I can’t hold my tongue anymore. After months of silence due to a legal battle I was involved in, I have to let you all know about Cathay Pacific Airline’s horrible treatment of my instruments.
After an early morning argument with the gate attendants about bringing my instruments on board (denied) and a tense 8 hour flight (half-empty) from Australia to Hong Kong, I received my bass and guitar at baggage claim, both necks destroyed. The neck of the guitar, a late 90s American Standard Strat, was splintered into two halves, held together by the now S-shaped truss rod. The headstock of my 1975 P Bass was snapped clean off the rest of the neck. As you can imagine, this was an absolutely crushing discovery. The airline claims no liability, and refuses to reimburse me for the full value of the instruments. Thankfully, Matt Brewster at 30th St Guitars was able to miraculously bring my bass back from the dead so that I can play it, but its value as a vintage instrument has dropped to basically nothing. Matt told me that the only way that damage could have occurred was from 2 tons of pressure, i.e. the necks were run over by a truck.
Over the 4 flights I took during that tour and the battles since then, I had contact with just about every level of employee at Cathay Pacific; flight attendants, gate attendants, gate supervisors, baggage supervisors, as well as their insurance and legal departments. At every turn I was up against apathy, sarcasm and spite for me and my profession. The idea that my instrument was too important and too fragile to be thrown under the plane was a concept that they understood and willfully ignored.
Do yourself a favor, and don’t fly Cathay Pacific. If you’ve been booked on their airline outside of your control, tell the promoter they’d better rent instruments for you, because you won’t bring yours on Cathay Pacific.
Please share this as much as possible, I don’t want anybody else to be blindsided like I was.