Cello has no passport

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Sep 19, 2015
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#21
Cabin seat baggage is a specialized booking and should be done directly with the airline. I looked into it when transporting a work of art round trip. I called the airline directly. I would never have booked the ticket as Art H. and I would not have booked the seat under the long dead artist's name. In my case it was more advantageous to book business class and use the business closet. The OTAs are not knowledgeable about special circumstances, I am sorry to say. The problem is that the cello was booked with a name. no matter how silly it seems, but the name has to have a passport. This is the same issue if a person needs to book two seats for one passenger. Every name on the manifest has to have proper documents. I would never have booked a seat for the artwork under the dead artist's name; one call to the airline would have prevented this trauma. I do hope the airline will understand the special circumstances and how easy it is to make a mistake like this.
 
#22
I read something like this years ago. When booking a musical instrument as far as I remember and please quote me if this is wrong. You could book the reservation last name(your lastname) and first name Cello. In this article as I recall the musical instrument got frequent flier miles just by signing up the musical instrument for the Frequent Flier Program.

The boarding pass would read Smith/Cello Mr. LOL. Since when does a Cello need a passport? This is the first time I have ever heard a Cello ever having a problem traveling.

The OP could call the airline and say to add to the PNR Notes that Mr.Cello is a Musical Instrument and link it to the Passenger's seat next to the musical instrument. The airline is essentially blocking out the seat next you so instead of booking a human you are booking a musical instrument.

Another option is under Special Services you may need to fill out a Special Service request like you do for a disability and they may be able to discount your second seat but I am not sure.

I look forward to reading the OP's followup,
 
#23
Cabin seat baggage is a specialized booking and should be done directly with the airline. I looked into it when transporting a work of art round trip. I called the airline directly. I would never have booked the ticket as Art H. and I would not have booked the seat under the long dead artist's name. In my case it was more advantageous to book business class and use the business closet. The OTAs are not knowledgeable about special circumstances, I am sorry to say. The problem is that the cello was booked with a name. no matter how silly it seems, but the name has to have a passport. This is the same issue if a person needs to book two seats for one passenger. Every name on the manifest has to have proper documents. I would never have booked a seat for the artwork under the dead artist's name; one call to the airline would have prevented this trauma. I do hope the airline will understand the special circumstances and how easy it is to make a mistake like this.
I can imagine the OP going to the US Post Office to apply for a passport for a Cello. The officer says "Next" expecting the first name of the passenger to be Cello. The officer asks the Cello to take the oath that all the information is true and take the passport photo of the Cello and pays the fee.

At customs the Border Patrol Officer looks at Mr.Cello and says" Mr. Cello do you have anything to declare"?
Cello" A Note B Note C Note
Border Patrol Officer" Ok go to Green Lane
Cello" G Major A Minor"

LOL.
 
#25
Unfortunately,you know now that you should have called the airline directly and asked the best way to do this.


Start writing to the airline and lets us know what happens.
Neil ,

When I have a question or a doubt before booking an expensive ticket I have found out that its best to call the airline before booking during the planning process I will call up three airlines and ask their policies. If I am not happy with it I will just move on or be prepared with the right documentation.

A lot of the problems lie with passengers not finding out the information before they book as part of the planning process.

Just my 2 cents.
 

Neil Maley

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Dec 27, 2014
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www.promalvacations.com
#26
Neil ,

When I have a question or a doubt before booking an expensive ticket I have found out that its best to call the airline before booking during the planning process I will call up three airlines and ask their policies. If I am not happy with it I will just move on or be prepared with the right documentation.

A lot of the problems lie with passengers not finding out the information before they book as part of the planning process.

Just my 2 cents.
That's my point. OTAs are not equipped to handle these type of bookings. He would have been better off booking 2 seats in his own name.
 
Oct 5, 2015
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#27
The correct way to make this booking is to enter the name as:

-CAPPAERT/THOMAS.MR/CBBG*2ADT

And then call the airline's special services to make sure it is noted he is taking a cello in the cabin.

Some airlines may want you to code it a simple extra seat (EXST). So you can read the requirements first before booking.

Some airlines require that we provide the dimensions of the baggage in an SSR message

Sample:3S1N1.1 CBBG CELLO H135 X W48 X D31CM 50KG

This is how a pro does it.
 
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#29
What Flywisely is saying is that when a travel agent is making a reservation in a Computer Reservation System like Sabre there are codes in Passenger PNR Notes(Passenger Number Record Notes) under the Special Services requests like wheelchair that passenger has a musical instrument.

Extra seat is a special request so in this instance the OP is buying a second seat for his Cello and is requesting an extra seat and the extra seat is for a musical instrument.

Thats the best way that I can decipher this Neil from my training in Sabre.
 
#30
What Flywisely is saying is that when a travel agent is making a reservation in a Computer Reservation System like Sabre there are codes in Passenger PNR Notes(Passenger Number Record Notes) under the Special Services requests(SSR) like wheelchair that passenger has a musical instrument.

Extra seat is a special request so in this instance the OP is buying a second seat for his Cello and is requesting an extra seat and the extra seat is for a musical instrument and its weight 50KG.

This information will be passed along to the checkin counter and gate to be added to the manifest. Now one question that Fly Wisely can answer or you Neil is how would Secure Flight Information be entered for TSA and Advanced Passenger Information for international travel within a country like the EU?


Thats the best way that I can decipher this Neil from my training in Sabre.
 
Oct 5, 2015
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#31
What I am really saying is the LW should have either called the airline and booked directly or use a competent travel agent. There's coding and documentation required to buy an extra seat and put a large instrument like a cello on it. This ain't something you DIY on an OTA's website.
 
