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Fly American!

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arumako
Posted 2017-09-22 11:00 AM (#537523)
Subject: Fly American!



Joined:
October 2012
Posts: 645

Location: Yokohama, Japan
Just wanted to post a note of gratitude to American Airlines. This past summer, an opportunity to own a Dan Savage Rebuilt O was offered to me - the torrefied 1612 with K-5 bracing. Jumped at the opportunity and was able to arrange a hand carry back to Japan. Unfortunately, the guitar arrived at Narita damaged with the fret board lifting up from the slightly cracked top by about 3mm. Considering the bolt-on neck design, the fall had to be severe. My insurance company tried to file a claim in Japan as it was a code share flight with Japan Airlines, but was given the cold shoulder. After watching the "United Breaks Guitars" video (thanks for the humorous and insightful share on that one!), hope for any settlement was dashed. Well, to make a long story short, I contacted American Airlines, and after reviewing the documentation and photos, they agreed to reimburse me for the full price of the guitar! They were serious, and the check arrived this week! Cool! Wanted to get the 1612 back in working order; so the repairs were done in house, and she's been seeing a lot of action over the past several months. Just remarkable deep and resonant voice. Can't say enough about this DS Rebuild!

Also moved from Photobucket to Flickr and wanted to test Flicker's free 3rd party hosting (embedding) platform. Here's the K-5 braced DSR1612 together with my '73 VT-11 braced 1117. They look so similar on the outside, but have completely different voices. Hope these are visible?

P1080168

The silking on the aftermarket torrefied StewMac top is as beatiful and classic looking as the original top of the bonafied vintage Legend!

Silking

While the 1612 never should have been damaged, can't help but feel extremely grateful that American Airlines responded and tried to make things right. No more JAL! I'm flying American...now, what to do with the extra dough?

Edited by arumako 2017-09-22 11:07 AM
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d'ovation
Posted 2017-09-22 12:38 PM (#537527 - in reply to #537523)
Subject: Re: Fly American!


Joined:
December 2003
Posts: 671

Location: Canada
Wow that's quite the saga and glad to hear that it all worked out in the end. But what exactly is a "hand carry" and would the liability not be with the carrying person if this was not even regular checked luggage that is handled by airport staff?
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arumako
Posted 2017-09-22 5:05 PM (#537532 - in reply to #537527)
Subject: Re: Fly American!



Joined:
October 2012
Posts: 645

Location: Yokohama, Japan
d'ovation - 2017-09-22 2:38 AM

Wow that's quite the saga and glad to hear that it all worked out in the end. But what exactly is a "hand carry" and would the liability not be with the carrying person if this was not even regular checked luggage that is handled by airport staff?

So, "hand carry" means a person carried the cargo to destination as opposed to a courier, like FedEx. In this case that "person" was my son. I should've clarified that one! So, Dan was kind enough to drop the 1612 off at my son's dorm (you know, college freshman with no mode of transportation, lol!) located between Dan's home & work. Son (flying coach class), is allowed to carry the guitar to the gate where the attendant tells him, "Sorry, no space. That guitar needs to go into cargo." The guitar was dropped somewhere between there and Narita. Since they were in a rush to prevent a boarding bottleneck, the damage disclaimer was never mentioned or signed. Had my son signed the disclaimer, things might have turned out very differently. But AA's Damage Claim officer was really sympathetic and thoughtful. Really fortunate that the damage was reversible because this 1612 is really one of a kind. Thanks for reading my post d'ovation.
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Love O Fair
Posted 2017-09-22 8:43 PM (#537538 - in reply to #537523)
Subject: Re: Fly American!



Joined:
February 2016
Posts: 467

Location: Spin axis of a California map
So in the math of it all you ended up with a "free", banged up 1612, right? Same as if you found it laying on the side of the road in that condition. I just love tragic stories with glorious endings.. and yours is great! Now, if you happen to have any junker guitars laying around, you and your son could simply do the same process when he comes back to school in California.. and he can drop it off at Dan's for repair.. and so on and so on. Say, this could work into a whole new racket!



