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PSAatSAN4Ever
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"We Don't Go With Federal Law" Says Flight Attendant

Wed Sep 01, 2021 3:40 pm

I know I might get flamed for this one; however, I am only reporting this, because I haven't seen any posting on this.

From my FlightAware newsletter comes this gem: https://www.classicfm.com/discover-music/instruments/violin/flight-attendant-denies-federal-instrument-regulations/

I'm not taking sides; however, if those words are spoken and the flight attendant did say, "we don't go with federal law - we follow United", then something is definitely up. Thankfully the pilot intervened before issues came up, and the flight was able to be completed.

Thoughts?
 
jetmatt777
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Re: "We Don't Go With Federal Law" Says Flight Attendant

Wed Sep 01, 2021 3:50 pm

Ah, more quality product from CommutAir. I deal with them daily and they are a three-ring-circus of an airline. I don't know how much United saves in operating costs, but they must easily cost the company way more in unreliable operations and service.
 
bigb
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Re: "We Don't Go With Federal Law" Says Flight Attendant

Wed Sep 01, 2021 3:51 pm

You have to remember, airlines can set guidelines/policies that are more restrictive than regulations. These policies and guidelines would also be signed off by the FAA as well if there is a policy in the FOM. Considering we are talking about commut air, which is a no large carry-on airline, I can see where the issue lies.

Luckily the pilot has intervened.
 
bigb
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Re: "We Don't Go With Federal Law" Says Flight Attendant

Wed Sep 01, 2021 3:53 pm

jetmatt777 wrote:
Ah, more quality product from CommutAir. I deal with them daily and they are a three-ring-circus of an airline. I don't know how much United saves in operating costs, but they must easily cost the company way more in unreliable operations and service.


This isn’t a case of service. But more of a FA just following her company’s no large carry-on policy to the tee. I can’t blame the FA for that.
 
jetmatt777
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Re: "We Don't Go With Federal Law" Says Flight Attendant

Wed Sep 01, 2021 3:57 pm

bigb wrote:
jetmatt777 wrote:
Ah, more quality product from CommutAir. I deal with them daily and they are a three-ring-circus of an airline. I don't know how much United saves in operating costs, but they must easily cost the company way more in unreliable operations and service.


This isn’t a case of service. But more of a FA just following her company’s no large carry-on policy to the tee. I can’t blame the FA for that.


It absolutely is a case of service, as United is now dealing with social media blowback and a pissed FF. That is a failure of CommutAir to train their staff on how to handle these situations.
 
DaveMetroD
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Re: "We Don't Go With Federal Law" Says Flight Attendant

Wed Sep 01, 2021 3:59 pm

bigb wrote:
You have to remember, airlines can set guidelines/policies that are more restrictive than regulations. These policies and guidelines would also be signed off by the FAA as well if there is a policy in the FOM. Considering we are talking about commut air, which is a no large carry-on airline, I can see where the issue lies.

Luckily the pilot has intervened.

But they are following Federal Law if doing that.
And what the Flight Attendant said about not following Federal Law is wrong.
 
orlandocfi
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Re: "We Don't Go With Federal Law" Says Flight Attendant

Wed Sep 01, 2021 3:59 pm

bigb wrote:
jetmatt777 wrote:
Ah, more quality product from CommutAir. I deal with them daily and they are a three-ring-circus of an airline. I don't know how much United saves in operating costs, but they must easily cost the company way more in unreliable operations and service.


This isn’t a case of service. But more of a FA just following her company’s no large carry-on policy to the tee. I can’t blame the FA for that.


A violin case is not a large carry-on. It easily fits into the small RJ overhead bins.
 
aviationjunky
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Re: "We Don't Go With Federal Law" Says Flight Attendant

Wed Sep 01, 2021 4:02 pm

What are the repercussions of not following FAA guidelines? Will the FA be fired? Will her union allow that to happen?
 
bluecrew
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Re: "We Don't Go With Federal Law" Says Flight Attendant

Wed Sep 01, 2021 4:07 pm

aviationjunky wrote:
What are the repercussions of not following FAA guidelines? Will the FA be fired? Will her union allow that to happen?

Nah. Happens all the time.

It used to be a yellow notice that would go into the FOM or FAM if there was a violation of some sort of minor policy or guideline like this, nowadays it's just an electronic yellow notice that comes through Comply365 or whatever they use.

Happens with Flight Ops and Inflight nearly weekly. There's always something that someone screwed up and now we all get to initial that we understand the rules.
 
bigb
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Re: "We Don't Go With Federal Law" Says Flight Attendant

Wed Sep 01, 2021 4:52 pm

DaveMetroD wrote:
bigb wrote:
You have to remember, airlines can set guidelines/policies that are more restrictive than regulations. These policies and guidelines would also be signed off by the FAA as well if there is a policy in the FOM. Considering we are talking about commut air, which is a no large carry-on airline, I can see where the issue lies.

