Flying with a guitar

Discussion in 'General Music' started by gwydion, Apr 13, 2007.

  1. gwydion

    gwydion Member

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    Hey everyone. I will be doing some flying in a couple of months I was thinking of taking my acoustic with me. Anyone have any tips for flying with a guitar??
     
  2. MauritsP

    MauritsP Member

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    You could ask the flight attendants to store it in the coat closet in the business class area.
     
  3. oldrockfan

    oldrockfan Well-Known Member

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    Call ahead about traveling with guitars these days. My personal recommendation is only with a road worthy case and then only if you must or better yet only with a guitar you would not cry to hard about if it got damaged.

    There are some excellent quality acoustics out there with bolt on necks which makes them much more frendly for traveling. Or maybe a travel guitar. The short ones that can fit easily in an overhead. I have one called a rover and although it won't fool anyone into thinking it is a dread sized acoustic, it is fun and comes with a super sturdy fitted foam gig bag.
     
  4. Spunky

    Spunky Active Member

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    The last time I took a guitar on an airplane, I took a Carruthers custom Jazz bass in an ATA flight case.
    I saw the baggage handlers try to close the hydraulic baggage door on the case to jam it into the cargo bay. bass was fine as well as the case.
    Do not allow any guitar to go as baggage unless it is in an ATA case.
    Call ahead and see if it can be stowed in the coat closet. ;)
     
  5. NeoConMan

    NeoConMan New Member

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    SG John can speak volumes on this subject.
    After getting his counsel I called a couple different airlines. If you want it in the cabin, you buy it a seat.
    I was gonna fly with my Les Paul, decided the factory hard case was not enough. I got a Gibson box from my dealer and was gonna pack it full of bubble wrap around the hard case. They would have to try really hard in the baggage monkey zoo to hurt it then, and the case would not be all scuffed up.

    I've spoken to several people in the last couple months who travel with their guitars and they all have had pretty good luck. I just don't feel lucky. I got $3k in my Les Paul.

    Neo
     
  6. scnuke

    scnuke Member

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    As an alternative, depending upon your travel plans, you should consider shipping your piece to your destination. That way, you don't have to lug it around if you have connections, and the shipping insurance options would give you more coverage in case of damage than the airline's damage policies.

    I shipped one of my acoustics and a set of golf clubs to Hawaii a few years ago, and it worked out great. They were at the hotel waiting for me when I arrived, and I didn't have to worry about hauling them around the airport. To be fair, it was more expensive, but well worth the convenience.
     
  7. SG John

    SG John Well-Known Member

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    At the ticket counter, you will be told to check the guitar 99 out of 100 times. If the agent lets you bring the guitar to the gate with you, don't be surprised to have the gate agent tell you that the guitar needs to be taken off the jet-way and put in baggage. They will ONLY let you bring the guitar into the cabin if there is SPACE for it(remember, the guitar IS your one allowable carry on item, you can still bring on one personal item, but it can't be bigger than a purse).

    Some airline employees don't care, others will not let you bring it. Period. Usually, the agent at the ticket counter will carry the guitar to the frieght elevator, and you will follow. Then, they will look at the guitar, and confirm with you that it is in one piece. Then the send it downstairs, and the guitar is usually hand loaded. This practice varies between airports and airlines. I gig with vintage guitars, and have flown to shows in New York and Florida, and never had a problem checking the guitars.
    *Tip for checking two guitars. Duct tape them together, make sure they DON'T weigh over fifty pounds, and check them as one item*

    Also, the biggest problem with trying to put it in the first class cabin is complaints from passengers that paid several thousand dollars for a first class ticket, and someone in coach is getting preferred treatment. Medallion level flyers are******** to deal with. You've been warned.

    Best advise. Buy a good case for it. Members of this forum say that their guitars are worth $XXXX.XX. Spend some money on a decent case. ATA Flight cases run between $150.00 and $250.00 depending on who makes it. Calzone's are the best. My bass player has one for his Rickenbacker. Also, tune the guitar at least one and a half steps down, even more is preferred. Depending on how long your flight is, your guitar will be subject to various temperature changes. The cargo hold is heated and pressurized, but not as warm and cozy as the cabin. I've heard of necks snapping due to temperature changes.

    Also, Delta has relaxed their policy of bringing musical instruments on the plane. But this is completely on a space available basis. Don't be surprised if it needs to go into the cargo hold. NEVER, NEVER, NEVER TRAVEL WITH A GIG BAG!
     
  8. Wags

    Wags New Member

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    I always fly Delta....and did see a guy with a hard case guitar in February. Don't know if he checked it or not....I think he had it on the plane with him.
     

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