowed to board with the cellos? To me this discussion is simple, even AA employees don't know their company policy OR the policy interpretation was made up while on-board the aircraft.

The flight from ORD-MIA that the passenger flew in June was on a B757.

The ambiguous language about the instrument may not fit on some aircraft could possibly be AA's language to cover themselves due to the number of RJ in the fleet.

Carry-on with the discussion.
 
PlanesNTrains
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Re: AA booted a Cellist from the Aircraft (did not allow the Cello on a paid ticket)

Sat Aug 04, 2018 11:19 pm

Gatorman96 wrote:
There is plenty of blame to go around, but the sob story from the passenger is unnecessary and overly dramatic.


When you do everything to follow the rules, including calling the airline to make sure it's all good, and then someone kicks you off the plane and makes you spend the night, it's frustrating. The issues we keep having are when people do nothing "wrong" and are kicked off or otherwise inconvenienced arbitrarily. That isn't the case every time, but you can't just write it off as a sob story. People have lives, jobs, etc and don't deserve to spend good money and jump through hoops just to be kicked to the curb. The entire reason one jumps through the hoops ahead of time is so that this doesn't happen.
-Dave


”Yet somewhere in Iceland a great anger stirred in the soul of a troubled individual...” - Revelation
 
ubeema
Posts: 300
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Re: AA booted a Cellist from the Aircraft (did not allow the Cello on a paid ticket)

Sun Aug 05, 2018 12:32 am

After going through probably no less than 3 airlines employees and quietly seating on an assigned seat, and this is still blamed on the passenger is clear evidence some people need to be retrained at their job. Mistakes happen. Story of an airline employee mistake:

I was on a flight summer 2017 when I challenged a flight attendant who after welcoming myself and my family onboard and helped us get situated left towards the back of the plane. She later came back with a tablet on hand and indicated the car seat my daughter was using was not in fact a car seat but a booster.
I insisted she was wrong and even showed her the printout regarding their policy regarding SRS allowed dimensions, I also showed her the FAA label on the seat, to no avail. She then hailed another airline gate employee who was passing by to confirm her thinking and he just said yes it is a booster and moved on. She eventually called the chief cabin attendant. Almost 5 minutes later the chief cabin showed up and addressed the FA directly, “you told me there was not belt on this car seat?”. At that point the FA’s face turned red and she dared ask me if there were belts, I said of course and just pointed it to her. She did not directly apologized but mumbled she failed to notice it. Guess what? we remained friends and chatty with the FA for the duration of the flight.
 
trex8
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Re: AA booted a Cellist from the Aircraft (did not allow the Cello on a paid ticket)

Sun Aug 05, 2018 12:40 am

Any mainline narrowbody plane, A320/737/757 etc and any widebody is going to fit a cello case in a Y seat, in any location, an E190 does also as my daughter has done it numerous times. Someone trying to recline their seat in front could be an issue in a regular Y seat but certainly not a UA Y+ . I can't vouch for a CRJ, ERJ as she doesnt think she's been on one with her instrument but I could see there may be an issue as the ceiling is lower and I suppose its possible the top of the case may be too high. Plus some cello cases are a little "supersized", she has a $4000 travel case she could check it in knowing the cello is totally protected from impact but she doesnt cehck it in as she's worried about temperature also (she doesnt even leave it in the car to go into say a restaurant for a meal if ambient temp is below 50 or above 70 and sunny), it also weighs a lot more than a usual case so is difficult to carry when she reaches her destination and she has found issues getting it to sit in a regular Y seat (at least on a DL MD80). The case this girl has looks like a regular one which shouldnt be an issue.
Anything else is just a p... poor excuse by AA and bad training of their staff.
Besides wasn't she seated with her cello "seated" before she got thrown off?? If it fit then what was the issue??
 
IPFreely
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Re: AA booted a Cellist from the Aircraft (did not allow the Cello on a paid ticket)

Sun Aug 05, 2018 1:00 am

trex8 wrote:
The WN boarding system can be an issue sometimes.


Does the cello like group A, B, or C?
 
