There are horror stories every year about artists touching down in a city to perform that night, only to find that the airline has lost their baggage, or worse, damaged their prized instruments.
It happened to Tash Sultana on the cusp of her European tour last year, when all of her equipment was misplaced by Jetstar, and now QANTAS are coming under fire for leaving Mahalia Barnes and her band with damaged gear on their way from Sydney to Auckland.
As Music Feeds reports, the daughter of Aussie rocker Jimmy Barnes jumped on Instagram to lay into the airline over their “pretty terrible handling of ‘fragile’ baggage”, with the Cold Chisel icon also piping in to label it “shocking”.
“This case was in perfect condition when it was checked in at Sydney international — arrived in Auckland looking like this,” Mahalia said. “Dragged along the tarmac is my guess.”
“Baggage handlers and airlines or somebody needs to be held accountable for this sort of thing. It’s unacceptable.”
Hey @qantas – This is pretty terrible handling of “fragile” baggage. This case was in perfect condition when it was checked in at Sydney international – arrived in Auckland looking like this. Dragged along the tarmac is my guess… baggage handlers and airlines or somebody needs to be held accountable for this sort of thing. It’s unacceptable. I hope the guitars are ok… the case is certainly no longer able to be used. How can we protect our instruments? We need to work together to find some sort of solution, this happens far too often to musicians around Australia.
While the instruments inside were ultimately unharmed, it’s fair to say that the cases deserved better treatment than this, which is a sadly common occurrence.
“We need to work together to find some sort of solution,” she continued, “this happens far too often to musicians around Australia.
“It must’ve been dragged a long way to fray, wear and tear that badly! Thankfully the case saved the guitars!”
QANTAS and its subsidiary Jetstar also copped some flack from musos recently for their introduction of an extra baggage fee that would disproportionately affect musicians with large instrument cases, which artists labelled a “cash grab”.
The airline has told Music Feeds that it is looking into what’s happened. Meanwhile, Barnes’ bandmate posted his own images of a case that appeared to have been dragged through the dirt, with QANTAS replying that they were “concerned to hear” about the incident.
— Benjamin Rodgers (@MiddleClassBand) July 19, 2017