Luckily the pilot has intervened.

But they are following Federal Law if doing that.
And what the Flight Attendant said about not following Federal Law is wrong.


I agree with this.
 
WayexTDI
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Re: "We Don't Go With Federal Law" Says Flight Attendant

Wed Sep 01, 2021 4:53 pm

bigb wrote:
You have to remember, airlines can set guidelines/policies that are more restrictive than regulations. These policies and guidelines would also be signed off by the FAA as well if there is a policy in the FOM. Considering we are talking about commut air, which is a no large carry-on airline, I can see where the issue lies.

Luckily the pilot has intervened.

A stricter rule in this case would contradict the Federal Law. According to the article (bolding mine):
She continues: “I showed the flight attendant the federal law that states that airlines are required by law to accept violins as hand luggage if there is room, and she said ‘We don’t go with the federal law. We go with the United…’.”

She boarded first, so there was room in the overhead. It was easy to verify if it would fit; if it does fit, Federal Law states the airline has to accept it.

I think it's a classic case of power grabbing FA. That the FA doesn't know every single law, especially the ones they see applying every other blue moon, I understand that; but, after being showed the the law, she should have backed down.
 
bigb
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Re: "We Don't Go With Federal Law" Says Flight Attendant

Wed Sep 01, 2021 4:54 pm

orlandocfi wrote:
bigb wrote:
jetmatt777 wrote:
Ah, more quality product from CommutAir. I deal with them daily and they are a three-ring-circus of an airline. I don't know how much United saves in operating costs, but they must easily cost the company way more in unreliable operations and service.


This isn’t a case of service. But more of a FA just following her company’s no large carry-on policy to the tee. I can’t blame the FA for that.


A violin case is not a large carry-on. It easily fits into the small RJ overhead bins.


So is every carry-on that a passenger claims that can fit in a overhead space. I’ve seen this dog and pony show hundreds of times when I was in the regionals....
 
bigb
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Re: "We Don't Go With Federal Law" Says Flight Attendant

Wed Sep 01, 2021 4:57 pm

jetmatt777 wrote:
bigb wrote:
jetmatt777 wrote:
Ah, more quality product from CommutAir. I deal with them daily and they are a three-ring-circus of an airline. I don't know how much United saves in operating costs, but they must easily cost the company way more in unreliable operations and service.


This isn’t a case of service. But more of a FA just following her company’s no large carry-on policy to the tee. I can’t blame the FA for that.


It absolutely is a case of service, as United is now dealing with social media blowback and a pissed FF. That is a failure of CommutAir to train their staff on how to handle these situations.


That’s the drawback of 50 seaters with smaller overhead bins. They just don’t accommodate your normal carry-one that a E-Jet and Mainline aircraft can accommodate. Multiple airlines have faced backlash from musicians being unable to bring their instruments onboard a 50 seater. This isn’t new and is a crap situation for musicians needing to travel with instruments can’t be checked because of their value. Again, I’ve seen this dog and pony show hundreds of times.
 
jetmatt777
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Re: "We Don't Go With Federal Law" Says Flight Attendant

Wed Sep 01, 2021 4:58 pm

But it ultimately fit, which means CommutAir was required by law to allow it on board. If it doesn't fit it doesn't fit; then CommutAir is under no obligation to create room for it onboard.
 
bigb
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Re: "We Don't Go With Federal Law" Says Flight Attendant

Wed Sep 01, 2021 4:59 pm

WayexTDI wrote:
bigb wrote:
You have to remember, airlines can set guidelines/policies that are more restrictive than regulations. These policies and guidelines would also be signed off by the FAA as well if there is a policy in the FOM. Considering we are talking about commut air, which is a no large carry-on airline, I can see where the issue lies.

Luckily the pilot has intervened.

A stricter rule in this case would contradict the Federal Law. According to the article (bolding mine):
She continues: “I showed the flight attendant the federal law that states that airlines are required by law to accept violins as hand luggage if there is room, and she said ‘We don’t go with the federal law. We go with the United…’.”

She boarded first, so there was room in the overhead. It was easy to verify if it would fit; if it does fit, Federal Law states the airline has to accept it.

I think it's a classic case of power grabbing FA. That the FA doesn't know every single law, especially the ones they see applying every other blue moon, I understand that; but, after being showed the the law, she should have backed down.


I am not sure with Commut air FOM that’s signed off by the FAA states. In my experience, I worked with musicians to try to accommodate their instruments and making sure it back to them.
 
phatfarmlines
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Re: "We Don't Go With Federal Law" Says Flight Attendant

Wed Sep 01, 2021 5:22 pm

Was this rule driven by the infamous guitar breaking by UA over a decade ago, which happened to be checked in?

(Not that a guitar would be able to fit into a CRJ overhead bin, because it won't.....)
 
