Neat trick: to obtain common sense, check into your flight when there are not enough security staff around to permit them to confer and thereby reduce their collective IQ:
“I would choose to travel with the fool-proof cello, the one whose endpin was not removable. Or, if planning to play a different one, I would take the pin off first and pack it in the suitcase. Sometimes, you see, there are ways to get around unreasonableness.”
Harrell, who assigns “Cello Harrell” or “Orfeo Harrell” (named for the mythical character) as the passenger name for his cello’s ticket, has other tricks too.
“I know how to skip all the roadblocks now,” he says, such as avoiding certain airports and scheduling flights from 4 to 6:30 a.m., “because at that hour there’s usually only one check-in agent, with no others to confer with about ‘what to do with this cello.‘”