IPFreely
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Re: AA booted a Cellist from the Aircraft (did not allow the Cello on a paid ticket)

Sun Aug 05, 2018 1:05 am

Gatorman96 wrote:
There is plenty of blame to go around, but the sob story from the passenger is unnecessary and overly dramatic.


That seems to be a recurring theme with these type of stories. Airlines might be better off just increasing their list of banned items to include cellos and other musical instruments and all emotional support mammals, reptiles, and amphibians.
 
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jetmechanicdave
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Re: AA booted a Cellist from the Aircraft (did not allow the Cello on a paid ticket)

Sun Aug 05, 2018 1:14 am

Please keep this on topic. Thank you
Aircraft Mechanic and Airliners.net Forum Moderator
 
greendot
Posts: 13
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Re: AA booted a Cellist from the Aircraft (did not allow the Cello on a paid ticket)

Sun Aug 05, 2018 1:23 am

I have no sympathy for the airline or its personnel. This is the standard work ethic of most service industry jobs in the USA. I bet you she called the reservations people who gave her a blanket approval of the cello getting its own seat. They really had no idea of the logistics of it. But the real flaw is that the airline has no chain of custody process for exceptional cases like this. A reservation person gives empty assurances to sell the ticket, the gate agent has no idea of the previous conversation, and that gate agent just reverts to what she knows. Down the road, the flight attendants don't really care since every customer to them is a burden so they just find a way to not accommodate this girl. All around it's a bunch of people who are totally indifferent to this customer. It's an even bigger failure of management to not design a system that can handle exceptional cases of any kind. Why couldn't they design a system where the customer could enter their special need into a text field, then that text message is conveyed to every employee along the way verbatim, so that it doesn't get confused by people retelling the story? All around bad performance by this airline.
 
Judge1310
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Re: AA booted a Cellist from the Aircraft (did not allow the Cello on a paid ticket)

Sun Aug 05, 2018 1:40 am

Cubsrule wrote:
trex8 wrote:
Cubsrule wrote:

FWIW pre-9/11 this was in some ways easier because you could buy a ticket for “Cello Smith,” so the airline knew ahead of time what they were getting in the second seat. That’s no longer possible.

My daughter is a professional cellist and you can still book "cello surname" at least on UA, WN and at least a few years ago on DL. Whether any gate agent bothers to look and figure it out or the system gives them any heads up is another issue! The WN boarding system can be an issue sometimes.


Interesting. I was under the evidently mistaken impression that this was no longer possible with Secure Flight because “Cello Surname” has no gender or date of birth.


If the SSR (Special Service Request) for an Inanimate Object is added to the PNR (reservation) of the actual person, the two are then "linked" and "Cello Smith" can be added. In order to stay on the right side of Secure Flight rules the two PNRs must be linked, otherwise issues will arise...like a ticket for an inanimate object not being e-ticketed and therefore not eligible for check-in.
 
trex8
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Joined: Sat Nov 02, 2002 9:04 am

Re: AA booted a Cellist from the Aircraft (did not allow the Cello on a paid ticket)

Sun Aug 05, 2018 1:41 am

IPFreely wrote:
trex8 wrote:
The WN boarding system can be an issue sometimes.


Does the cello like group A, B, or C?

A list! The issue is getting a window seat with ideally an adjacent one for the human and not an exit row. Being C50 is not going to work!
 
Judge1310
Posts: 204
Joined: Thu Apr 20, 2017 10:55 pm

Re: AA booted a Cellist from the Aircraft (did not allow the Cello on a paid ticket)

Sun Aug 05, 2018 1:44 am

IPFreely wrote:
trex8 wrote:
The WN boarding system can be an issue sometimes.


Does the cello like group A, B, or C?


