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Traveling with guitar


(@surfbluewavesbc)
Eminent Member
Joined: 16 years ago
Posts: 43
Topic starter  

I want to bring my acoustic guitar on vacation with me and since its to big to bring to carry on I plan on checking it. Has anyone flown with the gator lightweight cases?
I own this one http://www.gatorcases.com/Default.aspx?Section=Products&Page=Details&CategoryID=4387&CatalogID=9710


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(@rr191)
Trusted Member
Joined: 14 years ago
Posts: 59
 

I would not recommend checking a guitar using any kind of soft case. It would surely get destroyed. There are many threads on this topic in other guitar forums. A google search will surface these discussions. Here's one to get you started ==> http://www.acousticguitarforum.com/forums/showthread.php?t=173879&highlight=airplane

-- Rob


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(@notes_norton)
Noble Member
Joined: 14 years ago
Posts: 1497
 

I've used the Gator ATA case with good results. I've also used SKB cases (also ATA approved).

Once on the airplane my partner's ATA case was banged up. The metal rim's corner slightly misshaped and scratched, but the Parker guitar inside suffered no damage. It probably took a pretty big jolt to dent the metal rim.

You have to be sure to get the ATA case, as I know Gator offers non-ATA cases as well.

I always loosen the tension on the strings first, I don't know if this is gospel truth or not, but I've heard other guitarists do this with and it seems to make sense.

When I fly, if I can, I ship my instruments via UPS or FedEx (NEVER DHL) with instructions to "Hold for pickup" at the facility nearest the airport. Both UPS and FedEx handle the packages with more care than the airlines. Be sure to put FRAGILE stickers on it, UPS and FedEx might read that, I don't think the commercial airlines care.

One more thing, I would never ship my hollow body Gibson ES-330 on an airplane, only a solid body guitar.

Insights and incites by Notes ♫

Bob "Notes" Norton

Owner, Norton Music http://www.nortonmusic.com Add-on Styles for Band-in-a-Box and Microsoft SongSmith

The Sophisticats http://www.s-cats.com >^. .^< >^. .^<


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(@anonymous)
Illustrious Member
Joined: 14 years ago
Posts: 8306
 

get a hard shell case that can withstand getting tossed around.
i got an acoustic broken checking it in a soft case. if that's all you have, carry it on with you. most flights will let you put it in the closet near the front. if not, make a stink about it, don't let them check it until you're at the gate.


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

Listen to the guys who have already posted.

And think about who is going to be loading the plane

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5YGc4zOqozo
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_Breaks_Guitars

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


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(@scrybe)
Noble Member
Joined: 14 years ago
Posts: 2246
 

I always loosen the tension on the strings first, I don't know if this is gospel truth or not, but I've heard other guitarists do this with and it seems to make sense.

It isn't needed - a guitar tech told me it was just an old wive' tale, and I've tried flying with my guitar with the strings still at tension and had no trouble. The guitar came out the other end till perfectly in tune.

I've only ever flown with a hard case, a Hiscox, to be exact. Whether you can carry it on or not (I couldn't) tend to depend on the airline and the particular plane, so be prepared to have to check the guitar, even if you contact the airline in advance and they say you can carry it on board.

Ra Er Ga.

Ninjazz have SuperChops.

http://www.blipfoto.com/Scrybe


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

Buy a GOOD QUALITY hard-case - it may cost more, but a cheap one is false economy. I bought a cheap one a few years ago - it was OK on the outward flight, but when we got home, I came to pick it up off the luggage carousel and both hinges parted company with the back of the case! Scrabbling around in a crowded luggage hall for picks, slides, capo, strings etc was fun - NOT! - not to mention the guitar getting bashed about.

And make sure it's a lockable case, and make damn sure it's locked!!!

Vic

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


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 cnev
(@cnev)
Famed Member
Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 4478
 

I don't think they will let you lock your luggage for security reasons. They want to be able to go through it and check. I know they always ask about my suitcase when I drop it off at the X-ray machine.

"It's all about stickin it to the man!"
It's a long way to the top if you want to rock n roll!


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(@lue42)
Reputable Member
Joined: 13 years ago
Posts: 356
 

My recommendation would be a travel guitar. If you are just bringing your guitar for practice purposes... not a performance, etc at the destination, then it should be all you need.

I have a Washburn Rover and love it... funny thing is that of my 4 guitars, it is probably my favorite guitar to play.

If you are thinking about spending money on a (potentially) expensive travel case, then it may be better spent on a small travel guitar. If you would rather an electric, you can find lots of nice electric travel guitars out there. Bring along a headphone amp like a Vox Amplug and a decent quality computer speaker (you just need 1) and you are good to go.

This is what I have:

Bought it used, with "addon" pickup for $150.

My Fingerstyle Guitar Blog:
http://fsguitar.wordpress.com

My Guitars
Ibanez Artwood AWS1000ECE-NT
Schecter S-1 30th Anniversary Edition
Ovation CS257
LaPatrie Etude
Washburn Rover RO10


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(@cchonos)
New Member
Joined: 11 years ago
Posts: 3
 

I have to agree with most people on here that it would be a good investment to buy a good hard shell if you want to travel with your guitar. I personally bought a decent Martin traveling guitar and use that for any traveling I do...it has hpl instead of real wood and is more durable.


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(@notes_norton)
Noble Member
Joined: 14 years ago
Posts: 1497
 

I always loosen the tension on the strings first, I don't know if this is gospel truth or not, but I've heard other guitarists do this with and it seems to make sense.

It isn't needed - a guitar tech told me it was just an old wive' tale, and I've tried flying with my guitar with the strings still at tension and had no trouble. The guitar came out the other end till perfectly in tune.

That's interesting and good to know.

Notes ♫

Bob "Notes" Norton

Owner, Norton Music http://www.nortonmusic.com Add-on Styles for Band-in-a-Box and Microsoft SongSmith

The Sophisticats http://www.s-cats.com >^. .^< >^. .^<


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