Taking an Accordion on the Airplane

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Hugh Bartling

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Aug 1, 1997, 3:00:00 AM8/1/97
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I'm going to be travelling by airplane in a couple of weeks and wanted to
take my old Wurlitzer accordion with me. Upon looking at its dimensions,
however, it doesn't look like it would fit under the seat. I sure wouldn't
want to check it as baggage. Does anyone know if the airlines have any way
of accomodating this? Your experiences would be helpful.

Thanks-Hugh


Per Bolstad

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Aug 1, 1997, 3:00:00 AM8/1/97
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Hugh Bartling <heba...@pop.uky.edu> wrote in article
<3.0.1.32.1997080...@pop.uky.edu>...

> I have very bad experience with checking the accordion as baggage. I have
had two expensive accordions severe damaged after sending with SAS. You
must INSIST to take it with you in the cabin.
It is always possible to find somewhere to place it. Insure your
accordion!
Per Bolstad
Bergen
Norway

Guysqueeze

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Aug 1, 1997, 3:00:00 AM8/1/97
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You should not expect the airlines to be "accomodating." They do not
need to me, and usually, they are not. I've had to resort to buying a
seat for 10 years now, because I have a very valuable instrument.
Of course this is not practical for most people (it's not even practical
for me, but I can't afford not to).
So, if the accordion is small enough, Baldoni and The Accordion
Connection make soft packs that will fit in the overhead (you can find
their contact numbers under www.accordions.com under manufacturers or
dealers) for about $150.
Otherwise, if your accordion is small enough, you can wrap it in bubble
wrap and put it in a soft back pack or such that can fit in the over head.
Most accordion cases are either too heavy or bulky to fit in most
overheads, but can fit if in a soft pack of some kind.
I have a cellist in my band who puts her instrument in a soft pack in
the overhead, so that should encourage you. Of course it's her "second"
instrument, and there will always be some jerk who will try to throw
something on top of your so-carefully-placed instrumental baby, but that's
the risk you have to take.
Only other option is to see the answer I posted as to how to send by
freight, and do the same in baggage: i.e., bubble wrap accordion in its
case, bubbly wrap case, place in a large, sturdy cardboard box which is
lined with styrofoam, wrap the sucker to death in sealing tape, say 10 Our
Fathers and 25 Hail Marys (for Christians), or consult the Koran, Torah,
etc., or slip a steward(ess) $100.
Good luck!
Guy Klucevsek

Guysqueeze

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Aug 1, 1997, 3:00:00 AM8/1/97
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There has got to be a way to may a fiberglass case with built-in wheels
for accordions, like those that are made for cellos and basses. I am
going to look into this, because the situation for travel as it now exists
for accordionists borders on the absurd. I'll let you know the stati of
my insvestigations as they yield (hopefully) results.
I mean even if it costs $500, it would be worth it for instruments whose
value is in excess of $2,500, e.g., not to mention piece-of-mind and
ease-of-use.
Guy Klucevsek

Robert Berta

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Aug 1, 1997, 3:00:00 AM8/1/97
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Call the particular airline and inquire as to the max dimensions they
allow. I know that none of them will take an accordion in its case but you
can get tight fitting cloth/naugahyde case from various companies that
usually will be accepted. You can either leave the straps on the accordion
and use it like a backpack or remove the straps. In any case I would NEVER
put an accordion in luggage. You will likely never see it in working order
again on the other end. One member of this Squeezebox group came out to
visit me last summer. He simply wrapped his piano accordion in a cloth
sleeping bag....and the air line let him on!

Another solution was offered to me by Faith Deffner. You remove the bellows
pins on the accordion and seperate the two units. The bass mechanism is the
one that is most subject to damage by rough handling so that part you hand
carry on. The other part is put into a regular suit case and wrapped with a
suitable packing. Since it looks like any other suitcase they don't tend to
take out their agressions on it....(everyone knows if it says handle with
care this is the signal for using it for a football game!).

A further refinement of this is to break the accordion down as stated above
and if you have two people on the same flight (wife/husband for instance)
each has one part as carry on luggage. This has to be the best solution and
the one without any potential liabilities.

I know of only one time when the complete accordion in a backpack type case
didn't work. That was in the last leg of a trip by Jorgen Sundeqvist. He
traveled all over Europe and the US but from Texas to California they
wouldn't allow him to have it as carry on....and he was forced to buy
another seat at something like $500! He was going to complain when he got
back but I haven't heard the final decision on that one.

Bob Berta

Werner Partner

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Aug 1, 1997, 3:00:00 AM8/1/97
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Hugh Bartling wrote:
>
> I'm going to be travelling by airplane in a couple of weeks and wanted to
> take my old Wurlitzer accordion with me. Upon looking at its dimensions,
> however, it doesn't look like it would fit under the seat. I sure wouldn't
> want to check it as baggage. Does anyone know if the airlines have any way
> of accomodating this? Your experiences would be helpful.
>
> Thanks-Hugh

I noticed how our Finnish friends (Düsseldorf -> Helsinki) did it. They
put the cases of their accordions into to baggage, but took the bass
mechanics with themselves into the cabin. Of course you have some free
space in your accordion case and you may carefully fill it.

