[Dixielandjazz] Trombone On Airlines

Robert S. Ringwald ringwald@calweb.com
Fri, 13 Sep 2002 18:37:43 -0700

Stan Brager asked about taking a trombone in a commercial airliner.

A year or so ago, Mike Starr trombone & Scott Anthony banjo (both with Bob
Schulz Frisco Band) arrived @ the Oakland Airport to fly Southwest to OR for
a Jazz festival.

The ticket agent would not let them carry their instruments aboard.  Since
neither of them had a travel case suitable for checking, they went back home
& did not make the festival.

This can happen at any time.  It is not worth taking the chance.  You might
have to either go ahead & check your horn, or go home & lose the money you
paid for the flight.

Gary Reynolds, trombone for Fulton Street JB has been sending his trombone
through baggage in the normal case.  I keep telling him that he is crazy.
So far he has been lucky but I know his luck is going to run out.

After the incident with Mike Starr & Scott Anthony, 4 of us, Ralph Thompson,
Scott Anthony, Jim Marsh & I bought traveling banjo cases from the same
company that Jack Vincum from Climax JB got his.  We have all used them &
they go through baggage just fine with no damage to our instruments.  Both
Jim & Jack have taken their instruments around the world many times with no

I strongly advise against checking a valuable musical instrument through
airline baggage, even if they mark it fragile.  To some baggage workers, the
word fragile on an item means you throw it 20 feet farther.

A couple of years ago an airline pilot member of DJML posted a message
telling what goes on with your baggage behind the scenes.  If I still have
that message & can find it, I'll post it on DJML.

Placerville, CA USA
Amateur (ham) Radio Station K6YBV
Fulton Street Jazz Band
See: http://www.ringwald.com
Boondockers Jazz & Comedy Band
See: http://www.theboondockers.com