Air woes: There’s a forklift hole in my cimbalom case

Air woes: There’s a forklift hole in my cimbalom case


norman lebrecht

June 28, 2018

From the Cleveland percussionist, Chester Englander:

I am writing this as a warning to those of us who ship large instruments for engagements or auditions (i.e. timpani): DO NOT use Airways Freight for shipping your valuable gear!

I have used Airways Freight for many years to ship my cimbalom to orchestral engagements all over the country, and there have been three separate incidents where the cimbalom case (ATA-300 rated) arrived damaged: twice with forklift holes, once with the caster board completely destroyed by being dropped down hard by a forklift. The last incident damaged the case in such a way that it was declared unrepairable by my local case company.

I have always had the instrument shipped insured by Airways for the total value of the cimbalom and case, and after the first two incidents of damage Airways Freight acknowledged their responsibility and paid for the repairs. Now that my case has been ruined and needs to be replaced, they have elected to abdicate this responsibility.

Airways Freight cannot be relied upon to cover insurance claims if your shipment arrived damaged, and they feel no loyalty to long-time customers. DO NOT use them if you want peace of mind while shipping your valuable instruments.



  • Larry says:

    can you file a complaint with the Interstate Commerce Commission?