Pianotech

  • 1.  Tuning lever in cabin bag when flying

    Posted 05-26-2022 06:04
    Tuning internationally for concerts and festivals I rely on the airline I use in Europe being willing to put a cabin bag in the hold of an aircraft cheaply, for much less than they charge for standard hold luggage.

    However, that's now changed . . .

    In theory tradesman's tools are prohibited from carry-on cabin bags.

    What might be the position with respect to a tuning lever?

    Rather than something that has sharp edges or can be used as a hammer I travel with the one I've used for decades most similar to this https://www.fletcher-newman.co.uk/index.php?l=product_detail&p=1152 without sharp edges.

    I normally have also a pair of Papps wedges and a pair of felts.

    Best wishes

    David P

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    David Pinnegar BSc ARCS
    Hammerwood Park, East Grinstead, Sussex, UK
    +44 1342 850594
    "High Definition" Tuning
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  • 2.  RE: Tuning lever in cabin bag when flying

    Registered Piano Technician
    Posted 05-26-2022 12:31
    In the US you definitely risk having a tuning lever confiscated, if you put it in your carry on luggage. Either put it in checked baggage, or UPS or FedEx your tools ahead. Checked baggage may be rummaged through by TSA agents (looking for bad stuff), or simply lost by the airline. Have duplicate tools safe at home. European colleagues can let you know if these circumstances apply in your areas.

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    Patrick Draine RPT
    Billerica MA
    (978) 663-9690
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  • 3.  RE: Tuning lever in cabin bag when flying

    Registered Piano Technician
    Posted 05-26-2022 12:55

    Here in the USA, if it looks like it could be used to hit someone with, TSA will confiscate it. Remember, this is the most enthusiastic and effective arm of the government (hear the sarcasm in my voice?). They'll harass a mother into drinking her own breastmilk from her baby's bottle to prove its not a bomb, but will let certain individuals bypass security lines if they pay extra and vouch online that they won't bring anything dangerous onto the plane. 

    And if you're flying in from out-of-country, you'll also deal with Customs. It's just easier to put your tools in your checked luggage rather than try to convince multiple checkpoints that it's not a weapon. 



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    Benjamin Sanchez, RPT
    Piano Technician / Artisan
    (256) 947-9999
    www.professional-piano-services.com
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  • 4.  RE: Tuning lever in cabin bag when flying

    Registered Piano Technician
    Posted 05-26-2022 13:34
    David - 
    One  doesn't need sharp edges to bludgeon someone or something.  On the other hand, if you carry an instruction sheet, showing the intended use of the tool, that's might help.  Perhaps you could do a trial-run with a trashy tool and see how it goes.






  • 5.  RE: Tuning lever in cabin bag when flying

    Registered Piano Technician
    Posted 05-26-2022 18:09
    The first time I took my tuning exam was at a national convention in something like 2005. I only had carry on and, since I had to bring my own hammer for the exam, the hammer was in there. When they went through my carry on bag and found the hammer, even after I explained what it was and why it was there, the guy admitted that it was not technically a dangerous weapon but that it could be used as, in his terms, a "shillelagh". He told me I could not carry on my carry-on bag myself but he consented to put a tag on it and made sure it was stored in the cabin. All I needed to do upon arrival was to let the flight attendant at the door know that it was there and they gave it back to me. 

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    Geoff Sykes, RPT
    Los Angeles CA
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