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Instruments on Airlines

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dulcimer 21 Jun 03 - 05:20 PM
Allan C. 22 Jun 03 - 12:32 AM
Ely 22 Jun 03 - 03:33 PM
dulcimer 22 Jun 03 - 03:41 PM
Gareth 22 Jun 03 - 06:43 PM
Beccy 23 Jun 03 - 01:47 PM
GUEST,shonagh 23 Jun 03 - 01:54 PM
NicoleC 23 Jun 03 - 01:56 PM
Pat Cooksey 23 Jun 03 - 02:01 PM
GUEST,Claymore 23 Jun 03 - 05:24 PM
GUEST,petr 23 Jun 03 - 05:43 PM
Maryrrf 23 Jun 03 - 08:05 PM
Gorgeous Gary 23 Jun 03 - 09:52 PM
nickp 24 Jun 03 - 04:14 AM
Blues=Life 24 Jun 03 - 08:27 AM
flannelshirt 11 Apr 07 - 05:24 PM
Wesley S 11 Apr 07 - 05:32 PM
Amos 11 Apr 07 - 06:33 PM
katlaughing 11 Apr 07 - 07:39 PM
Gulliver 11 Apr 07 - 09:58 PM
Grab 12 Apr 07 - 09:28 AM
Gedpipes 12 Apr 07 - 09:51 AM
Wesley S 12 Apr 07 - 10:05 AM
skipy 12 Apr 07 - 10:12 AM
leeneia 12 Apr 07 - 10:24 AM
Hovering Bob 12 Apr 07 - 10:37 AM
Amos 12 Apr 07 - 02:29 PM
GUEST,Ian 12 Apr 07 - 02:30 PM
Grab 12 Apr 07 - 06:17 PM
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Subject: BS: Instruments on Airlines
From: dulcimer
Date: 21 Jun 03 - 05:20 PM

Just got back from a trip to Ireland. Took United and Aer Lingus. Absolutely no problem with carriers or security. Carried on my instrument and one bag. The only question was what is a mountain dulcimer.


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Subject: RE: BS: Instruments on Airlines
From: Allan C.
Date: 22 Jun 03 - 12:32 AM

I traveled last month on British Airways from the US to England with a banjo. Nobody ever even asked to open the case. There were numerous guitars, both electric and acoustic that were carried on by other folks on the same flight as well as on the return flight. All of them seemed to fit diagonally if not flat in the overhead compartments.


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Subject: RE: BS: Instruments on Airlines
From: Ely
Date: 22 Jun 03 - 03:33 PM

United gave me a really hard time when I flew with a mountain dulcimer several years ago. They didn't like the soft case because it "wouldn't protect the instrument in the overhead compartment" (it was too long to go under the seat), but if I put it in the wooden box, it was too big and they made me check it. I wrapped it in several layers of cardboard and wrote "FRAGILE" all over it but they still managed to smash the end of the box. The dulcimer was fine, but if it had been damaged, their insurance only covered losses (as in, disappearances) and I would have been SOL.

I've never tried to fly with a guitar--the Guild has a hard case but it's old and I don't want to risk it getting chewed up if they make me check it, and the Alvarez only has a padded nylon deal, which would probably be OK in the overhead as long as people weren't overzealous about cramming in other stuff.

I don't fly much, but what kinds of cases seem to be best accepted? Frankly, my brother had less trouble getting in with a full-sized gun case than I did with dulcimers.


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Subject: RE: BS: Instruments on Airlines
From: dulcimer
Date: 22 Jun 03 - 03:41 PM

I fly with a soft padded nylon case, just padded it on in the inside as well. I put my carry-on in front of it. I was a little nervous, but had no question about size. It may or may not be the case, but United from KC to Chicago had a lot of business types with smaller carry-ons. I guess every trip might be a new experience.


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Subject: RE: BS: Instruments on Airlines
From: Gareth
Date: 22 Jun 03 - 06:43 PM

Mmmmmm ! I can see it now -

" FLY ME TO CUBA - OR I'LL PLAY THIS BANJO"

Gareth - in Cynical Mode


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Subject: RE: BS: Instruments on Airlines
From: Beccy
Date: 23 Jun 03 - 01:47 PM

Hubby's going on a business trip next week and wants to take his guitar. He doesn't have any soft cases. Any advice? (It might make an interesting picture if he slings it with strap over his business suit and walks it through security like that, eh?) Seriously. Should he put it in a hard case and take his chances since our kids have done enough damage to the cases already?


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Subject: RE: BS: Instruments on Airlines
From: GUEST,shonagh
Date: 23 Jun 03 - 01:54 PM

The Fiddle group that I play with went to London last year. Theres about 15 of us, plus a cello player. We flew from Aberdeen to London and the only problem there was that the Cello had to be checked in as a person - Mr C.Ello. hehe! It also meant we could have a great session in Heathrow when our return flight was delayed!


