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Mendy Smith

Pre-Boarding Carry On Inspection

August 12, 2008 at 4:49 AM

I made it home safe and sound, but nearly had a terrorizing viola experience. When getting on the plane in HK, they do extra security checks on your carry on luggage just before boarding. I requested to the inspector to open my viola case myself for inspection. I have done this many times in the past with no issue. No sooner than the case was open, the inspector dropped his hand heavily on top of the bridge (it was still covered by a blanket). I yelled at him "CAREFUL!!! GENTLE!!!", then removed the blanket and inspected for damaged. Luckily there was no damage (the old man is a tough old bird). I hate to admit it, but I gave the inspector a tounge lashing for nearly damaging my instrument.

The flight was delayed for 3 hours while our flight path was modified due to volcanic activity up in Alaska. They had to shift around cargo for the longer flight. Why I don't know, but I assume the airlines knew what they were doing. My 13 hour flight from HK to SFO turned into a 14 hour flight. I missed my connection, but got a later connection. Instead of getting home at 1pm, I got home at 7pm. OUCH! Tomorrow morning I get on a plane again to go to Interlochen. I'll be more wary of pre-boarding inspetions from now on!

From Larry Brandt
Posted on August 12, 2008 at 7:32 AM
Haha, shift around luggage. I very much doubt it. I mean, I know that centre of gravity is an issue with planes, but usually with commercial jets the luggage is not a big enough weight to even make a difference. They place some of it forward and some aft and it pretty much works out.

Probably just an excuse for having some technical problem which they had to get fixed!

Scary about the security checks though. I once almost had a security offier bang my instrument with his metal detector!!! I caught his hand though, afraid for a second that I could be charged with assault!

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