IADCA
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Re: "We Don't Go With Federal Law" Says Flight Attendant

Wed Sep 01, 2021 6:46 pm

bigb wrote:
You have to remember, airlines can set guidelines/policies that are more restrictive than regulations. These policies and guidelines would also be signed off by the FAA as well if there is a policy in the FOM. Considering we are talking about commut air, which is a no large carry-on airline, I can see where the issue lies.

Luckily the pilot has intervened.


Not in this case they can't. The relevant FAR is as follows (https://www.transportation.gov/sites/do ... 20rule.pdf):

"§ 251.3 Small musical instruments as
carry-on baggage.
Each covered carrier shall permit a
passenger to carry a violin, guitar, or
other small musical instrument in the
aircraft cabin, without charging the
passenger a fee in addition to any
standard fee that carrier may require for
comparable carry-on baggage, if:

(a) The instrument can be stowed
safely in a suitable baggage
compartment in the aircraft cabin or
under a passenger seat, in accordance
with the requirements for carriage of
carry-on baggage or cargo established by
the FAA; and

(b) There is space for such stowage at
the time the passenger boards the
aircraft."

The rule is unambiguous: "Shall" means the carrier must permit it. A carrier rule saying they can force people to check small musical instruments directly contravenes the language and purpose of the regulation, which is clearly explained in the link above.

phatfarmlines wrote:
Was this rule driven by the infamous guitar breaking by UA over a decade ago, which happened to be checked in?

(Not that a guitar would be able to fit into a CRJ overhead bin, because it won't.....)


Yes, it was. There are other parts of the reg that cover instruments in checked baggage.
Last edited by IADCA on Wed Sep 01, 2021 6:49 pm, edited 1 time in total.
 
WayexTDI
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Re: "We Don't Go With Federal Law" Says Flight Attendant

Wed Sep 01, 2021 6:47 pm

phatfarmlines wrote:
Was this rule driven by the infamous guitar breaking by UA over a decade ago, which happened to be checked in?

(Not that a guitar would be able to fit into a CRJ overhead bin, because it won't.....)

Which rule?
 
WayexTDI
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Re: "We Don't Go With Federal Law" Says Flight Attendant

Wed Sep 01, 2021 6:49 pm

IADCA wrote:
bigb wrote:
You have to remember, airlines can set guidelines/policies that are more restrictive than regulations. These policies and guidelines would also be signed off by the FAA as well if there is a policy in the FOM. Considering we are talking about commut air, which is a no large carry-on airline, I can see where the issue lies.

Luckily the pilot has intervened.


Not in this case they can't. The relevant FAR is as follows (https://www.transportation.gov/sites/do ... 20rule.pdf):

"§ 251.3 Small musical instruments as
carry-on baggage.
Each covered carrier shall permit a
passenger to carry a violin, guitar, or
other small musical instrument in the
aircraft cabin, without charging the
passenger a fee in addition to any
standard fee that carrier may require for
comparable carry-on baggage, if:

(a) The instrument can be stowed
safely in a suitable baggage
compartment in the aircraft cabin or
under a passenger seat, in accordance
with the requirements for carriage of
carry-on baggage or cargo established by
the FAA; and

(b) There is space for such stowage at
the time the passenger boards the
aircraft."

The rule is unambiguous: "Shall" means the carrier must permit it. A carrier rule saying they can force people to check small musical instruments directly contravenes the language and purpose of the regulation, which is clearly explained in the link above.

And, according to the article, the passenger presented this exact law to the FA...

Laws are always written with "shall" meaning "must"; contracts are written in the same way, and are interpreted as such.
 
IADCA
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Re: "We Don't Go With Federal Law" Says Flight Attendant

Wed Sep 01, 2021 6:52 pm

WayexTDI wrote:

Laws are always written with "shall" meaning "must"; contracts are written in the same way, and are interpreted as such.


What are you talking about, confusion or drafting inaccuracy? Yes, "shall" means "must," but there are specific federal guidelines that ask people drafting regulations and guidance to avoid it and use "must" instead, because apparently people (like this FA) are so unable to comprehend plain English. But I also deal with laws every day that are permissive ("may") as well as contracts with that language - how else would you write an option into a contract? And people fail to understand those too, so this isn't shocking.
.
Last edited by IADCA on Wed Sep 01, 2021 6:54 pm, edited 1 time in total.
 
FlapOperator
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Re: "We Don't Go With Federal Law" Says Flight Attendant

Wed Sep 01, 2021 6:53 pm

Christ...what a drama llama.

I'm sorry you booked with a LCC and got a substandard piece of service.
 
IADCA
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Re: "We Don't Go With Federal Law" Says Flight Attendant

Wed Sep 01, 2021 6:55 pm

FlapOperator wrote:
Christ...what a drama llama.

I'm sorry you booked with a LCC and got a substandard piece of service.


