Skip to content

Forum

Notifications
Clear all

Taking a guitar on a plane -- Is it a good or bad idea?

Page 1 / 2

(@prndl)
Estimable Member
Joined: 16 years ago
Posts: 199
Topic starter  

I'm going on a short trip soon (within the US) and am considering taking my acoustic guitar.
I am pretty certain that a guitar is too big for carry on.

Is this a good idea, or is there a risk of it being lost or stolen?

Are the small locks on the guitar case sturdy?

If it does get lost or stolen, does the airline pay for a replacement?
What about a vintage guitar or one that's nice but an unknown label?
Can you get extra insurance?

Is there anything I can do to prevent any potential problems?

Thanks!!!

FYI - I'm flying in for an interview for an awesome job!

1 watt of pure tube tone - the Living Room Amp!
http://www.naturdoctor.com/Chapters/Amps/LivingRoomAmp.html
Paper-in-oil caps rule!


Quote
(@jbeery)
Active Member
Joined: 16 years ago
Posts: 12
 

It may be a good time to just look around the music shops and see how you are gone spend all that extra money from the new job. Its pretty risky letting the baggage folks tend to your guitar without a flight case.
Jim


ReplyQuote
 Oric
(@oric)
Trusted Member
Joined: 16 years ago
Posts: 87
 

Yea, us tubists have problems with flight often. Most resort to buying a very expensive flight case, or a lot buy a second seat for their horn. It might be a little easier for a smaller instrument like guitar, but still difficult. Airlines aren't too musical instrument friendly. Just assume that the baggage handlers will put it throught the same amount of stress as it being dropped down a flight of stairs.


ReplyQuote
(@guitbusy)
Trusted Member
Joined: 16 years ago
Posts: 94
 

I have had good luck with my guitars on planes, but know I am taking a chance. I have an acoustic that I call my campfire guitar that cost me about $50. I have a standard case (chip board or whatever you call it). I just put a couple bungie straps around it, loosen the guitar strings, and check it. I know I am taking a chance but my costs aren't great, and I assume the airline insures it like any other luggage (I haven't asked though). I wouldn't take that kind of risk with any guitar you would really miss or is hard to replace. I have seen people carry on baby taylors.

Older Newbie


ReplyQuote
(@mrjonesey)
Reputable Member
Joined: 16 years ago
Posts: 470
 

I travel feom time to time and have considered buying a travel guitar. They claim you can carry them on. I'm waiting for an elcetric travel guitar to come available in a lefty and I'll brobably buy one. The traveler speedster is nice, but it only appears to be available in right handed models. If they made a left, I would probably already own one.

http://www.travelerguitar.com/products.htm

"There won't be any money. But when you die, on your death bed, you will receive total conciousness. So, I got that going for me. Which is nice." - Bill Murray, Caddyshack ~~ Michigan Music Dojo - http://michiganmusicdojo.com ~~


ReplyQuote
(@alangreen)
Member Moderator
Joined: 20 years ago
Posts: 5366
 

Ensure that your guitar is in a sturdy case. Loosen the strings before you check it in. Some airlines will allow you to take it in the cabin if the plane isn't full, but a guitar case is about the same size as an overhead. American Airlines weren't interested in my taking my guitar in the cabin last time I flew long haul. Ryanair wanted it in the hold but were very helpful. The check in area at Stansted (UK) have a special X-ray area for fragile items; you deliver it to them yourself, show your boarding pass and they do the necessary.

Otherwise, inform the check-in clerk that it's fragile, and they will arrange for it to be carried to the plane by hand (American were excellent on this point)

Either way, it'll still travel with the suitcases but at least you know it won't be smashed to bits on the way to the hold. The airline's liability for damage is limited to a lot less than the value of your main concert guitar, so it's always worth taking out specific insurance for the journey.

Best,

A :-)

"Be good at what you can do" - Fingerbanger"
I have always felt that it is better to do what is beautiful than what is 'right'" - Eliot Fisk
Wedding music and guitar lessons in Essex. Listen at: http://www.rollmopmusic.co.uk


ReplyQuote
 Taso
(@taso)
Famed Member
Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 2852
 

If it's a short trip like you said, I'd say just part with the guitar for a few days. Won't kill you.

...Hopefully. If it does, I can't be held responsible.

http://taso.dmusic.com/music/


ReplyQuote
(@wes-inman)
Illustrious Member
Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 5599
 

Back in the 70's my brother took his beautiful Gibson SG on vacation. They threw the guitar off the plane and snapped the neck. I don't know if things are better today, but I don't think I would take a valuable guitar on a plane.

