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Air travel with concertina ok?


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I’m wanting to take my concertina (early 1900’s metal sided Treble Aola) on a trip that includes some travel by air. 
 

Plan would be to take it as carry-on. I have a good hard case. 
 

Are there any concerns about damage due to changes in air pressure?

 

I don’t need to take it. I just don’t want to go two plus weeks without playing. 
 

appreciate your thoughts. 

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Never had any trouble carrying mine. My sense is that if you've brought it as a carry-on, any pressure changes strong enough to affect the concertina will hurt you even more :)

 

Some folks in the past have talked about issues with American TSA, but honestly, you're going to have issues with them one way or another.

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I know this has been discussed before on this forum, but at security, whatever you do, don't mention the word concertina - concertina is a reserved word and may be considered to be a munition (concertina wire).

 

I always tell the security personnel before placing on the belt, that I have a small accordion in my bag/box.  About 50% of the time they want to manually inspect it, and very occasionally I get to play a short impromptu concert.

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40 minutes ago, SteveS said:

I know this has been discussed before on this forum, but at security, whatever you do, don't mention the word concertina - concertina is a reserved word and may be considered to be a munition (concertina wire).

The other concern is to make sure you place the concertina on the scanning belt so the bellows run side-to-side (or front-to-back) but NOT up-and-down. If the X-ray passes through the concertina parallel to the axis of the bellows, the radial pattern of the levers can look confusingly like a cluster bomb.

 

But I have traveled many times with my concertina as carry-on. Never been a problem.

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On 3/30/2022 at 4:53 PM, SteveS said:

concertina is a reserved word and may be considered to be a munition (concertina wire)

 

A little off the topic, but the URL with Chinese domain "concertina.cn" was registered and holding by a concertina wire factory......

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I've never had any issues taking mine on flights other than watching the TSA folks often get confused by it on the X-ray.  I think it is the perfect travel instrument, fits underneath the seat with no issues.

I do agree with the recommendation to place it on the X-ray belt so that the bellows are front to back, not stacked vertically because it does look a lot like a fragmentation explosive otherwise.

I have been sent (randomly, not sure) to TSA secondary inspection a few times and had it swabbed and checked for explosive residues.  I'm actually worried about that because the inside of the concertina (or accordion) will pick up whatever is in the air from where you play. Let's say farmer Bob was in the pub the same night as your session right after filling his truck with diesel fuel and spreading some ammonium nitrate fertilizer on his corn crop.

In addition, if they do want to open the case to inspect it, be sure to speak up and give very specific instructions on how to open the case since they will not let you touch it once they have begun the inspection. The last thing you want is the nice officer to dump your precious instrument on the hard airport floor.

Edited by eskin
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  • 5 months later...

A friend, traveling with her Edeophone, just posted this on Facebook:

 

Living THE DREAM

Young TSA agent studied my concertina carefully and called over supervisor

Supervisor asked if I could open the box and show the young agent so he would understand what it is.

I asked if I could play a tune.

Surprised by a nice round of security line applause.

P.S. She played reel de Montreal!

Edited by Mike Franch
Add the tune name
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   My Jefferies anglo was my companion aboard several ships I worked on for many years.

   I haven't flown commercially a lot since retirement in 2007 but prior to that had crew changes pretty much worldwide. There was never any problem traveling with any concertina.

  The closest thing to any excitement was arrival at the New Orleans airport from overseas and a TSA agent opening the concertina case and loudly proclaiming: "Wow!. Thats a Jeffries concertina!".

 

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I have travelled with one of mine as cabin baggage.

 

However, why would the change of air pressure be a problem?  The air pressure at sea level is one atmosphere/1 bar, roughly 14 psi.  The maximum possible change in air pressure is therefore less than 1 bar, and the change of pressure is fairly slow as the plane climbs or descends

 

You will subject the bellows to bigger and more rapid changes of pressure when playing.

 

If the pressure builds up in one direction, the pads/levers will move against the springs before any damage is caused.

 

The biggest risk is loss or damage at the mercy of baggage handlers ad conveyor belts.

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2 hours ago, richard said:

Wouldn't a change in air pressure only affect something that has air sealed inside it, not something that has air flowing through it?

 

That's the point. A concertina is sealed until one or more pads are lifted. When playing, the pads are lifted by the player pressing the button. If the buttons are not pressed, the pressure difference will build up until the net pressure is sufficient to lift a pad.

 

In reality, few concertinas are 100% air tight and any gradual change of pressure will equalise. Either way, the pads will vent before the bellows explode.

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