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Topic: All of my show lost by airline!!! AaaaahH!!!
Message: Posted by: damien666 (Aug 20, 2006 04:05AM)
Hey all - I just came back from a little tour and the airline has lost all of my show puppets and clothing; so I can't even resort to talking to my socks as they are gone too. They said that they are going to try to track the case, but their records show that it was on the flight - but alas, it never arrived to the baggage pick up area. So they said if they can't find it - there's nothing they can, or will, do.
Has this happened to anyone else? If so, what happened?
I'm very upset at the cavalier attitude the airline has to losing someones livlihood.
I build my own puppets, so I can rebuild all of my characters if need be, but it will take a lot of time and effort to get it all done in time for my next shows..
Just wanted to see if there were any others that have gone through this nightmare??
Message: Posted by: Professor Piper (Aug 21, 2006 12:11AM)

Sorry to hear this pal, really!

Did you get any extra-insurance on your bags? I hope so!

Best advice?

Start rebuilding those figure you need NOW! If your baggage shows up, then you have a nicely build backup...

If not?

Then you can at least fullfill standing gigs...

The show must go on....

With empathy and regards,

Prof. Piper
Message: Posted by: puppetman (Aug 21, 2006 12:27AM)
I did have an airline lose my equipment once. It was recovered several days later and I was able to perform. When it occurred, my first thought was that I did not have enough insurance on my gear to cover the time to rebuild it AND the lost income during that time. Talk to your insurance agent. This can often be covered under your home owners insurance as tools of trade. Don't blame the airline, they have enough challenges. Read the small print on your ticket regarding baggage liability. I'm not defending the airlines, but if your gear is important to you, treat it as such. You wouldn't send cash or diamonds through in checked baggage. Your livelihood is valuable too. Since that incident I send my equipment as freight. It costs more, but the clients pay for that and my show is waiting for me a the other end when I arrive.
Message: Posted by: Ony Carcamo (Aug 21, 2006 07:41AM)
Really sorry to hear that, damien666. As ventriloquist I understand your situation.

In my plane travels, I take off the head of my main figure (an antique Mack-Marshall figure) and have him hand-carried with me inside a backpack bag. The body is the only one I check-in. I do this because of fear that it gets lost later. Remember that Edgar Bergen also lost Charlie McCarthy in one of his flights. Jeff Dunham also lost his baggage-full of puppets, so he created puppets using cardboards just so he can do his shows that day.

Let's pray yours "appear" soon.

Message: Posted by: cheesewrestler (Aug 21, 2006 02:05PM)
I saw a TV sketch long ago where a guy did "totally nude ventriloquism".

The "totally nude" part being that he didn't use a puppet, just talked to his bare hand.

Something to use if your stuff is ever lost while you're on yr way to a gig?
Message: Posted by: Neale Bacon (Aug 21, 2006 02:48PM)
Hey Buddy,

Really sorry to hear that. Wow what a bummer. Talk about a performers worst nightmare!

Talk to you soon!
Message: Posted by: damien666 (Aug 24, 2006 04:02AM)
Hey All,
Thanks for the comments. I got my case back - FINALLY!
It went halfway across the Country and the Airline was such a pain to deal with.. For any people that work in Canada - BEWARE Coastal Mountain Airlines... Incompetent and inept at every level I had to deal with.. And I have heard of similar negative experiences by others about CMA as well.
Message: Posted by: mrunge (Aug 24, 2006 06:26AM)
Hi Damien,

I wanted to repeat a post made in another area of the café. Hopefully you, and others, will find it useful.

Sorry to hear about your experience with lost baggage. While it does happen, it can be VERY expensive for a magician.

I have heard of magicians painting BIG "orange glow" dots all over their luggage with spray paint, or totally painting them some really BRIGHT color, in order to stand out from all the other luggage, bags, crates, etc...that get shipped on a plane. Nothing fancy, just big spots all over everything. By doing so, when they try to describe what's missing, and the airline starts looking for it, it really stands out from the rest and is easier to "spot."

This idea was too late for you now, but maybe it can help you "the next time." I'm glad they found your luggage, and there won't be a next time, but better safe than sorry.

Message: Posted by: Regan (Aug 24, 2006 08:58AM)
Hi Damien.

What a terrible thing. I am very sorry to hear about your loss.

Message: Posted by: todd75 (Aug 26, 2006 08:12AM)
This is why I don't fly!
Message: Posted by: abrell (Oct 3, 2006 04:05AM)
First - you definitely need an insurance. The insurance also should cover loss of income due to loss of equipment.

Second - use a suit case that is labeled or painted so it can not be lost easily and will prevent stealing it. This suitcase must be solid. A "flight case" can be built leightweight today with plastic sandwich materials, there are also brands of standard suitcases that can be recommended. (Pelicase from USA, Rimowa from Germany,.....)

Third - instead of normal transportation use a professional transport company whenever possible. They track their goods and are safer than most air carriers. Avoid air carriers that are known to lose a lot of luggage.

Fourth - Always have props for a small show with your onboard luggage.
Message: Posted by: Steve V (Oct 3, 2006 01:55PM)
Coastal Mountain Airlines! I flew with them years ago, cool flight. You didn't lose your luggage cuz you carried it on the plane and put it in the back of it yourself. Had props on the plane that I stared at the entire flight to see if they stopped turning and it was the only flight I ever took where you could see people and cars on the ground the entire trip as we never got very high off the ground.
Steve V
Message: Posted by: Chatterbox41 (Oct 28, 2006 02:53PM)
Glad you got your partners back! I never had this happen, but it does make me think. When I travel I always carry the heads in a gym bag with padding. I figure I can build/buy bodies easier than heads. I also have been thinking about some alternatives since I heard about Jeff Dunham's building props out of cardboard to fulfill his show obligations. Have thought about building small sock puppets, glove puppets (think Lefty), or even Peeper puppets in the various characters I use in my show. At least with the basic hair, eyes, etc. I could do my (almost) regular act and with the small size could carry them onboard in a briefcase or in the head bag. Just a thought.

Message: Posted by: Flying Magus (Oct 29, 2006 05:24AM)
There's also the old tennis ball head. Basically, get a tennis ball and cut a slit in it about a third of the way across. Now with pressure on the sides, the mouth opens. Add eyes, and you have the basis for a small head. Only really for emergencys, but something you can pick up almost anywhere.
Message: Posted by: pixsmith (Dec 17, 2006 10:09AM)
There is a great product on the market that is in essence, a rfid tag that can tell the service where your bag is within a mile or so. I have one I put into all of my trunks, and by having this backup plan in place, I have ot needed it, so far!(know wood)

I got mine at Target, but I think that thwy are available at luggage stores.