I have to be so careful how I pack these days. The airlines have made it so difficult to travel. I am going to Italy for 4-5 days and playing with Italian musicians in Napoli at Round Midnight Jazz Club, and then on the 26th I am meeting my New York band of Allen Farnham, Dean Johnson, and Tim Horner for 8 or 9 concerts through Switzerland and Germany. I can’t wait as we are so well received in Europe. Anyway I need bring a lot of product with me to sell at the concerts. One time I sold 48 units after one set at Chorus Jazz Club in Lausanne Switzerland, so I need to come prepared with a lot of product. Well you can’t carry 100 cd’s + clothes and everything else in your check on bag. Much to heavy and the airlines are just out to get you this day. They charge for absolutely everything. Someday we will pay for air. “Hello sir would like some air. It is only 5 dollars. We accept visa, MasterCard, and American Express.” So I bought a nice Swiss carry on bag that can hold my mallets, music, personal items and about 80 CD’s, and I will pack 50 in my suitcase. The European flights for this tour are on Easy Jet. They charge for weight of bags. It is totally ridiculous. Years ago I used to bring my vibes on the planes when touring with Jackie and Roy as well as Peggy Lee and Larry Coryell. Those days are over. It would cost me 1000 dollars to get on a plane today with that kind of weight. So I prepared very well and I arrived at the US Airlines check in counter only to be charged 55 dollars to put a second bag on the plane. Who the hell dreams up these figures? 55 dollars? How absolutely ridiculous. Everything these airlines are doing is a direct conflict with what president Obama is trying to accomplish. They are just raping people left and right. I was never notified of the rules of US Air when I got my ticket, and no rules were attached to my E ticket in the email. Totally taking advantage of people as once you arrive at the check in counter it is too late. Unless of course I wanted to add the vibraphone bars I am traveling with as a second carry on. That would have been fun to as they weigh around 40 pounds, and I had a 3-hour layover in Philadelphia, before my flight to Rome. I used mileage for my flight as I paid 2100 us dollars for my rhythm section to fly to Geneva and back to New York from Zurich. Even with the mileage US Air racked a bunch ridiculous charges to add onto the mileage ticket. It still cost me 350 dollars to get on that plane. Plus the 55 dollars they whacked me for at the counter. I will never fly US Air again, or should I say US SCARE! I was on a prop plane to Philadelphia for the first leg. The same type of plane that my friend Gerry Neiwood perished in last year on a 45 minute flight on Continental Airlines from New York to Buffalo for a concert with Chuck Mangione. How sick is that. The poor guy was just trying to get to work. He had to die doing it. I was definitely scared on that small plane. US SCARELINES!!
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February 23, 2010
Airline scams, jazz education, Jazz in Europe | Tags: Airline scams, Allen Farnham, Dean Johnson, Italian jazz, Jazz, Luigi Ruberti, Mark Sherman, Tim Horner, US Air, vibes, Vibraphone |