I can safely say I am “gatvol” for the inconsistency we have when it comes to transporting instruments in this country. Can someone please just define a SAFE set of parameters musicians can follow to ensure that we get to our gigging destination without severe damage to our instruments.
Phax Trio was flown up to perform a gig in JHB this last weekend. Our flight was 45 minutes late and we needed to meet our driver. On arrival for our dress rehearsal I opened my case and saw that my bell had a large dent in it and my case was broken. I had followed ALL THE RULES of the airline, Mango, and there were huge fragile stickers on the case. I have made contact with Mango via twitter and apparently they have been in touch. I am not sure who else might have my number and e-mail address but I have received no contact so far. Mango says they have tried to e-mail and call – I guess technology does make time stamping an easier thing to do these days. When flying back, I was told at the check-in counter, that Mango in Cape Town had not followed protocol and that I was allowed to walk my instrument through. Except, Mango made my colleague put his tuba on the conveyor belt (!!) as there was no oversize check-in and no staff to walk it to the plane (apparently my colleagues legs can’t count). So what is the policy? Also, in response to the damage, we were just sarcastically told that “Well if that is how your case looks, it can’t be that great a carrier case”. I would like to mention that our carrier cases are like coffins and reinforced.
I ask that any musician who has suffered the tragedy of having their livelihood damaged to retweet or help me campaign for #vrotmango. We need a good and safe set of rules set up to protect our instruments and have them treated better than the golf clubs that get all the special attention. Incidentally, a R850 pit bull terrier bead work was given better treatment than a Besson BE2052 Prestige Euphonium. #vrotmango
*At the time of this e-note, @FlyMangoSA has unfollowed me on twitter. It must be annoying being asked to provide an actual service.