None of those. It would actually be a Pre-Board because a particular Special Service Request should be correctly to the attributed to the reservation.
 
edgaren
Posts: 115
Joined: Sun Feb 05, 2006 3:52 am

Re: AA booted a Cellist from the Aircraft (did not allow the Cello on a paid ticket)

Sun Aug 05, 2018 2:10 am

I dont mean to hijack the threat, but in March 2017 there was an almost identical and very publicized episode with a passenger checking in to fly Avianca CCS-MEX at Caracas Airport. Back then the passenger who was a musician had traveled with a guitar as part of his carry on allowance on the outbound flight, then on his way back home to MEX he was denied boarding, the situation ended up in a violent altercation that made it to the news, thanks to the magic of social media.
Heres the link to the news, I coudnt find anything in English
https://www.aporrea.org/actualidad/n305767.html
 
Flaps
Posts: 1438
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Re: AA booted a Cellist from the Aircraft (did not allow the Cello on a paid ticket)

Sun Aug 05, 2018 3:13 am

I think far too many people on this thread are focusing on the wrong things. The restrictions on the cello are two fold. First and foremost is safety. Why do you think that a cello would be restricted to a window seat next to a fixed bulkhead? Its because a cello is a serious safety hazard in the event of an accident or an evacuation. Against a window and bulkhead that overpriced missile is pretty well isolated from flying through the air and hitting someone or falling between the seats or into the aisle and tripping or blocking someone. Secondly these instruments are simply too delicate to be carried in the hold of an aircraft unless extremely well packaged. Personally for the sake of all of the other passengers items like this should be banned altogether.

What most people siding with the pax here fail to understand is just how many layers of communication are required in these situations and the time available with which to make these arrangements. I see many people commenting on how things "should" be and without knowledge of how things actually work those assumptions wouldn't be out of line. In the real world however things just aren't that simple. Decisions are made based on the situation and the best interests of the passengers and crew of the flight in it's ENTIRETY, not on the wishes or desires of a single pax. Unfortunately when balancing the needs of 150 people and crew while preparing a flight not all exceptions can be dealt with. Better to bump one person than risk the safety of everyone.

Where airlines go wrong is when they try to drive a middle ground balancing safety with accommodating special needs. SAFETY always has to come first even if that sometimes means inconveniencing or upsetting someone. It would be better for everyone to outright ban items like these instead of trying to make accommodations. The airline loses either way.
 
KD5MDK
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Re: AA booted a Cellist from the Aircraft (did not allow the Cello on a paid ticket)

Sun Aug 05, 2018 3:35 am

Its because a cello is a serious safety hazard in the event of an accident or an evacuation.

Humans are a serious safety hazard in the event of an accident or evacuation. Passengers should be required to successfully complete an emergency evacuation test before being allowed to puchase a ticket to make sure they're not a danger to others.

I'm still not clear how a cello is more dangerous than a person in a non-bulkhead window seat.
 
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aerolimani
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Re: AA booted a Cellist from the Aircraft (did not allow the Cello on a paid ticket)

Sun Aug 05, 2018 3:50 am

So, are some of you saying that instruments should be banned from the cabin altogether? That would mean a whole lot less musicians touring anywhere. The suggestion is absurd.

And, there is zero amount of practical packaging which can truly protect an instrument. A hard enough impact, even if the instrument is protected, can knock the sound post over. If that happens, the instrument stands a very good chance of suffering damage merely from the tension of the strings. And no, for a violin/viola/cello, loosening the strings is not an option. If you do that, you almost guarantee the sound post will fall over, and once that happens, you have to take it to a shop to be set up again, and the sound can suffer for some time (weeks to months to recover fully). Beyond that, there are all the environmental factors. An instrument cannot not be in a cargo hold for any length of time, where it can get very cold. An instrument cannot sit on the tarmac in the sun, at any temperature much outside the range of perhaps 10 - 25°C. The hold is just not a suitable place, under any packaging circumstances. Those that must put their instruments there (upright basses, harps), often find their instruments have suffered, and live in fear of flying with them.

As to safety, a cello in its case typically weighs from 15 to 25 lbs. If you run the seatbelt up and over, and through the handle, it's not going to go flying in an accident, any more than a 300 lb passenger is going to be let loose. Frankly, I'd be more worried about someone filming the accident on their phone or tablet, and having that come flying into my head. And, the idea that it must be in a bulkhead seat is silly. According to the DOT, it can't block anyone's access to an emergency exit, and it can't block the view of the seatbelt indicator; that is all. Most other airlines do not require instruments be at a bulkhead. Personally, I think that's AA just trying to squeeze a few more $$$ out of musicians, forcing them to reserve a premium seat.

If you ban instruments from the cabin, you are banning many musicians from travelling by air. That is a ridiculous suggestion, worthy of mockery, IMO.
 
