Flying with a Cello

My friend Paul Katz, a cellist and professor at NEC, reports on his frustrating, and white-knuckled, experience flying with his cello. Given that he, and many musicians fly all over to perform and teach, you’d think that airlines would figure this out.

I once witnessed a gate agent telling a fiddler she was out of luck as her violin was too big for under the seat. She could board at the very end and look for a spot in the overhead baggage compartment. If she couldn’t find any room, tough. She could check it, or give up on the flight. (Turned out, like Paul’s story, to have a happy ending.)

From Paul’s article in the Boston Globe (there’s also a WQXR podcast with Naomi Lewin).

So I do the unthinkable — hand my love of 45 years to a baggage handler, a nice guy who promises he will rope it down so it will not bounce, and it will be delivered to me by hand in Los Angeles.

The violent takeoff on a bumpy runway and ensuing turbulence — beverage service has just been discontinued — make me realize I have made one of the biggest mistakes of my life.

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