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Should I take any care while flying my concertina? Changes in air pressure?


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I have finally got the opportunity to buy a concertina, I will ship it to a family member that will them bring it to my country.

 

I will be buying a Wren 2 Concertina. I have told him that the instrument comes with a hard case but it would be good if he could put it inside a hard case suitcase and in the middle, sorrounded by clothes.

 

He will not be carrying the instrument with him, it will be in the cargo compartment. Should I take any action like telling him to put a tape in the AIR button so the concertina can breathe in and out the air as the pressure changes?.

 

Has anyone had a similar experience? if so, has the concertina worked properly? Should I take any other measures or will the instrument be fine?

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I’m pretty sure (but it’s worth checking with the airline to be certain) that the baggage compartment is pressurized, and that animals are often transported that way. Putting tape over the vent button is easy and inexpensive, so if it will give you peace of mind, go ahead. But it is probably unnecessary.

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....and beware the hyper-sensitivity of Security men and their scanners and their "What the 'heck' is that" approach ?  Protecting stuff can make it look as if efforts are being made to 'hide' it and encourage suspicion .....would it not be better as hand-luggage ?  

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Concertinas are regularly shipped, often (nearly always?) by air, with no "accompanying" persons on the plane.  I've never experienced or even heard of the sort of problem which seems to concern you.

 

What's more, any pressure difference in a cargo hold can't be more than 1 atmosphere... the difference between the pressure at the Earth's surface and the vacuum of outer space.  Although I haven't tried to measure it, I'm pretty sure that the pressure difference created by squeezing the bellows regularly exceeds that, even with air flowing through the reeds.

 

So my take:  It's a non-issue.

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3 hours ago, Sprunghub said:

....and beware the hyper-sensitivity of Security men and their scanners and their "What the 'heck' is that" approach ?  Protecting stuff can make it look as if efforts are being made to 'hide' it and encourage suspicion

 

And note that with checked luggage, you will not be present when they check it, so you'll have no opportunity to explain.

 

Meanwhile, most airlines allow (or at least did, pre-pandemic) a separate small piece -- e.g., a camera or purse -- to be carried on, in addition to regular "carry on".  My standard-sized concertinas (one at a time) have always been allowed under that rule.  My bigger ones just don't fly.  I never allow a concertina into the "hands" of a baggage handler.

Edited by JimLucas
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I've seen mention on these forums that it is wise to describe the instrument as a "small accordion" and avoid the word "concertina" when flying, because "concertina wire" is on the list of forbidden items.  Of course these shouldn't be confused, but security people may only be looking at lists, not understanding the meaning.  I took care to do this myself when I have flown with a concertina.  It may not be a real concern, but why take a chance?  I don't know what country your family member will be travelling from, or what country you live in, but the possibility for misunderstanding is there, even if English is the primary language.

 

And I agree, air pressure shouldn't be a concern, but I would always choose to carry as hand luggage, not checked.  I hope you can convince your family member to do the same.

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1 hour ago, JimLucas said:

I never allow a concertina into the "hands" of a baggage handler.

Having watched baggage handlers on the tarmac play 'basket ball' with luggage then I agree with this advice.

 

Anyone else remember this song?

 

 

Edited by Don Taylor
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The maximum possible change in air pressure if you send the concertina into space is one atmosphere, which is 1 Bar or around 14.5 psi.

 

However, the actual drop in air pressure  as the plane goes up is less as the plane does not go all the way to the top of the atmosphere, and the change is gradual.  The instrument will adjust.

 

Not a problem.  I know many people who have flown with reeded instruments in their hold luggage.

 

 

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5 hours ago, JimLucas said:

Concertinas are regularly shipped, often (nearly always?) by air, with no "accompanying" persons on the plane.  I've never experienced or even heard of the sort of problem which seems to concern you.

 

What's more, any pressure difference in a cargo hold can't be more than 1 atmosphere... the difference between the pressure at the Earth's surface and the vacuum of outer space.  Although I haven't tried to measure it, I'm pretty sure that the pressure difference created by squeezing the bellows regularly exceeds that, even with air flowing through the reeds.

 

So my take:  It's a non-issue.

No, nowhere near. Around 15 psi over the cross sectional area of the bellows would give a force of several hundred pounds. (Apologies for imperial units!)

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If you can convince your family member to include it in hand luggage - even if it means you pay for them to carry an additional bag onto the plane - it would be much safer.  When I moved from the UK to the US I had a duffel bag with three concertinas in it as a carry on bag.  A quick word at security about my small accordions, and I was through with very little delay, and was able to watch the checked bags get thrown around by the handlers from my window seat.

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8 hours ago, Don Taylor said:

Having watched baggage handlers on the tarmac play 'basket ball' with luggage then I agree with this advice.

 

Anyone else remember this song?

 

 

There's also "Thank you, Republic Airlines [for breaking the neck on my guitar]" a song by Tom Paxton quite a few years ago...

 

Ken

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11 hours ago, Mikefule said:

The maximum possible change in air pressure if you send the concertina into space is one atmosphere, which is 1 Bar or around 14.5 psi.

 

However, the actual drop in air pressure  as the plane goes up is less as the plane does not go all the way to the top of the atmosphere, and the change is gradual.  The instrument will adjust.

 

As far as I know, all modern passenger jets have a fuselage pressurised to the equivalent of something like 5000-8000 feet, including the cargo hold.

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Thanks to everyone for the help, I will try to convince to bring it in a carry on bag in cabin, but I doubt he will be able to do me the favor.

I apreciate the attention and will post when I finally get the instrument.

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