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Author: Subject: Ouds on Southwest Airlines
DavidJE
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[*] posted on 7-12-2016 at 10:48 PM
Ouds on Southwest Airlines


Hello,

I'm going to be flying from Austin to New Orleans on Southwest in about two weeks. I've never flown Southwest before, so I'm wondering if any of you have flown Southwest with an oud and if you've had any problems getting in an overhead bin or in a storage closet. I'm going to have a soft case this time, so it won't be too big. Thanks!
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Jody Stecher
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[*] posted on 7-13-2016 at 12:46 AM


Southwest is usually the most instrument-friendly airline in the USA. Their main concern is getting boarded and taking off on time. An oud is small and will not slow down the boarding process. Just walk on as if you've flown with an oud a hundred times. you are likely to get a smile and a welcoming comment about your instrument from the stewardesses. You can purchase Early Bird boarding from SW for just a few dollars. This will help insure a place in the overhead. I say "help" because there are no guarantees about flying.
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DavidJE
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[*] posted on 7-13-2016 at 03:24 AM


Thank you Jody! That's good to know. :)
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Eric Stern Music
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[*] posted on 7-14-2016 at 03:31 PM


I echo Jody's experience with Southwest. I used to tour with a full-sized ACCORDION in a soft case and I never had any problems with them. The nice thing about Southwest is that even for short jaunts their planes are always the same size (I think 747, or whatever's the big one). Yes, get the early bird for sure and then try not to bite your nails as you watch the other passengers put their luggage in the same overhead compartment as your precious baby.
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Jody Stecher
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[*] posted on 7-14-2016 at 06:42 PM


Quote: Originally posted by Eric Stern Music  
I echo Jody's experience with Southwest. I used to tour with a full-sized ACCORDION in a soft case and I never had any problems with them. The nice thing about Southwest is that even for short jaunts their planes are always the same size (I think 747, or whatever's the big one). Yes, get the early bird for sure and then try not to bite your nails as you watch the other passengers put their luggage in the same overhead compartment as your precious baby.


Southwest uses a variety of 737 aircraft with 3 seats on each side and an aisle between them. 747 is ever so much wider, longer and higher and is generally laid out with 2 aisles which separate a central row of seats which contain more seats than the seats on the other side of each aisle which may contain 2 or 3 seats. the overhead compartments on the aisles of a 747 are ample but potentially tricky for an oud in a soft case because the contents of the compartment will shift when closing and opening the doors. These compartments are not found on a 737 (SW) because there is no central seating.
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Eric Stern Music
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[*] posted on 7-15-2016 at 09:34 AM


Thanks for clarifying the difference, as I said I wasn't sure which one they used, and it sounds like bigger's not always better when it comes to planes. Anyway my point is Southwest always use the same sized plane (and it sounds like that's the optimal size for overhead baggage), so you don't have to worry, as I have on other airlines, that on a connecting flight you'll get stuck with a much smaller plane with much less overhead capacity.
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Gocauo
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[*] posted on 7-19-2016 at 08:32 AM


This is the FAA's Final Rule on Musical Instruments

Last Page Part 251.

(a) The instrument can be stowed safely in a suitable baggage compartment in the aircraft cabin or under a passenger seat, in accordance with the requirements for carriage of carry-on baggage or cargo established by
the FAA; and
(b) There is space for such stowage at the time the passenger boards the
aircraft.


https://www.transportation.gov/sites/dot.gov/files/docs/Musical%20in...
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Jody Stecher
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[*] posted on 7-19-2016 at 10:26 AM


Yes that is the rule, that is law, but most airlines do not abide by it. Sure, you can demand compensation for the broken instrument that they claim must be checked luggage because they don't have room (although they are lying because there is *always* room for an oud) but which would we all rather have, money or our precious oud? That's why I recommend Southwest. They were not always instrument-friendly. In the 1990s they were downright hostile to musicians and to their instruments. But they realized they could catch more flies with honey than with vinegar.

Common sense says that if can be demonstrated to fit in the overhead compartment then it fits in the overhead compartment. If it fits then it fits. Basic common sense. But in this day and age many people are not swayed by facts and empirical evidence. If they believe it doesn't fit or if they say it doesn't fit, even though they believe nothing at all about it, then their word is law because they have the power to deny you to right to board the aircraft if they don't like the color of your socks. And not everyone who works for Southwest is friendly. One time I spoke up on behalf of a passenger whose flight connections at LAX had been messed up by Southwest and the little twerp with a Napoleon Bonaparte complex behind the counter threatened to cancel my ticket if I didn't shut my mouth immediately.

Quote: Originally posted by Gocauo  
This is the FAA's Final Rule on Musical Instruments

Last Page Part 251.

(a) The instrument can be stowed safely in a suitable baggage compartment in the aircraft cabin or under a passenger seat, in accordance with the requirements for carriage of carry-on baggage or cargo established by
the FAA; and
(b) There is space for such stowage at the time the passenger boards the
aircraft.


[url]https://www.transportation.gov/sites/dot.gov/files/docs/Musical%20instruments_FR_final%20rule.pdf
[/url]
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