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Mr Cello goes viral in all-out war on airlines

The sanctions that Delta Airlines applied against Lynn Harrell and Mr Cello, broken six weeks ago on Slipped Disc, has gone viral overnight as one network site after another picked up Lynn’s blog assault on Delta – ‘we love to fly’ – Airlines.

It’s on ABC. It’s on NBC. It’s on MSN.

It’s just about everywhere except Fox (and we wouldn’t believe anything from Fox).

Weirder still, Drew McManus has alerted us to a Delta Airlines commercial with, 18 seconds into the film in, a cello being efficiently checked in…. You couldn’t make it up.

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  1. Tony Firshman says:

    … and near the end “Never let the rules overrule common sense”

  2. Michael Varcoe-Cocks says:

    Can’t we just stop this misplaced sympathy for someone claiming airmiles for a musical instrument? Ever since the introduction of airmiles programmes, most people have understood that airmiles rewarded an individual person flying, not their friends nor relatives and, even less, not their luggage.
    Whether Mr Harrell forgot the warning sent to him in 2001 or the person who arranged his travel did not tell him about it, the NBC item you link us to contains the following:-
    SkyMiles rules and conditions do state that mileage credit will not be given for “tickets purchased to carry excess baggage such as musical instruments.”
    I have been a member of a number of frequent flyer programmes over the years, but I have never thought that there was any problem in observing their terms and conditions in return for the programme benefits they GIVE me.
    What is really interesting is that Mr Harrell seemed to have been able to have opened a separate account for “Mr Cello”! As he (Mr Harrell, that is, not Mr Cello – Mr Cello seems to have been unavailable for comment) says:-
    “Over the course of my entire career, I’ve been building miles under the cello’s account and in turn, those miles help reduce the costs of flights for the cello in future trips. All of this helps keep my fees under control and ultimately passes along lower ticket prices to those buying concert tickets….. Fortunately, I never used Mr. Cello’s miles for anyone except Mr. Cello!”
    Surely Delta should have written to and cancelled Mr Cello’s account and miles – not Mr Harrell’s!
    All this confirms my view that the great creative artists – whom I admire intensely – really do live in a separate universe. God bless them!

    • ” … mileage credit will not be given for tickets purchased to carry excess baggage such as musical instruments.”

      That sounds to me as if the airline will not stupidly assign miles to something named Cello LastName, not that it’s the cello’s owner’s responsibility to make sure that the airline doesn’t do it in violation of their own policy.

      I would simply have taken that as an statement, “Hey, person traveling with a cello, your cello won’t accrue miles.” Not, “Hey, person traveling with a cello. We’ll assign miles to your cello, but we’re not supposed to. It’s YOUR job to make sure we don’t.”

      And what of the other cellist — my memory’s blanking on his name — who had this happen to him, and had the same airline apologize and transfer the thing’s miles to him?

  3. The life of an artist is always made difficult by rules and regs.
    But we just have to ARTON!

  4. Was Mr. Cello at least able to get free drinks? (Non-alcoholic of course- he wouldn’t want to damage his varnish)
    It does seem unfair not to get credit when you pay the price, but the tariff rules are clear, yet….. in this brave new world where everything is up for grabs and renegotiation, and where the big boys are stealing trillions and getting away with it while the world is going to hell in a hand basket, why should Mr. Harrell not try to renegotiate his tickets and use the media for political leverage? Hopefully he’ll pass some of the savings to his talented, but penurious students (and maybe even to those whose playing may be ugly- you never know when a Cassado might turn into a Casals).

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