Werner
--
----------------------------------------------------------
kairos: Werner Partner, Uferstr. 73, D-45699 Herten
Tel. +49 2366 886606 - FAX 886608
eMail: kai...@t-online.de
URL: http://home.t-online.de/home/kairos
----------------------------------------------------------

Arcadiamax

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Aug 2, 1997, 3:00:00 AM8/2/97
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In article <19970801221...@ladder01.news.aol.com>,
guysq...@aol.com (Guysqueeze) writes:

>Subject: Re: Taking an Accordion on the Airplane
>From: guysq...@aol.com (Guysqueeze)
>Date: 1 Aug 1997 22:19:13 GMT

When I take my fiddle (in oversized double case) on a plane I go to the
end of the check-in queue and explain if challenged that this instrument
is worth $20,000 (it's not) and if they want to put it in the hold they
better show me their insurance now. They generally don't want the hassle
by then and put it somewhere inside the aircraft.

Regards, Max
___________________________________________________

Arcadia Music Agency Surrey RH5 6PG England
Live Music for all Functions and Events
___________________________________________________


Joe Kesselman, yclept Keshlam

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Aug 4, 1997, 3:00:00 AM8/4/97
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In <19970801221...@ladder01.news.aol.com>, guysq...@aol.com (Guysqueeze) writes:
> There has got to be a way to make a fiberglass case with built-in wheels

I've used old-style strap-on luggage wheels on occasion. Not as stable as the
built-in variety, but an improvement.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------
Joseph J. Kesselman http://pages.prodigy.com/keshlam/
"This note is a production of Novalabs Consulting, which is solely
responsible for its content. Opinions not necessarily those of IBM."


KHSEKARP

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Aug 5, 1997, 3:00:00 AM8/5/97
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How can accordion players afford to fly?

Ken

Ted Samsel

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Aug 7, 1997, 3:00:00 AM8/7/97
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Last Fall, I was flying back East from San Antonio, Texas and I had
my Tex-Mex style diatonic along. I put through the x-ray device and the
guy running it (a Tejano) grinned broadly and said, "Hey, you play
conjunto, Man?"

I said:
"Seguro que hell yes!"

--
Ted Samsel....tejas@infi.net
"do the boogie woogie in the South American way"
Rhumba Boogie- Hank Snow (1955)

Dpsongs

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Aug 13, 1997, 3:00:00 AM8/13/97
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The first time I ever took an accordion on a plane, I didn't even think
about it really, I knew carrying the accordion on the plane was the only
way to go. So, I carried it on and it didn't fit under, it didn't fit
over, I was starting to get nervous. Especially when the flight
attendant told me I would have to check it. I said "NO WAY"! Then, she
suggested I take it out of the hardcase and see if the instrument fit in
the overhead. Well, luckily it did fit and we then checked the empty box.
All worked out well.
I actually had a layover in Seattle for 2 hours so I found a lonesome
quiet corner of the airport and started playing the blues.
I don't think I would EVER send an accordion through air cargo without an
anvil case.
adios
Debra Peters

Joe Kesselman, yclept Keshlam

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Aug 13, 1997, 3:00:00 AM8/13/97
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In <19970813013...@ladder01.news.aol.com>, dps...@aol.com (Dpsongs) writes:
>The first time I ever took an accordion on a plane...

I have to admit that portability is one major reason I started playing
(or "playing with") concertina rather than hauling out my old piano
accordion. It's far easier to travel with -- which means I'm more
willing to bring it even if I don't expect to use it. Sorta the free-reed
equivalent of the pocket camera vs. SLR debate... the bigger box
is more versitile but that doesn't help if you leave it at home.

One of the IBM sites surplussed a bunch of "TCM carrying cases".
These were originally designed for transporting VERY expensive
components of mainframe computers. They're roughly cubic
black fiberglass boxes, two "clamshell" halves with piano
hinges and twist-lock latches. I discarded the foam inserts mine
came with and fitted high-density foam (any PC store can
provide as much as you need; they get buried in the stuff) to
suspend my concertina in the middle of it. Small enough to
carry on, durable enough that it might be safe to check
through. and it set me back only US$10. Of course it's overkill
for my "30% off $90 original price" concertina, but what the hey...

(If you're in the tristate area, I _think_ Hudson Valley Materials
Exchange still has some of these cases.)

S Miskoe

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Aug 13, 1997, 3:00:00 AM8/13/97
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My accordion is a junior size and I have a soft carrying case. It fits
nicely in the overheads and has been all over the US and Great Britain.
My technique for getting it on without hassle is to wear it like a
backpack, then I get to the front of the line when they call for persons
with special needs. The plane is not full when I get to my seat so I can
easily stuff it in the overhead. Then I sit down and caution anyone else
who wants to use my space that they should not. At the end of the trip I
smile at a taller, stronger person and ask for help in getting it down,
put it on my back and exit. (Of course being a white haired woman gets
rid of a lot of hassles.)
Sylvia Miskoe, Concord, NH

C.J. Chenier

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Sep 29, 2022, 9:01:58 PMSep 29
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