Edited by Love O Fair 2017-09-22 8:45 PM
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arumako
Posted 2017-09-23 8:15 AM (#537543 - in reply to #537538)
Subject: Re: Fly American!



Joined:
October 2012
Posts: 645

Location: Yokohama, Japan
Love O Fair - 2017-09-22 10:43 AM

So in the math of it all you ended up with a "free", banged up 1612, right? Same as if you found it laying on the side of the road in that condition. I just love tragic stories with glorious endings.. and yours is great! Now, if you happen to have any junker guitars laying around, you and your son could simply do the same process when he comes back to school in California.. and he can drop it off at Dan's for repair.. and so on and so on. Say, this could work into a whole new racket!


LOL! My son and I could amass quite the collection! I'm afraid that Dan would abandon the project pretty early on! Promise to visit me in prison Love O Fair! Hahaha! All kidding aside, if you ever get a chance to try a torrefied O, I think you'll be thorougly impressed!
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Waskel
Posted 2017-09-23 8:53 AM (#537544 - in reply to #537523)
Subject: Re: Fly American!



Joined:
February 2005
Posts: 11813

Location: closely held secret
Glad the guitar survived.
The secret is that the flight crew actually has the last say in the matter. When the gate attendant says 'no'... tell them you want to ask the flight crew - if they say no, you'll surrender it to the pit of despair (luggage hold). Do this POLITELY. My experience is that if there is ANY room (I've had my guitars fly in the first-class closet while I was in the back) the flight crew will probably say sure, we can do that.
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FlySig
Posted 2017-09-23 9:21 AM (#537545 - in reply to #537544)
Subject: Re: Fly American!



Joined:
October 2005
Posts: 3735

Location: Utah
Waskel - 2017-09-23 7:53 AM

Glad the guitar survived.
The secret is that the flight crew actually has the last say in the matter. When the gate attendant says 'no'... tell them you want to ask the flight crew - if they say no, you'll surrender it to the pit of despair (luggage hold). Do this POLITELY. My experience is that if there is ANY room (I've had my guitars fly in the first-class closet while I was in the back) the flight crew will probably say sure, we can do that.


Thanks, Waskel, that is exactly correct. As an airline captain I am always telling this to people. The gate agent's job (and they are under a lot of pressure) is to get the flight out on time. Any kind of passenger related delay gets attributed to (blamed on) the gate agent. This is all tracked by management and there is a ton of pressure on everybody to not be at fault for the late departure. That's why they are always trying to get people to gate check their carry ons, because it takes longer for the crowd to stow their bags in the cabin than the for the rampers to put it in cargo.

There is almost always room for a guitar in the cabin as long as you aren't among the last few to board. Most cabin crew are happy to try to help you, as long as you are polite and friendly.

I also recommend a good hard sided case that looks somewhat respectable. It is hard to convince someone your baby is precious when it is in a gig bag or beat up hard case. Having said that, Peter Frampton was on one of my flights with his famous Les Paul in a well worn hard case. It looked more like something a college student might have. But he was dressed nicely and was very polite, and the flight attendant knew who he is.

The last thing you want is for your instrument to go into cargo in only a soft bag.
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DanSavage
Posted 2017-09-23 2:29 PM (#537546 - in reply to #537523)
Subject: RE: Fly American!



Joined:
June 2012
Posts: 1591

Location: Lake Forest, CA
Hi Ken!

I'm glad to hear your settlement came through and that American was so generous.

arumako - 2017-09-22 9:00 AM
...now, what to do with the extra dough?


What else? Buy another guitar! LOL!
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Nancy
Posted 2017-09-24 8:44 AM (#537552 - in reply to #537546)
Subject: RE: Fly American!