If you know something better than Rock and Roll, I'd like to hear it - Jerry Lee Lewis


ReplyQuote
(@prndl)
Estimable Member
Joined: 16 years ago
Posts: 199
Topic starter  

It's hard to tell in advance what to do.

I could toss my Palmer acoustic into the hard case.
It's a great old guitar that I love to play, but really isn't that expensive.

1 watt of pure tube tone - the Living Room Amp!
http://www.naturdoctor.com/Chapters/Amps/LivingRoomAmp.html
Paper-in-oil caps rule!


ReplyQuote
(@veovis)
Active Member
Joined: 16 years ago
Posts: 13
 

I tried to take my guitar on a plane last year, and they wouldn't even let me take it on the plane. Yeah, thanks American Airlines. I really appreciate it :D


ReplyQuote
(@pearlthekat)
Noble Member
Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 1472
 

I've been looking into a small guitar that I can take with me wherever i go. (Not to work!) You can get some pretty cheap small guitars. Here's what I've come up with so far from most expensive to cheapest.

Travel guitar from Tacoma with gig bag $400
Baby Taylor $269 with gig bag at Guitar Center. May go on sale Memorial Day.
Martin Travel Guitar - didn't ask how much
Martin Backpacker - most people don't like this one from what i gather.
Washburn Rover - $175
Amigo small guitar - either nylor string or steel string - $85, gig bag $35

I may buy the Amigo. I'll have to see it next week. My second shoice is the Baby Taylor.


ReplyQuote
(@kent_eh)
Noble Member
Joined: 16 years ago
Posts: 1885
 

Back in the 70's my brother took his beautiful Gibson SG on vacation. They threw the guitar off the plane and snapped the neck. I don't know if things are better today, but I don't think I would take a valuable guitar on a plane.

Has anyone ever watched them loading (or un-loading) a plane?
I don't even expect my hard-side Samsonite to come thru in one piece.

They toss stuff from one person to another to speed up loading. Sometimes the guy catching isn't as good a catcher as he should be.
Stuff often falls off the bagage carts (onto the tarmac) as they haul them between the terminal and the plane.

What I have seen suggested in the past is to inquire with the airline about "ramp checked baggage", which allows you to carry something fragile to the plane, hand it to a flight attendant, and they will have it hand carried to the luggage area.
At least it bypasses the ride across the tarmac on the baggage cart. And it ends up on top of the pile in the cargo hold of the plane.

I wrapped a newspaper ’round my head
So I looked like I was deep


ReplyQuote
(@vic-lewis-vl)
Illustrious Member
Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 10340
 

I took my Epi Wildkat from Newton-le-Willows to Texas last year - it survived the baggage car in the train from newton to Warrington, warrington to Sheffield, then Sheffield to Derby....then it was thrown in the luggage compartment of a National Express coach from Derby to Gatwick Airport (London) - a six hour drive....then a 12-hour flight to Minneapolis and a 2-hour flight to Texas, and an hour's drive to the hotel....the same in reverse on the way back....the case (a cheap one!) fell to bits at Gatwick on the way back, had to buy a roll of sellotape and used most of it up......but the guitar survived!

The case didn't......

:D :D :D

Vic

"Sometimes the beauty of music can help us all find strength to deal with all the curves life can throw us." (D. Hodge.)


ReplyQuote
(@rum-runner)
Reputable Member
Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 424
 

I've had pretty decent luck traveling on airplanes witha guitar. I have never checked it with baggage but rather carried it ith me. On large planes thay've let me stow it in the overhead baggage compartment. On puddle jumpers I just gate-check it, that is I hand it to them as I board the plane and I pick it back up right when I get off. That way there is a minimum of handling. I have never had a problem any of the aorlines saying no. I have flown Continemtal, Air Tran, and Delta this way. Never flown American with a guitar so it may be true their policy is different.

Recently I went on a two week business trip that included a week in Russia. For this trip I bought a small electric- an Ibanez Mikro to be exact, and a small batter powered amp. This was even small enough to carry on the puddle jumpers. the only problem I had was at customs entering Russia where They made me fill out a customs declaration form in duplicate. I think they were afraid I was going to sell the guitar inside of Russia. However, thy didn't ask for any forms when I left the country, so go figure. Anyhow, all was well. I plan to take my Epi LP with me on a flight to prtland on Continental later this summer. I plan to do some intense jammin' out there!

Good luck!

Regards,

Mike

"Growing Older But Not UP!"


ReplyQuote
(@fleaaaaaa)
Honorable Member
Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 680
 

Don't do it, I know someone who took their guitar on holiday it was an acoustic in a hard case and it still got destroyed.

together we stand, divided we fall..........


ReplyQuote
Page 1 / 2