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Author: Subject: Austrian Airlines & Ouds
fernandraynaud
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[*] posted on 7-30-2015 at 10:33 PM


"It is the business class passengers that keep the company floating; they bring in lots of money and there are 35 per aircraft maximum"

... just as long as they don't realize you are using up one of the 35 BizClass seats using your Frequent Flier Miles ;-)

All of the advice sounds good. The "it's routine, with quiet confidence, valuable LUTE, compassion and humanity" collection is IMHO effective.

I don't think you need this one, but I once had to fly from a lesser city to Frankfurt, on a smallish plane with a Sukar in a Sukar hardcase. It was looking grim, so I limped up to the ticket counter. After some discussion and a short wait I just put the lute, in its case, on my lap, and was ferried on the wheelchair through security, and into the plane through the opening they bring those food carts through! The lute was effectively invisible, like my hat; they stuffed both in the Captain's closet, as an afterthought. Frankfurt's a big hub, with a million security barriers. It's a LOT nicer riding through that on a wheelchair too. The funniest part was that I had two "attendants" in Frankfurt. One big beefy blond, and a thin darker-skinned man who pretended to know as little about my "lute" as the big blond. But once alone with me in the elevator he turned to me, and laughed, and we had a nice talk about ouds and maqamat.

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DavidJE
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[*] posted on 9-11-2015 at 10:29 AM


I figured I should finally update this...

I brought my oud to the Austrian Airlines check-in and decided to ask them if it would be ok to bring it on-board. It was the only opportunity I would have to give it back to my wife before being stuck in transit. The Austrian employee told me it would be no problem as long as it fit in the overhead. So I brought it on without anyone saying anything.

When I sat down in the lounge in Vienna with my oud, before boarding, I looked next to me and saw another oud. When I looked at the passenger it was Simon Shaheen!

Unfortunately right after I saw Simon I received a message from my brother that my mom was in the intensive care unit on a ventilator in New Orleans. She had choked on her food while eating just a couple of hours before, and had no oxygen for more than 10 minutes. I tried to change my connecting flight in New Jersey to get home faster, and I was able to switch to a very small plane with only 50 passengers and no business seating. I also had no problem with my oud on that flight. The flight attendant put it in the storage closet.

When I got to New Orleans I went straight to the hospital and joined my family there. Sadly, my mom's brain was severely damaged and after about 24 hours myself and my family gave the doctors permission to turn the ventilator off. My mom died about a day after I arrived...thus my reason for not posting about this sooner. My mom was only 63 years old and healthy, so it has been very hard for myself and my family.

I mention what happened here as a reminder that any of us or the people we love can die at any time, even due to a crazy accident. It is so important to enjoy yourself as much as you can, and to spend as much time with the people you love as possible.
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hans
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[*] posted on 9-13-2015 at 04:55 AM


I am very sorry for you. Especially at the age of 63 all this must feel very wrong
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Mehran
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[*] posted on 9-13-2015 at 01:46 PM


I am so sorry for your loss David. This is a terrible tragedy. My best and kindest thoughts for you and your family.
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Mike
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[*] posted on 9-13-2015 at 07:48 PM


So sorry for you loss David. Condolences to you and the whole family. Thoughts and prayers.



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DavidJE
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[*] posted on 9-13-2015 at 10:01 PM


Thanks guys. I'd like to add, my parents were eating at their favorite restaurant when it happened, and my mom was having a great time. She went out quickly and really didn't know what happened. So although it is very hard for us, she died having a good time.
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