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Oh, no! Another cello is smashed by airline




Peter Hollo, a member of the quartet FourPlay, was flying Qantas on Friday from Sydney to Tamworth. This is what he found when he retrieved his cello case from the hold.

The cello, worth A$8,000, was packed in a A$3,000 carbon fibre case. Peter, who has owned it for a dozen years, suspects it must have been run over.

He borrowed an instrument for the concert from a local cello teacher and was pleased by the response from Qantas, which apologised for the accident, launched an investigation and asked him to submit a damage claim. More here.


photo (c) Peter Hollo

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  1. First, $3000 for the case?! Someone was robbed. I get if a forklift ran over it or a small utility truck, but there’s no way the damage was caused by dropping. I would inquire with the company who made the case regarding their warranty.
    Second, if an airline or any major corporation states they are “launching an investigation” they’re actually telling you they are going to do very little, if anything. It’s like saying “I’ll put it on my list of things to do.” and it’s just babble to get those questioning them off their backs. I do it all the time at the office. (It’s surprisingly effective!)
    Lastly, he checked his cello? Big mistake.

    • Notwithstanding the way you may use the phrase in your own professional life, Max, “launching an investigation” in this instance might just possibly mean that Qantas is going to try to find out where exactly the cello went, which individuals handled it where and, just possibly, how the damage actually occurred – rather than simply grabbing some baggage handler at random and firing him for the incident.

      It really does speak well for the airline that they immediately apologized and gave the go-ahead to file a damage claim. that indicates at least some good faith.

      As for the supposed folly of checking the cello – Mr. Hollo’s destination, Tamworth, NSW, is a city of fewer than 50,000 souls way out in the country. Airlines don’t fly large jets with spacious cabins to cities that size; they fly small commuter planes. If Mr. Hollo didn’t keep his cello in the cabin with him, it’s almost certainly because there was no room in the cabin for it.

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