Sep 12, 2015
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#33
I've flown with my cello many times... domestically and internationally. In the olden days, it was easy to book it a seat using my last name and the first name "cello" (as TravelPlus said higher up in this thread). That changed several years ago. It became necessary to book it as cabin baggage, with a reservation under my name and the designation "EXST" for extra seat (as Flywisely said).

There are very specific FTA rules about seating. The seats MUST be in the bulkhead (which may or may not cost extra, depending on the airline). The cello has to go in the window seat, and I have to sit next to it in the middle seat. The cello has to be belted low-enough into the seat so that the person behind it does not have his/her exit blocked in an emergency.

I always book directly with the airline by phone, and am usually successful in getting them to waive the extra fee for premium seating and the fee for booking by phone. I insist that they put a note in the record about the reason for the extra seat and the FTA rule about the bulkhead, so there's less chance of losing those seats. Despite all of those precautions, I still get to the airport really early, as neither the airline agents or the TSA people have any idea what a cello is. (When they say "is that a guitar", I always smile politely and say "yes".)

And one last thing if you're travelling internationally -- it's important to carry with you the receipt from when you purchased the cello (or you can go to the airport in advance and get a declaration of value). If not, they'll try to charge you duty on it when you return.

Sure wish Mrs. Sandberg had given me a flute instead of a cello in third grade.
 

Neil Maley

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Dec 27, 2014
18,927
17,142
113
New York
www.promalvacations.com
#34
I've flown with my cello many times... domestically and internationally. In the olden days, it was easy to book it a seat using my last name and the first name "cello" (as TravelPlus said higher up in this thread). That changed several years ago. It became necessary to book it as cabin baggage, with a reservation under my name and the designation "EXST" for extra seat (as Flywisely said).

There are very specific FTA rules about seating. The seats MUST be in the bulkhead (which may or may not cost extra, depending on the airline). The cello has to go in the window seat, and I have to sit next to it in the middle seat. The cello has to be belted low-enough into the seat so that the person behind it does not have his/her exit blocked in an emergency.

I always book directly with the airline by phone, and am usually successful in getting them to waive the extra fee for premium seating and the fee for booking by phone. I insist that they put a note in the record about the reason for the extra seat and the FTA rule about the bulkhead, so there's less chance of losing those seats. Despite all of those precautions, I still get to the airport really early, as neither the airline agents or the TSA people have any idea what a cello is. (When they say "is that a guitar", I always smile politely and say "yes".)

And one last thing if you're travelling internationally -- it's important to carry with you the receipt from when you purchased the cello (or you can go to the airport in advance and get a declaration of value). If not, they'll try to charge you duty on it when you return.

Sure wish Mrs. Sandberg had given me a flute instead of a cello in third grade.
Thank you for this very informative information. We need to remember this if it ever comes up again.
 
Likes: travelplus
#35
"Dear Airline:

explain the Cello catasprophe.

"This never should have happened. You need to have adequately trained employees at the your airpoorts who know your rules as well as those of the applicable governments. Only human beings are required to possess passports for travel. Musical instruments are not human beings. They are inanimate objects. For your employees to apply rules for humans to musical instruments shows a lack both of adequate training, as well as common sense.

At no location on your website is any information on traveling with musical instruments. None of your airport employees knew what those rules are. Moreover, they applied human rules to an inanimate object. That shows an utter lack of training.

As a passenger I should be able to rely on your people being properly trained. Your contract applies to me, even if I have not read the provisions. It applies to you as well, whether your staff know it or not. This lack of training cost me $XXXX. I expect a refund to the original form of payment within 10 days."
 
Oct 5, 2015
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#36
I've flown with my cello many times... domestically and internationally. In the olden days, it was easy to book it a seat using my last name and the first name "cello" (as TravelPlus said higher up in this thread). That changed several years ago. It became necessary to book it as cabin baggage, with a reservation under my name and the designation "EXST" for extra seat (as Flywisely said).

There are very specific FTA rules about seating. The seats MUST be in the bulkhead (which may or may not cost extra, depending on the airline). The cello has to go in the window seat, and I have to sit next to it in the middle seat. The cello has to be belted low-enough into the seat so that the person behind it does not have his/her exit blocked in an emergency.

I always book directly with the airline by phone, and am usually successful in getting them to waive the extra fee for premium seating and the fee for booking by phone. I insist that they put a note in the record about the reason for the extra seat and the FTA rule about the bulkhead, so there's less chance of losing those seats. Despite all of those precautions, I still get to the airport really early, as neither the airline agents or the TSA people have any idea what a cello is. (When they say "is that a guitar", I always smile politely and say "yes".)

And one last thing if you're travelling internationally -- it's important to carry with you the receipt from when you purchased the cello (or you can go to the airport in advance and get a declaration of value). If not, they'll try to charge you duty on it when you return.

Sure wish Mrs. Sandberg had given me a flute instead of a cello in third grade.
Just want to say I really liked your post. Excellent advise.
 
Likes: Bethieherbie
May 24, 2016
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#38
What if he had also gotten Tom Cello a passport- it would be so funny if he just handed it over when "they" boarded and the airline said ok, you are good to board now. It sounds like a New Yorker cartoon.

I can just see that passport.... Tom Cello. Birthplace, Cremona, Italy. Birthdate: 1/1/1695...

Tilt...tilt...tilt!!!

I suspect this one is going to take some high level untangling, alas. Are there US and/or Ecuadorian musicians' unions that can assist?
My question is this: Would the Cello earn miles? Get a meal? A seat upgrade? Would it complain about the person next to it who snores and write a post at Elliott.org?
 
May 24, 2016
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#40
I do not know what I would have done. Maybe experience would tell me to call the airline directly and not use Orbitz. But I gotta ask:

How can people know of do's and do not do's that we have found or read in this site BEFORE they book flights? That's all I got to say.