LCC? This was a United Express flight.
 
rbretas
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Re: "We Don't Go With Federal Law" Says Flight Attendant

Wed Sep 01, 2021 6:57 pm

When I had to travel with a telescope I was suggested by Delta itself during check-in to bring it as a carry on, despite being a fairly sizeable one. During boarding the FA offered to store it in the closet during flight to avoid other bags hitting it in the overhead bins. Quite a difference from United.
 
Aliqiout
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Re: "We Don't Go With Federal Law" Says Flight Attendant

Wed Sep 01, 2021 7:05 pm

rbretas wrote:
When I had to travel with a telescope I was suggested by Delta itself during check-in to bring it as a carry on, despite being a fairly sizeable one. During boarding the FA offered to store it in the closet during flight to avoid other bags hitting it in the overhead bins. Quite a difference from United.

Are you using one example from each airline to draw your conclusion? In that case maybe nursing women should stick with United:

https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.cnn.co ... index.html
 
WidebodyPTV
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Re: "We Don't Go With Federal Law" Says Flight Attendant

Wed Sep 01, 2021 7:24 pm

We frequently encounter misinformed employees (some of them are informed, but just prefer to enforce their own rules). This is especially true & frustrating when traveling. Many of these ordeals are not resolved satisfactorily, but her's was, which begs the question: why is this "news?"
 
IADCA
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Re: "We Don't Go With Federal Law" Says Flight Attendant

Wed Sep 01, 2021 7:30 pm

WidebodyPTV wrote:
We frequently encounter misinformed employees (some of them are informed, but just prefer to enforce their own rules). This is especially true & frustrating when traveling. Many of these ordeals are not resolved satisfactorily, but her's was, which begs the question: why is this "news?"


Because six years after the adoption of a regulation implemented as a result of the "United breaks guitars" incident, a UAX carrier (and the media likely can't differentiate effectively) has employees who apparently aren't aware of that regulation.
 
Cubsrule
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Re: "We Don't Go With Federal Law" Says Flight Attendant

Wed Sep 01, 2021 7:31 pm

IADCA wrote:
WayexTDI wrote:

Laws are always written with "shall" meaning "must"; contracts are written in the same way, and are interpreted as such.


What are you talking about, confusion or drafting inaccuracy? Yes, "shall" means "must," but there are specific federal guidelines that ask people drafting regulations and guidance to avoid it and use "must" instead, because apparently people (like this FA) are so unable to comprehend plain English. But I also deal with laws every day that are permissive ("may") as well as contracts with that language - how else would you write an option into a contract? And people fail to understand those too, so this isn't shocking.
.


Let's not lose sight of what the "shall" is here, though. The carrier "shall" transport the instrument if it fits in in a bin, in a closet, or under the seat in compliance with FAA requirements (which may include carrier OpSpecs, although that is not clear from this regulation). I'm not sure whether a violin will fit an in ERJ overhead or not. It may depend on the specific case in which the violin is traveling.
 
FlapOperator
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Re: "We Don't Go With Federal Law" Says Flight Attendant

Wed Sep 01, 2021 8:49 pm

IADCA wrote:
FlapOperator wrote:
Christ...what a drama llama.

I'm sorry you booked with a LCC and got a substandard piece of service.


LCC? This was a United Express flight.


But you repeat yourself.
 
silentbob
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Re: "We Don't Go With Federal Law" Says Flight Attendant

Wed Sep 01, 2021 9:00 pm

Cubsrule wrote:
IADCA wrote:
WayexTDI wrote:

Laws are always written with "shall" meaning "must"; contracts are written in the same way, and are interpreted as such.


What are you talking about, confusion or drafting inaccuracy? Yes, "shall" means "must," but there are specific federal guidelines that ask people drafting regulations and guidance to avoid it and use "must" instead, because apparently people (like this FA) are so unable to comprehend plain English. But I also deal with laws every day that are permissive ("may") as well as contracts with that language - how else would you write an option into a contract? And people fail to understand those too, so this isn't shocking.
.


Let's not lose sight of what the "shall" is here, though. The carrier "shall" transport the instrument if it fits in in a bin, in a closet, or under the seat in compliance with FAA requirements (which may include carrier OpSpecs, although that is not clear from this regulation). I'm not sure whether a violin will fit an in ERJ overhead or not. It may depend on the specific case in which the violin is traveling.

Most regionals with smaller overheads (CRJ, ERJ145) that I am aware of officially have policies that require carry on items to be checked and only allow personal items on board. The musical instrument law would mean that the violin would have to be gate checked to be in compliance, as the violin replaces the allowed carry on in permitted 1+1 hand luggage. It has been a few years since I've gone over it, and the interpretations may have changed, but that is how it was described to me by an FAA inspector.
 
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RWA380
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Re: "We Don't Go With Federal Law" Says Flight Attendant

Wed Sep 01, 2021 9:29 pm

I'm seeing much between the lines with this. She is part of the German Philharmonic? That is NOT your average violin. I read this story. It was of value, which most professionals do, I was under the impression that most carriers know, artists do not like being separated from their right arm & income source.

