Travelling with a musical instrument is always difficult and often nerve wracking; here are some tips on how to ensure your instrument arrives at its destination intact.
First things first: you should try to avoid checking your instrument in the hold. Baggage handlers are sometimes more gentle with an obvious instrument case, but checked bags get treated incredibly roughly in most circumstances, even when they’re marked as fragile.
Some smaller instruments such as violins, flutes, and (sometimes) guitars, count as carry on, but there’s not always room for them in the overhead storage areas. If you’re travelling with a guitar be prepared to have to check it at the gate, as not all airlines will allow it on the plane.
For large instruments such as cellos, sometimes the best option is to buy an extra seat for it, but make sure you let the airline know 24 hours in advance.
When packing an instrument for air travel you should invest in a hard case, fill any empty spaces with soft items such as clothes or socks, and detune the strings to avoid them snapping. It’s also a good idea to get travel insurance for your instrument, as if it gets damaged by the airline they are not liable.
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To avoid pushing up base ticket prices, airlines are now raising fees on luggage, ticket changes, and other services to cover the rising cost of fuel.
“JetBlue Airways Corp. on Monday increased the price of checking a bag at the airport by $5, to $30 for a first bag and $40 for a second for the cheapest tier of fares on all routes. The carrier also raised change fees. Passengers who paid $200 or more for some tickets now face a $200 change fee, up from a $150 on fares of $150 or more previously.” Writes The Wall Street Journal.
Air Canada also recently changed fees to 30 Canadian dollars for a first checked bag, to make up some of the extra 430 million Canadian dollars spent on fuel in the first half of this year.
United also plans to charge passengers more money for economy seats closer to the front of planes later this year.
Though many airlines are charging more for extra services, most aren’t raising these fees for higher tier tickets such as passengers with elite status.
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A distraught passenger has accused Malaysia Airlines of allowing his cat - that was supposed to be transported with him on a domestic flight- to escape.
Kiran Kumar Nesarajah said in a Facebook post that ground crew at an airport in Labuan in eastern Malaysia had let the pet escape on the runway before his flight took off.
Kiran locked the pet carrier the animal was travelling in, but claims that someone opened it after the cat had been checked and did not know how to close it properly, allowing it to get out.
"Now we have a lost frightened cat hiding in a drainpipe on the runway," he wrote in the post earlier this week.
He said staff only searched for the cat for 10 minutes before giving up - and then his flight took off for Kuala Lumpur.
After landing in the capital, "flight crew and ground staff don’t know anything," he said.
"Not a single call. No one to explain what happened."
The airline said in a statement the incident was under investigation. "Malaysia Airlines gives serious care and attention to all its cargo and is looking into the matter," it said.
Image credit: Aylmer Vet Clinic
As well as the mental strain from having to deal with unruly customers, flight attendants face many physiological hazards like circadian rhythm disruptions, breathing poor-quality recycled air, and exposure to ionizing radiation from spending so much time in the upper atmosphere.
Medical scientists have been aware of the risks airline crew face for some time, but the results from the small handful of studies focused on the issue have so far been contradictory, especially when it comes to cancer.
A new study by the Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health seems to have finally made a breakthrough, after finding that a sizeable group of airline crew members had higher than normal rates of many different cancer types.
“We report a higher prevalence of every cancer outcome we examined among cabin crew relative to the general population, including breast, uterine, cervical, gastrointestinal, thyroid, melanoma, and non-melanoma skin cancers.” The team reports in the journal Environmental Health.
Image credit: The Franklin Institute
Up to 300 flights to and around France this weekend have been cancelled due to strikes.
Air traffic controllers announced industrial action at Marseille Airport yesterday and today.
As a result, EasyJet has had to cancel 208 flights passing through the airspace while Ryanair has cut around 100 planned departures, with other airlines set to follow.
Image credit: Euro News
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