Joined:
December 2014
Posts: 1630

Location: Frozen Tundra of Minnesota
I am sorry that it happened in the first place, that is always horrible when something you are so excited about arrives damaged. It takes allot of the fun out of it!

But SO Happy that you were able to get reimbursed, and get your DS Ovation fixed!!! YES!!!!!
I'll bet it sounds Incredible!!! Congratulations!!!!!
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Stuart Miller
Posted 2017-10-07 2:40 AM (#537643 - in reply to #537523)
Subject: Re: Fly American!



Joined:
August 2003
Posts: 424

Location: Lebanon, TN
I fly with a copy of this material when travelling with an instrument as hand luggage. https://www.transportation.gov/airconsumer/air-travel-musical-instru...

section 403 of the FAA Modernization and Reform Act of 2012

I had to use it recently flying back from Miami to Nashville with a dreadnnought guitar in case I had custom made for me in Nicaragua in native cocobolo while celebrating my daughters wedding down there. Firstly I was in First Class and boarding position 1. The gate agent approached me while sat at the gate and said it had to be gate checked and I said to her politely, no I didn’t want to do that. She scowled and scurried away. As we got in line to board she told me again it would have to be checked and I cited section 403 at her which caused her to scurry down the jet bridge and back again. She scanned us on and we went down to the plane. I was met outside the plane door by the cabin crew and she told me I’d have to check it as there was no room. I countered with we are in a First and we’re first on the plane so there can’t be no room in the bins. Again I cited Reg 403 to her and she looked confused, I asked her if I could speak to the captain. At this point the guy behind us who was a music producer joined in and said “this is a flight to Nashville and you’ve never seen a guitar before?” He was as pissed as I was by this time but we were both polite. She relented and said, well it won’t fit over but you can try. I entered popped it straight up and closed the bin door easily. I turned and looked at her and she scowled and swivelled.

I reported this to AAdvantage after as I’m a regular flier but not with guitars usually. They acknowledged their policy is inline with Reg 403, but they couldn’t tell me what training they give their staff on this topic. My complaint was registered and of course I’ve had no follow up.

I have a copy of the regulation as a document on my iPad, but a printed copy in your guitar case could work just as well.

Ultimately won’t help you if your last to board and there’s no space left, but if there is space in the bins, they are obliged to accept it onboard.
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moody, p.i.
Posted 2017-10-07 10:27 AM (#537644 - in reply to #537523)
Subject: Re: Fly American!


Joined:
March 2002
Posts: 15095

Location: SoCal
Not all gate personnel are anti-guitar. I don't remember the airline, but I got to the boarding gate early and explained that I wanted to take my guitar on board. She actually put me on the pre-boarding list to make certain there was room. I will always remember that kindness.....
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Love O Fair
Posted 2017-10-08 1:55 AM (#537648 - in reply to #537523)
Subject: Re: Fly American!



Joined:
February 2016
Posts: 467

Location: Spin axis of a California map
Anybody remember Hughes Air West and their bright yellow DC-9s? It was a 70's-80's thing. Anyway, I was headed early morning out of Salt Lake with a Lyle acoustic in a hard case. Not much closet space on those old bananas, but I was first on and there was room for the guitar. Great. I took my seat. Then another guy gets on and takes his seat. Still great. Then it got greater. They close the door, the engines spool up, and away we taxi. Just the guy and me. I look over my shoulder at him.. he shrugs.. and off we take. Snowing pretty hard outside, the flight girl tells us that the whole rest of the plane was supposed to be full of some government employee group, but they never showed up, and, "If you want extra breakfast we have plenty". Some wasted taxpayer money had actually worked out in my favor; and being a hungry teenager I think I ate twice-- but what I really wanted was to roam freely around the empty plane in relative privacy and show off for the cute flight attendants by playing guitar at 35,000 feet. So I did. To off-key ad nauseam, I’m sure, but what a hoot. Fun memory.
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