I believe most carriers weigh that vs forcing a checked baggage item, given the expense of replacement, which often is not an option. I've d is not even negotiable for an artist. one travel for too many spoiled rich celebrities & this is common behavior &t not considered rude or offensive in a carrier, Even smaller props have small closets that can be used for an instrument,
 
travelsonic
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Re: "We Don't Go With Federal Law" Says Flight Attendant

Wed Sep 01, 2021 9:30 pm

FlapOperator wrote:
IADCA wrote:
FlapOperator wrote:
Christ...what a drama llama.

I'm sorry you booked with a LCC and got a substandard piece of service.


LCC? This was a United Express flight.


But you repeat yourself.


How? Regional carrier =/= LCC.

Nothing "drama llama" with regards to raising a stink about an FA being wrong, but insisting (to the detriment of a (expensive) musical instrument's safety here) that a fragile item that can be fit in the overhead bin must be checked in spite of cited laws.
 
N766UA
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Re: "We Don't Go With Federal Law" Says Flight Attendant

Wed Sep 01, 2021 10:55 pm

IADCA wrote:
FlapOperator wrote:
Christ...what a drama llama.

I'm sorry you booked with a LCC and got a substandard piece of service.


LCC? This was a United Express flight.


Oof, even worse. Like… way worse.
 
Caspian27
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Re: "We Don't Go With Federal Law" Says Flight Attendant

Wed Sep 01, 2021 11:36 pm

RWA380 wrote:
I'm seeing much between the lines with this. She is part of the German Philharmonic? That is NOT your average violin. I read this story. It was of value, which most professionals do, I was under the impression that most carriers know, artists do not like being separated from their right arm & income source.

I believe most carriers weigh that vs forcing a checked baggage item, given the expense of replacement, which often is not an option. I've d is not even negotiable for an artist. one travel for too many spoiled rich celebrities & this is common behavior &t not considered rude or offensive in a carrier, Even smaller props have small closets that can be used for an instrument,


Violins of the level that a professional plays are extremely expensive and there’s no way they would ever let it be put in the cargo compartment.
 
ikramerica
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Re: "We Don't Go With Federal Law" Says Flight Attendant

Wed Sep 01, 2021 11:53 pm

Caspian27 wrote:
RWA380 wrote:
I'm seeing much between the lines with this. She is part of the German Philharmonic? That is NOT your average violin. I read this story. It was of value, which most professionals do, I was under the impression that most carriers know, artists do not like being separated from their right arm & income source.

I believe most carriers weigh that vs forcing a checked baggage item, given the expense of replacement, which often is not an option. I've d is not even negotiable for an artist. one travel for too many spoiled rich celebrities & this is common behavior &t not considered rude or offensive in a carrier, Even smaller props have small closets that can be used for an instrument,


Violins of the level that a professional plays are extremely expensive and there’s no way they would ever let it be put in the cargo compartment.

True and some are considered protected artworks, which is why we have these federal laws protecting such instruments from being subjected to the outside weather extremes and the abuse that bags receive in the baggage systems.
 
txjim
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Re: "We Don't Go With Federal Law" Says Flight Attendant

Thu Sep 02, 2021 12:21 am

ikramerica wrote:
Caspian27 wrote:
RWA380 wrote:
I'm seeing much between the lines with this. She is part of the German Philharmonic? That is NOT your average violin. I read this story. It was of value, which most professionals do, I was under the impression that most carriers know, artists do not like being separated from their right arm & income source.

I believe most carriers weigh that vs forcing a checked baggage item, given the expense of replacement, which often is not an option. I've d is not even negotiable for an artist. one travel for too many spoiled rich celebrities & this is common behavior &t not considered rude or offensive in a carrier, Even smaller props have small closets that can be used for an instrument,


Violins of the level that a professional plays are extremely expensive and there’s no way they would ever let it be put in the cargo compartment.

True and some are considered protected artworks, which is why we have these federal laws protecting such instruments from being subjected to the outside weather extremes and the abuse that bags receive in the baggage systems.


Do musicians with expensive instruments not purchase a seat for expensive items?
 
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Aesma
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Re: "We Don't Go With Federal Law" Says Flight Attendant

Thu Sep 02, 2021 12:48 am

I find it funny there is a FAR about that.

I once travelled with a large glass lamp someone had gifted me who doesn't really fly and didn't think of the hassle it would be, and I was on a CRJ (Britair)... Fortunately the F/A nicely put it into a closet at the front of the aircraft.
 
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zeke
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Re: "We Don't Go With Federal Law" Says Flight Attendant

Thu Sep 02, 2021 12:59 am

PSAatSAN4Ever wrote:
I know I might get flamed for this one; however, I am only reporting this, because I haven't seen any posting on this.