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Subject: RE: BS: Instruments on Airlines
From: NicoleC
Date: 23 Jun 03 - 01:56 PM

I saw quite a few guitars in the those black plywood cases being totted around the airport recently (and heaven knows I've been on way to many planes lately.)

But he should probably check out the availability of lockers at the airport large enough to stow it, just in case they won't let him on the plane with it. If there are handy lockers, he could leave it at the airport and pick it up on his way back.

And maybe check with the crew at the gate well before the plane boards to avoid any last-minute complaints. If there's a problem with room, a lot of planes have full length closets up front with plenty of room for a guitar case.


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Subject: RE: BS: Instruments on Airlines
From: Pat Cooksey
Date: 23 Jun 03 - 02:01 PM

I have always taken my guitar on flights as hand luggage, fits in
the overhead rack no problem, last time in London they checked
the electronics inside the guitar, pick up, all was o.k.


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Subject: RE: BS: Instruments on Airlines
From: GUEST,Claymore
Date: 23 Jun 03 - 05:24 PM

Bless you folks on the latest info; but in Sept I am going to do a long neck banjo and an autoharp (both in hard cases). Two years ago I had no trouble on Aer Lingus, but let us see what the future holds...


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Subject: RE: BS: Instruments on Airlines
From: GUEST,petr
Date: 23 Jun 03 - 05:43 PM

Ive flown to the UK (in 1998) with my fiddle and to Boston for last years Gaelic Arts festival, it was never a problem to have it as a carry-on, although the flight to the UK it turns out that the airline
restricted the carryon size (I cant remember but it was something like 30inches= the size of their compartments) and my fiddle case was over the limit. As it happened my case fit, and no one even mentioned it.
Since then, Ive been asked only to open it when going through security at the airport but again it wasnt a problem as a carry on.
But I always loosen the strings and stuff a sock in so that it doesnt bounce around.
as far as guitars go, my guitar playing friends say that while it may have been possible years ago to take a guitar as a carry on, in most cases you have to check it in with the regular luggage - so they dont think its worth the risk, and often one can borrow a guitar wherever they go.


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Subject: RE: Instruments on Airlines
From: Maryrrf
Date: 23 Jun 03 - 08:05 PM

I've flown back and forth to the UK several times over the past couple of years and they've always made me check the guitar. Aside from scuffing up the case it has always come through fine - knock on wood. Once they lost it for a day but delivered it to the place where I was staying.


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Subject: RE: Instruments on Airlines
From: Gorgeous Gary
Date: 23 Jun 03 - 09:52 PM

Last time I flew (United DC to CA and back), I got to carry my guitar (in std. hard plywood case) on going out and had to check it coming back. Seems pretty much the same deal as before 9/11; it varies depending on the airport and flight crew. I can usually carry on (or gate check at worst) coming out of the DC/Baltimore airports. But the airports I'm frequently coming home from (San Francisco, Chicago, Toronto-Air Canada) seem to get insistent on checking guitars at the ticket counter.

I usually stuff a shirt behind (and around) the neck. And I have 'em insured on my homeowner's policy.

-- Gary


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Subject: RE: Instruments on Airlines
From: nickp
Date: 24 Jun 03 - 04:14 AM

Never have problems with a mandolin but then it fits overhead easily. Recently met someone who had a 5 string banjo (standard length neck) in a soft case in the overhead without probs but was advised to 'get in there quick before someone uses the room'!


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Subject: RE: Instruments on Airlines
From: Blues=Life
Date: 24 Jun 03 - 08:27 AM

I fly all the time, and am planning to take a guitar along this summer when I cross the country for a wedding. I asked the TSA guys in Jacksonville last week what the rules were regarding guitars in cases as carry-on. Their response was "We see them all the time, no problem." So security has no issues. The next step is to give the airline a call, and check on their carry-on policy. Every airline is different, and each type of aircraft has different capacities.

DON'T assume you can just put it in the closet up front. They are not nearly so accomadating as they used to be, as this has been abused. In the summertime, you MIGHT get it in, if you are very polite and smile nicely,(Depending on the airline, that is.) In Winter, forget about it. That closet is not for luggage, but for the coats of people in first class, and it gets filled up fast! The flight attendants will offer to gate check your instrument,if it doesn't fit in the overhead, which is much better than using baggage checks. It will be hand carried to the baggage department, and will be delivered to the entrance of the plane on your arrival. On smaller puddle jumper type aircraft, this is an almost certainty. So buy some insurance... give the guy taking your case $5 and ask him to pack it gently. You'd be suprised what a good investment that is.

