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Double reed players on airlines

Groovekiller

Distinguished Member
Distinguished Member
#1
The oboe/English horn player in the orchestra tonight told me this story:

He flew from south Florida to Washington D.C. and carried his oboe and English horn on to the plane with him. The TSA (Transportation Security Administration) security guards took his English horn bocal and accused him of smuggling a "crack pipe."

They also found his spool of wire for making reeds and asked him, "Are you going to make anything with this?"

He replied, "Yes, some reeds." The TSA didn't know what he was talking about.

I have no comment about this, but I'd like to know if musicians from Canada and Europe endure the same experiences.
 

Groovekiller

Distinguished Member
Distinguished Member
#3
Elmer Fudd

How true. You are dealing here with someone who would be seriously inclined to speak with the Elmer Fudd accent, as long as it wouldn't get me thrown in jail.

However, the oboe player in question is a young, talented oboe/English horn player who should not be subjected to the inquisitions of 8 dollar an hour idiots from the TSA.

There. I've done it. I have identified myself as a liberal, elitist musician who wants the TSA to leave us alone. It's bad enough getting a big horn, like a baritone saxophone, onto an airplane without it being destroyed. Why do we have to put up with stupidity about a 12" X 18" double reed case?

Spend some money on security for the airlines. Let artists move from country to country without getting their instruments destroyed.
 

Heckelphone

Double Reed CE
Staff member
CE/Moderator
#5
pre-TSA

In my student days, I used to carry a flute in my backpack when I flew. Apparently, it looks a lot like a pipe bomb on the xray machine...
 

Groovekiller

Distinguished Member
Distinguished Member
#6
Young people typically don't know this simple trick: "Ask for the supervisor/manager". I have never had it not work. And as a manager, I *really* appreciate moderating some of my worst performers. No, really... :cool:
This is perhaps the most productive post on this subject I've ever seen on a newsgroup.
I'm going to try it.

Also, dress like a businessman. Suit, with tie. Speaks volumes.

Brilliant cornet player Warren Vache modified his cornet with a screw-bell much like a French horn. He also had a case made for his horn that looked like a briefcase. Why? Because he "wouldn't look like a musician."
 

Gandalfe

Admin and all around good guy.
Staff member
Administrator
#7
In my student days, I used to carry a flute in my backpack when I flew. Apparently, it looks a lot like a pipe bomb on the xray machine...
I flew with a flute a couple years back. And come to think of it, my metal clarinet on another trip. In both cases I was asked to play the instrument in question. Fortunately I have some memorized material that worked well against the equipment percusion noise in the room.

Then there was the box of metal sax mouthpieces (alto, tenor, and bari) that I was trying to unload, ur sell. I thought they were gonna shoot me! ;)
 

jbtsax

Distinguished Member
Distinguished Member
#8
Not to start a row here, but calling any group of individuals "8 dollar an hour idiots" seems to be painting people with a very broad brush.

If I stopped 30 people on a busy city street and showed them an English horn bocal and asked them if they knew what it was how many do you think would get the correct answer?

I for one fly quite often and appreciate the hardworking individuals of the TSA who do a very demanding and important job, and have to put up with a lot of crap from rude and ignorant passengers every day.
 
#9
I flew from Toronto to Rome with a connection in Paris and I didn't have any issues with flying with my flute and clarinet.

Other than in Toronto, no one even did anything beyond asking me what it was. In Toronto they opened both my flute and clarinet case and kindly listened when I politely asked them not to open the cases upside down.

To cut down on any issues, I took out everything in my flute case except my thumb port and everything in my clarinet case except my mouthpiece and reed case. All my stands/tools/unopened reeds/swabs etc... I left in my checked luggage.
 

pete

Brassica Oleracea
Staff member
Administrator
#10
Not to start a row here, but calling any group of individuals "8 dollar an hour idiots" seems to be painting people with a very broad brush.

If I stopped 30 people on a busy city street and showed them an English horn bocal and asked them if they knew what it was how many do you think would get the correct answer?

I for one fly quite often and appreciate the hardworking individuals of the TSA who do a very demanding and important job, and have to put up with a lot of crap from rude and ignorant passengers every day.
/me: Nods agreement.

I've heard a lot of stuff about the TSA, both positive and negative. However, I think that their biggest issue is that they sometimes have to adapt to new rules on a daily basis. While I can completely accept that there are some TSA folks that abuse their authority, I think most are just trying to cope with a situation that changes very, very rapidly. Aside from that, does anyone here know exactly what they're supposed to be looking for? No peeking on the TSA website. It could be that person X was taken away for a thorough pat-down because he didn't comply with some regulation, because he didn't bother checking their website.

The TSA is a no-win scenario example. If there's no security, what's to stop someone from hijacking a plane? If there's too much, people will complain. If we just do away with the TSA, hundreds of thousands of folks are out of a job. Tell me that that's not going to effect the economy.

IMO, I'd like the TSA to have a good guideline in place and I'd like all travelers to know what it is. I'd also like to say that if they think that someone is "suspicious" that they'd refer the person to trained police or TSA folks specifically trained for that duty. Hey, I just don't want it to go back to having the National Guard in the airport wielding machine guns. I think THAT'S too much.
 
#11
I'm sorry....:emoji_flushed:
but until you've encountered a TSA schloob while you're wearing a kilt & carrying a set of bagpipes trying to board a plane for a gig, you havent yet known *true* invasive searching. :eek:
 

pete

Brassica Oleracea
Staff member
Administrator
#13
It'd be worse if you were carrying a kilt and wearing a bagpipe.
 

pete

Brassica Oleracea
Staff member
Administrator
#15
It's still an interesting visual ....
 
#17
The last time I flew with a bari, I remember getting lots of questions about the 2 metal mouthpieces I had in my laptop bag. I explained what they were and that I was carrying them on in case the airline lost or damaged my bari, which they refused to let me carry on.
 

pete

Brassica Oleracea
Staff member
Administrator
#18
I've seen this joked about in many places, but it's actually quite accurate: the battery in your laptop can cause a series of quite energetic explosions if it's either faulty or short-circuited. Note how many explosions happened in that linky: as many as the cells you have in the battery, which is a minimum of 4.

Equally amusing is what happens if you overclock your computer too much.

Anyhow, I don't think an English horn bocal is as dangerous as this. However, it might be, depending on the performer :p.
 
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