From my FlightAware newsletter comes this gem: https://www.classicfm.com/discover-music/instruments/violin/flight-attendant-denies-federal-instrument-regulations/

I'm not taking sides; however, if those words are spoken and the flight attendant did say, "we don't go with federal law - we follow United", then something is definitely up. Thankfully the pilot intervened before issues came up, and the flight was able to be completed.

Thoughts?


CommutAir is a no carry on carrier, the federal law does not apply. This is clearly stated in their terms and conditions https://www.united.com/ual/en/us/fly/tr ... ry-on.html

Air Wisconsin
CommutAir
No carry-on carrier

Passengers are allowed to bring only (1) one personal item into the cabin.

Any carry-on bag in addition to the (1) one personal item will be collected by the gate ramp agent planeside, green-tagged and placed in the cargo compartment.

Fragile items
If an item is too fragile or bulky to travel as a checked bag, you can buy a ticket for it. You can then carry the item on board and place it in a seat. See our cabin-seat baggage page for more information.

The passenger should have purchased a "cabin-seat baggage" (which I suspect they knew about if they were armed with the federal regulations) for the instrument to be placed in the cabin on a passenger seat in a special carrier. The federal law only applies on aircraft where the article can be accommodated in normal carry on areas, this however was a no carry on flight, no carry on was accepted, not only the musicians, all passengers. I would suggest in this case the pilot used some lateral judgment and had it stored in an area which would be used for aircraft stores or crew luggage. It is not a requirement for the airline to do this under the law.

This is probably due to smaller overhead lockets and smaller space under the seats and the 3 across arrangement. A violin would stick out into the isle if placed under the seat on the left side.

The article in the OP, and the passenger were incorrect for this airline. The cabin crew member was correct, I would suggest what she said was taken out of context. The law states that musical instruments should be taken where carry on can be stored overhead or under a seat, with this airline they do not accept any carry on.
 
bigb
Posts: 1450
Joined: Fri Nov 07, 2003 4:30 pm

Re: "We Don't Go With Federal Law" Says Flight Attendant

Thu Sep 02, 2021 1:23 am

IADCA wrote:
bigb wrote:
You have to remember, airlines can set guidelines/policies that are more restrictive than regulations. These policies and guidelines would also be signed off by the FAA as well if there is a policy in the FOM. Considering we are talking about commut air, which is a no large carry-on airline, I can see where the issue lies.

Luckily the pilot has intervened.


Not in this case they can't. The relevant FAR is as follows (https://www.transportation.gov/sites/do ... 20rule.pdf):

"§ 251.3 Small musical instruments as
carry-on baggage.
Each covered carrier shall permit a
passenger to carry a violin, guitar, or
other small musical instrument in the
aircraft cabin, without charging the
passenger a fee in addition to any
standard fee that carrier may require for
comparable carry-on baggage, if:

(a) The instrument can be stowed
safely in a suitable baggage
compartment in the aircraft cabin or
under a passenger seat, in accordance
with the requirements for carriage of
carry-on baggage or cargo established by
the FAA; and

(b) There is space for such stowage at
the time the passenger boards the
aircraft."

The rule is unambiguous: "Shall" means the carrier must permit it. A carrier rule saying they can force people to check small musical instruments directly contravenes the language and purpose of the regulation, which is clearly explained in the link above.

phatfarmlines wrote:
Was this rule driven by the infamous guitar breaking by UA over a decade ago, which happened to be checked in?

(Not that a guitar would be able to fit into a CRJ overhead bin, because it won't.....)


Yes, it was. There are other parts of the reg that cover instruments in checked baggage.


This is where you are incorrect, in this case they have otherwise Commutair no carryon limitation wouldn’t have been signed off by the FAA. If the musician had a personal item, the music instrument is supposed to go into the cargo hold.

This no carry-on opsec is a copy cat amongst all 50 seat operators in the US. It’s the exact same one we had at my 50 operator when I was there. Trust me, as Captain I had to intervene multiple times to defuse the situation by taking the instrument down myself personally loading it into the cargo hold and went and got it after block in because I understand the value musical instruments.
 
Cubsrule
Posts: 15305
Joined: Sat May 15, 2004 12:13 pm

Re: "We Don't Go With Federal Law" Says Flight Attendant

Thu Sep 02, 2021 2:16 am

zeke wrote:
CommutAir is a no carry on carrier, the federal law does not apply. This is clearly stated in their terms and conditions https://www.united.com/ual/en/us/fly/tr ... ry-on.html


I think a lot of the problem here is that words matter, and both this statement and the f/a's statement are not correct. The regulation does apply, but it specifically carves situations where the instrument cannot be transported safely in a designated place for carryons or personal items.
 