Good luck,
Blues


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Subject: BS: Airline travel with a guitar
From: flannelshirt
Date: 11 Apr 07 - 05:24 PM

Hello friends,
It has been a long time since I have travelled via airplane with my guitar. I am looking for advice from you folkie savy travellers on the best ways to make sure my guitar gets there and back in good condition.
Thanks,
-Flannelshirt


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Subject: RE: BS: Airline travel with a guitar
From: Wesley S
Date: 11 Apr 07 - 05:32 PM

Spend about 600 dollars on a Carlton or anvil case. Or box it up yourself and ship it on UPS. But only if it's insured. Heavily insured. And if you have a strong emotional attachment to the guitar consider driving your own car or leaving it at home.


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Subject: RE: BS: Airline travel with a guitar
From: Amos
Date: 11 Apr 07 - 06:33 PM

There are earlier threads on this very subject with a lot of good advice in them.


A


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Subject: RE: BS: Airline travel with a guitar
From: katlaughing
Date: 11 Apr 07 - 07:39 PM

THIS THREAD has some helpful posts, plus at the top of it, there are links to a ton of other threads about this. Hope that helps. Have fun!

kat


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Subject: RE: BS: Airline travel with a guitar
From: Gulliver
Date: 11 Apr 07 - 09:58 PM

I don't know where you're flying from, but Irish airlines have hiked the prices for luggage. Ryanair recommends booking an extra seat for musical instruments like guitars.


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Subject: RE: Instruments on Airlines
From: Grab
Date: 12 Apr 07 - 09:28 AM

A good case with "fragile" stickers on it. If you're travelling between first-world countries like Britain and the US, you're probably OK. If you're travelling to a third-world country like Greece or Turkey or worse, only take a guitar you can afford to lose, because the baggage handlers really don't care. But things can still get busted whatever happens - think Tom Paxton's "Thank you Republic Airlines" - so get it insured.

Graham.


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Subject: RE: Instruments on Airlines
From: Gedpipes
Date: 12 Apr 07 - 09:51 AM

...Britain and the US = first world
Greece and Turkey = 3rd world

?


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Subject: RE: Instruments on Airlines
From: Wesley S
Date: 12 Apr 07 - 10:05 AM

When Tom Rush performed here a few months ago he told us that the airlines had lost his guitars - they arrived only 20 minutes before the concert. The promother had arranged for some other guitars to be there - but obviously you'd like to play your own.

His clothes had been lost too. He was still wearing the same clothes he'd left home in - three days earlier.


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Subject: RE: Instruments on Airlines
From: skipy
Date: 12 Apr 07 - 10:12 AM

There are loads in the cockpit!
Skipy


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Subject: RE: Instruments on Airlines
From: leeneia
Date: 12 Apr 07 - 10:24 AM

Airplanes differ. Not all of them have that closet up front.

If I were flying and wanted to take a guitar, I would take a small one and carry it on. Put bubble pack or foam in the case to protect it from bumps and bangs.

Guitars, etc, are surprisingly top heavy. (End with pegs is heavy.) Don't stand the case up.

Security personnel don't like the sight of tubes. When I send my flutes and recorders through the X-ray, I catch somebody's eye, smile, and say, "This bag has flutes in it."


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Subject: RE: Instruments on Airlines
From: Hovering Bob
Date: 12 Apr 07 - 10:37 AM

I used to need to take a guitar abroad with 'Dorset Triumph Dancers' and it was a 'big' twelve string in a 'big' hard case. I seem to remember being told to take it with me as I boarded and hand it to the staff asking for it to be stowed as 'top storage.'
I'm not sure I actually ever did that, it just went through as normal baggage. But then it wasn't a particularly valuable instrument. The case suffered a bit but the guitar was fine.
BobH


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Subject: RE: Instruments on Airlines
From: Amos
Date: 12 Apr 07 - 02:29 PM

I've done the top-stowage request twice with no harm done. But now I use a Clamshell corrugated hard outer case into which the dreadnought case with the guitar inside it fit and are surrounded by HD foam blocks. Works a charm.


A


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Subject: RE: Instruments on Airlines
From: GUEST,Ian
Date: 12 Apr 07 - 02:30 PM

Going to Poland with Wizz air from Liverpool in May. Found out that if I want to take the guitar I have to buy another seat to strap it into.
Thankfully we can do our sets unaccompanied.


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Subject: RE: Instruments on Airlines
From: Grab
Date: 12 Apr 07 - 06:17 PM

Been to Greece or Turkey, Gedpipes? Not Lusaka, but sure as hell not London either. ;-) Call it "second-world" then, if you want.

For me, a "first-world" country is one that mostly follows the rule of law. Both those follow the rule of the guy with the gun. Greece is renowned for the police and anyone else in authority arbitrarily fining or charging foreigners and pocketing the money - basically theft. The courts are a farce, which is why most foreigners won't fight it. And that's still miles better than Turkey, where forming a union or speaking out against the government will get you imprisoned, tortured and/or shot.

In the UK and US, baggage handlers are mostly careful because there might be consequences if they aren't. In Greece and Turkey, there's nothing we can do about it - and they know it. I've seen these guys in action!

Graham.


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