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Old Sep 29, 2011, 3:20 PM
harpgrrl harpgrrl is offline
Join Date: Sep 2011
Posts: 4
Thumbs down Cathy Airline treats musicians like criminals

I have a specially designed harp that fits all airline over head bins. It was $2000 and lets me go away and jam with all sorts of musicians. I am pro so it was worth it.

The people at the counter were extremely rude and asked what I was doing with this small little case. I told them it was a specially designer harp and showed that it fit within the guidelines. They were horrible and told me it had to be checked and if I didn't check it I would have to do it at the gate and there would be an extra charge.

When I got to the gate I was actively harassed again by the gate employees...and the flight attendents
Guess what??? The harp easily fit in the overhead bin. This happened both ways.

I emailed a complaint and got the same trashy line from their customer support. It didn't matter that the harp fit all their guide lines-they just seem to hate all musicians.

Old Sep 29, 2011, 10:50 PM
jimworcs jimworcs is offline
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Shropshire, England
Posts: 3,197

Which bit of this involves criminals?
Old Oct 3, 2011, 4:39 PM
harpgrrl harpgrrl is offline
Join Date: Sep 2011
Posts: 4
Default which part is criminal???

the instrument in question is in a backpack clearly marked "HARP". Keep in mind it is a SMALL backpack.

everywhere in Cathy Pacific territory I went I was accosted by one of there employees who saw my instrument on back went out of their way to say "you can't take that on the plane. it is not going to fit in the bin. You're gonna have to check it". They came to me and just started talking at me.

I am a touring musician and have NEVER had airplane employees come up and get in face about a small backpacked instrument. It was like a bunch of cops coming up and saying over and over "what are you doing? you can't stand there"

So the employees made me feel like a criminal.

And at the end of the day, the instrument totally fit in the overhead bin.

And this happened both ways. sigh.
Old Nov 18, 2011, 6:24 AM
mote-d mote-d is offline
Join Date: Oct 2011
Posts: 2

Dear criminal,

I am actually quite pleased to hear of an airline checking the in flight baggage, although they should be polite about it. It sounds like they were'nt and that is the bit which is inexcusable i am fed up with traveling and finding the overhead locker already full with someone's suitcase on wheels. It is incredible what some people take on board.
Old Nov 18, 2011, 8:21 AM
jimworcs jimworcs is offline
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Shropshire, England
Posts: 3,197

The trend towards people taking more and more onboard, in giant suitcases, is the law of unintended consequences in action. To try to mislead the public about the actual fares, airlines have "unbundled" the services they offer and instead charge for them separately. Luggage was unbundled and now has to paid for separately. As a result, people seek to travel with hand luggage only and the pressure on overhead storage in the cabin becomes enormous. This does require significantly greater enforcement of the hand baggage rules or risk a fist fight between passengers in the cabin.

The point made in the original complaint makes me suspect that this may not have met the criteria. The criteria is not that it would fit easily into the overhead bin, but that it is confined to these dimensions - 56x36x23cm (22x14x9 in). The OP says it did.... I have my doubts that a harp, no matter how specially designed would fit these limitations. There is a reason that the Cathay staff picked on this particular luggage.... my guess is that the shape did not conform.
Old Dec 12, 2011, 8:38 PM
Airline Employee (NOT OFFICIAL REP)
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: Bangkok, Thailand
Posts: 42


I have to agree, in part, with Jim on this.. Only from what the OP writes, and since no clear objective measurements are provided, I tend to agree that CX's staff were probably looking to insure it met their cabin baggage standards as disclosed online..

That said, as it is with any customer-staff interaction, a lot of the overall impact can be made better, or worse, by exactly HOW does that interaction take place...

I do think that in a great many of cases that a request for verification of size/compliance be made without it it turning into an accusatory or similar encounter.. it's very much in the tact.. the approach..

Sure, some people will see it in a negative light no matter how it's approached, that's life, but I do think that most people are reasonable and can understand and accept reasonable requests when presented appropriately.

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