LCDFlight
Posts: 1274
Joined: Wed Jan 01, 2020 9:22 pm

Re: "We Don't Go With Federal Law" Says Flight Attendant

Thu Sep 02, 2021 3:38 am

Cubsrule wrote:
zeke wrote:
CommutAir is a no carry on carrier, the federal law does not apply. This is clearly stated in their terms and conditions https://www.united.com/ual/en/us/fly/tr ... ry-on.html


I think a lot of the problem here is that words matter, and both this statement and the f/a's statement are not correct. The regulation does apply, but it specifically carves situations where the instrument cannot be transported safely in a designated place for carryons or personal items.


This is interesting There is such a thing as a "no carry-on" carrier, which nullifies rules that pertain to carry-ons. Cool.
 
johnconquest
Posts: 18
Joined: Sun Aug 01, 2021 2:27 am

Re: "We Don't Go With Federal Law" Says Flight Attendant

Thu Sep 02, 2021 5:27 am

jetmatt777 wrote:
Ah, more quality product from CommutAir. I deal with them daily and they are a three-ring-circus of an airline. I don't know how much United saves in operating costs, but they must easily cost the company way more in unreliable operations and service.


Well said.
 
User avatar
zeke
Posts: 16358
Joined: Thu Dec 14, 2006 1:42 pm

Re: "We Don't Go With Federal Law" Says Flight Attendant

Thu Sep 02, 2021 6:29 am

Cubsrule wrote:
I think a lot of the problem here is that words matter, and both this statement and the f/a's statement are not correct. The regulation does apply, but it specifically carves situations where the instrument cannot be transported safely in a designated place for carryons or personal items.


Purely a point of interpretation. If carry on is not permitted which is common on smaller aircraft, the law that says instruments should be allowed to be carried free of charge as carry on does not apply.

If someone said to me (which apparently what happened in this case) I am entitled to carry this instrument onboard when stepping onto an aircraft which does not accept carry on, here is a copy of the federal law. I would be totally correct to state that federal law did not apply. It is all about the context, it was not said stepping onto a 737, it was a baby e jet. I have my doubts it would fit overhead, and definitely not under a seat.
 
Noshow
Posts: 2719
Joined: Wed Jun 15, 2016 3:20 pm

Re: "We Don't Go With Federal Law" Says Flight Attendant

Thu Sep 02, 2021 8:31 am

Special items needed to be taken inside the cabin as carry-ons should best be preregistered with the airline. I have a friend who is a cameraman and carries some super expensive camera and optics (six digit worth) on board. He pre arranges this and sometimes even buys a second ticket for the camera but he never checks it in. Stuff gets broken in the hold. BTW: There are some special customs procedures needed most of the time.
 
alasizon
Posts: 3055
Joined: Sat Apr 28, 2007 8:57 pm

Re: "We Don't Go With Federal Law" Says Flight Attendant

Thu Sep 02, 2021 9:14 am

LCDFlight wrote:
Cubsrule wrote:
zeke wrote:
CommutAir is a no carry on carrier, the federal law does not apply. This is clearly stated in their terms and conditions https://www.united.com/ual/en/us/fly/tr ... ry-on.html


I think a lot of the problem here is that words matter, and both this statement and the f/a's statement are not correct. The regulation does apply, but it specifically carves situations where the instrument cannot be transported safely in a designated place for carryons or personal items.


This is interesting There is such a thing as a "no carry-on" carrier, which nullifies rules that pertain to carry-ons. Cool.


Every carrier's carry-on baggage policy is approved and audited by the FAA. Most Regional carriers have submitted one that they won't allow anything bigger than a personal item on board due to overhead bin dimensions unless you buy a seat for it on the CRJ/145 (strictly enforced for most 145s, CRJs are less enforced but still technically not allowed at most carriers).

Someone traveling with this expensive of a violin likely knows that particularly given they had the FAR ready. To be fair to the FA, and they may not even know it, by enforcing their carry-on baggage program they are indeed actually following federal regulations. The carry-on baggage program, much like each carrier's exit seat program, is considered a safety policy and therefore userps most FARs pertaining to passenger accommodations.
 
Ertro
Posts: 192
Joined: Thu Apr 04, 2019 9:28 pm

Re: "We Don't Go With Federal Law" Says Flight Attendant

Thu Sep 02, 2021 10:02 am

I am sorry but I don't understand how the no-carry-on policy
Passengers are allowed to bring only (1) one personal item into the cabin.
Any carry-on bag in addition to the (1) one personal item will be collected by the gate ramp agent planeside, green-tagged and placed in the cargo compartment.


is not reasonable for a passenger to interpret as the violin is the one personal item and is so allowed.

Also I find the explanations that "airline policy has been approved by FAA" to either mean that FAA has given permission for airline to break federal law or alternatively FAA has assumed that airline is still following the federal law to allow violins to the cabin on case-by-case basis if they happen to fit at that particular flight as stated by the federal law.