Caspian27
Posts: 215
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Re: AA booted a Cellist from the Aircraft (did not allow the Cello on a paid ticket)

Sun Aug 05, 2018 4:38 am

I don’t work for American but in the past I have had cellos on board the aircraft in purchased seats when I flew both the CRJ and the E-175. I fly the 737 now...so if it would fit on an RJ I don’t see how they could say a 737 is too small.
Meanwhile, somewhere 35,000 ft above your head...
 
mxaxai
Posts: 573
Joined: Sat Jun 18, 2016 7:29 am

Re: AA booted a Cellist from the Aircraft (did not allow the Cello on a paid ticket)

Sun Aug 05, 2018 9:47 am

IPFreely wrote:
Gatorman96 wrote:
There is plenty of blame to go around, but the sob story from the passenger is unnecessary and overly dramatic.


That seems to be a recurring theme with these type of stories. Airlines might be better off just increasing their list of banned items to include cellos and other musical instruments and all emotional support mammals, reptiles, and amphibians.

Well, the recurring theme is more like this:

Bad Thing happens -> fairly restrictive Rule is created to avoid Thing -> passenger/somebody misses a sub-point of Rule prior to flight -> Situation arises in violation of Rule, but without (obvious) risk of Bad Thing happening -> airline employee only knows Rule, but not why, and cannot explain Situation to passenger; also lacks the authority to use her own judgement or to find alternative solutions -> easiest way to solve Situation is to remove the passenger
 
M564038
Posts: 131
Joined: Sun Jan 03, 2016 11:16 am

Re: AA booted a Cellist from the Aircraft (did not allow the Cello on a paid ticket)

Sun Aug 05, 2018 10:11 am

You sum up the problem perfectly!
This is the problem!
People that smugly argues 30 pound instrument cases strapped in by safety-belts made for 200 lbs humans poses a safety hazard!

Congratulations, sir, for making the problem with airline customer service perfectly clear! People of average intelligence, with less than average education(pilots included) making big decisions about things they do not understand, while being entrusted limitless power and given the impression they are supreme beings in total control that can never fail or make a bad decision.

Safety hazard? A cello? Ha. Ha. Ha. Ha.


Flaps wrote:
I think far too many people on this thread are focusing on the wrong things. The restrictions on the cello are two fold. First and foremost is safety. Why do you think that a cello would be restricted to a window seat next to a fixed bulkhead? Its because a cello is a serious safety hazard in the event of an accident or an evacuation. Against a window and bulkhead that overpriced missile is pretty well isolated from flying through the air and hitting someone or falling between the seats or into the aisle and tripping or blocking someone. Secondly these instruments are simply too delicate to be carried in the hold of an aircraft unless extremely well packaged. Personally for the sake of all of the other passengers items like this should be banned altogether.

What most people siding with the pax here fail to understand is just how many layers of communication are required in these situations and the time available with which to make these arrangements. I see many people commenting on how things "should" be and without knowledge of how things actually work those assumptions wouldn't be out of line. In the real world however things just aren't that simple. Decisions are made based on the situation and the best interests of the passengers and crew of the flight in it's ENTIRETY, not on the wishes or desires of a single pax. Unfortunately when balancing the needs of 150 people and crew while preparing a flight not all exceptions can be dealt with. Better to bump one person than risk the safety of everyone.

Where airlines go wrong is when they try to drive a middle ground balancing safety with accommodating special needs. SAFETY always has to come first even if that sometimes means inconveniencing or upsetting someone. It would be better for everyone to outright ban items like these instead of trying to make accommodations. The airline loses either way.
 
sandbender
Posts: 23
Joined: Sat Sep 03, 2016 2:05 am

Re: AA booted a Cellist from the Aircraft (did not allow the Cello on a paid ticket)

Sun Aug 05, 2018 11:12 am

KD5MDK wrote:
I'm still not clear how a cello is more dangerous than a person in a non-bulkhead window seat.


Since they specifically state that it has to be a physical bulkhead my uninformed assumption is that they're hoping to minimize possible injuries caused by a 18-20kg+ cello in a hard case in the event of an accident.

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