I have found no convincing arguments by google searching and neither in this discussion that violins are okay to be forbidden completely as there are completely valid sounding interpretations that allow both the company no-carry-on policy and FAR on violins to co-exist. A company might disallow all carryons except the one violin per month which shall be allowed by FAR as an exception if there happens to be room on that particular flight and this is perhaps how FAA has thought the airline is operating when approving the company no-carryon policy. FAA might also approve other carry-on-size limitations for other airlines but still assumes violins are still allowed even when breaking the just FAA approved carryon size limitation. Or is FAA as a byproduct allowing all airlines to break this FAR whenever FAA approves some carryon-size limitation for some airline?
 
Cubsrule
Posts: 15305
Joined: Sat May 15, 2004 12:13 pm

Re: "We Don't Go With Federal Law" Says Flight Attendant

Thu Sep 02, 2021 11:00 am

Ertro wrote:
I am sorry but I don't understand how the no-carry-on policy
Passengers are allowed to bring only (1) one personal item into the cabin.
Any carry-on bag in addition to the (1) one personal item will be collected by the gate ramp agent planeside, green-tagged and placed in the cargo compartment.


is not reasonable for a passenger to interpret as the violin is the one personal item and is so allowed.


A (full-sized) violin exceeds the size requirements for a personal item because it’s too long. Generally personal items are small enough to fit under a seat.
 
Ertro
Posts: 192
Joined: Thu Apr 04, 2019 9:28 pm

Re: "We Don't Go With Federal Law" Says Flight Attendant

Thu Sep 02, 2021 11:04 am

Cubsrule wrote:
Ertro wrote:
I am sorry but I don't understand how the no-carry-on policy is not reasonable for a passenger to interpret as the violin is the one personal item and is so allowed.


A (full-sized) violin exceeds the size requirements for a personal item because it’s too long. Generally personal items are small enough to fit under a seat.


On the same united policy page it states that musical instruments can be personal items:

You can carry a violin, guitar or other small musical instrument on board if it's in a hard case. These instruments will count as a carry-on bag if placed in the overhead bin. If placed in the seat in front of you, they'll count as a personal item.


https://www.united.com/ual/en/us/fly/tr ... ry-on.html
 
Cubsrule
Posts: 15305
Joined: Sat May 15, 2004 12:13 pm

Re: "We Don't Go With Federal Law" Says Flight Attendant

Thu Sep 02, 2021 11:09 am

Ertro wrote:
Cubsrule wrote:
Ertro wrote:
I am sorry but I don't understand how the no-carry-on policy is not reasonable for a passenger to interpret as the violin is the one personal item and is so allowed.


A (full-sized) violin exceeds the size requirements for a personal item because it’s too long. Generally personal items are small enough to fit under a seat.


On the same united policy page it states that musical instruments can be personal items:

You can carry a violin, guitar or other small musical instrument on board if it's in a hard case. These instruments will count as a carry-on bag if placed in the overhead bin. If placed in the seat in front of you, they'll count as a personal item.


https://www.united.com/ual/en/us/fly/tr ... ry-on.html


It says that musician instruments count as personal items if placed under the seat. But, again, a violin won’t fit there.
 
Ertro
Posts: 192
Joined: Thu Apr 04, 2019 9:28 pm

Re: "We Don't Go With Federal Law" Says Flight Attendant

Thu Sep 02, 2021 11:19 am

It does NOT say that it must fit under the seat. Some other paper might say that but this one policy page is what is written for customers and this is what customers are supposed to understand about the issue. Who customer is supposed to know where exactly the violin will be placed on a half empty flight and whether the violin suddenly changes designation after boarding from personal item into carry-on based on where the flight attendant chooses to lay it down it is out from customers hands. Even if it not personal item I believe the FAR still applies and it should be allowed even as designated as carry-on. There certainly is enough material for customer to make reasonable interpretation that violin is allowed and the only way for customer to come to opposite conclusion is to turn yourself into pretzel trying to find the most bad interpretation of material that 99% seems for every reasonable person to tell that violins are okay.

And the policy page clearly gives the possibility that guitars can be personal items. If your interpretation is right that it only is true if it fits under the seat that policy page is clearly written with a huge error in it. If your interpretation is right guitars can never be personal items contradicting the clear unambiguous word of the policy page.
 
planecane
Posts: 1731
Joined: Thu Feb 09, 2017 4:58 pm

Re: "We Don't Go With Federal Law" Says Flight Attendant

Thu Sep 02, 2021 11:48 am

I don't really understand why a law (technically a regulation) would allow for somebody to take up a large amount of overhead bin space with a guitar at the expense of other passengers having room for their properly sized carry on bags. I was almost forced by two different AA gate agents to check a delicate and expensive camera drone on a recent flight because the case was 1/2" too long to fit within the metal rails on the sizer even though it took up less space in the bin than other carry on bags because the other two dimensions were smaller and the length still fit easily front to back.

Why does a guitar get legal priority? It it somehow impossible to design a guitar case that can protect it as checked baggage?

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