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BS: Flying with your guitar

Murray MacLeod 27 Sep 01 - 12:40 AM
Seamus Kennedy 27 Sep 01 - 02:34 AM
kendall 27 Sep 01 - 07:39 AM
Grab 27 Sep 01 - 08:05 AM
Murray MacLeod 27 Sep 01 - 08:21 AM
Midchuck 27 Sep 01 - 08:22 AM
DebC 27 Sep 01 - 09:29 AM
Murray MacLeod 27 Sep 01 - 09:35 AM
Walking Eagle 27 Sep 01 - 10:14 AM
Amos 27 Sep 01 - 10:21 AM
Mrrzy 27 Sep 01 - 10:32 AM
53 27 Sep 01 - 11:54 AM
John MacKenzie 27 Sep 01 - 02:00 PM
Seamus Kennedy 27 Sep 01 - 02:17 PM
Bert 27 Sep 01 - 02:49 PM
GUEST,Kim C 27 Sep 01 - 04:11 PM
GUEST,Lyle 27 Sep 01 - 05:46 PM
Bert 27 Sep 01 - 11:16 PM
Nancy King 28 Sep 01 - 12:18 AM
Midchuck 28 Sep 01 - 11:17 AM
GUEST,Melani 28 Sep 01 - 02:45 PM
MARINER 28 Sep 01 - 03:05 PM
Justa Picker 28 Sep 01 - 03:11 PM
weepiper 28 Sep 01 - 05:28 PM
Walking Eagle 28 Sep 01 - 05:51 PM
Genie 30 Sep 01 - 11:07 PM
Tiger Eye 01 Oct 01 - 01:05 AM
Murray MacLeod 01 Oct 01 - 05:41 AM
BK 10 Oct 01 - 11:07 PM
Crane Driver 10 Oct 01 - 11:17 PM
BK 10 Oct 01 - 11:17 PM
JedMarum 11 Oct 01 - 12:24 AM
Seamus Kennedy 11 Oct 01 - 04:00 PM
Bert 11 Oct 01 - 10:56 PM
Seamus Kennedy 12 Oct 01 - 01:56 PM
X 28 Nov 01 - 01:02 PM
Maxine 28 Nov 01 - 02:13 PM
53 28 Nov 01 - 02:50 PM
Roger in Baltimore 28 Nov 01 - 05:49 PM
Murray MacLeod 28 Nov 01 - 09:11 PM
Kaleea 29 Nov 01 - 04:36 AM
BK 16 Dec 01 - 12:36 AM
BK 16 Dec 01 - 12:42 AM
GUEST,Uwe Schmidt 16 Dec 01 - 09:56 AM
Bert 17 Dec 01 - 01:33 AM
Naemanson 24 Oct 02 - 09:06 AM
53 24 Oct 02 - 11:01 AM
GUEST 24 Oct 02 - 11:05 AM
53 24 Oct 02 - 11:18 AM
GUEST 24 Oct 02 - 11:22 AM
Naemanson 24 Oct 02 - 11:23 AM
GUEST 24 Oct 02 - 11:24 AM
53 24 Oct 02 - 11:27 AM
GUEST 24 Oct 02 - 11:28 AM
53 25 Oct 02 - 11:11 AM
Midchuck 25 Oct 02 - 11:23 AM
Troll 25 Oct 02 - 11:53 AM
Charley Noble 25 Oct 02 - 08:57 PM
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Subject: Flying with your guitar
From: Murray MacLeod
Date: 27 Sep 01 - 12:40 AM

I would be really interested to know whether anyone has flown with their guitar since 9-11 and if so whether they have perceived any change in their chosen airline's policy regrding guitars as carry-on luggage.

Murray


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Subject: RE: BS: Flying with your guitar
From: Seamus Kennedy
Date: 27 Sep 01 - 02:34 AM

Murray, there was a change in the airlines' policy prior to 9-11. Up until 2 years ago, I always used to bring my guitar in a padded backpack case on board, and stow it in the overhead. When United introduced the "template" at the security checkpoint (which affected all other airlines), I was no longer allowed to bring it on board. Rather than fight them and cause a scene, because I do an awful lot of flying to my gigs, I bought a Calton hard-shell travelling case, and checked my guitar every time. It's easier, less hassle, no arguments; I've never lost it, or had the guitar show up late; it hasn't been damaged, and I don't get dirty looks from other passengers who consider me a "bin-hog." I can unreservedly recommend Calton cases. They're made in Canada. All the best.

Seamus


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Subject: RE: BS: Flying with your guitar
From: kendall
Date: 27 Sep 01 - 07:39 AM

Price?


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Subject: RE: BS: Flying with your guitar
From: Grab
Date: 27 Sep 01 - 08:05 AM

I actually _was_ flying on 9/11, just coming back from Greece. BTW, a hard-case is _essential_ to overcome the Greek desire to trash your luggage.

Classic situation - at checkin in Greece:

"Please can you put this in fragile?" "Fragile? OK." Checkin girl slaps fragile sticker on case, then puts case on conveyor (on its edge) with rest of luggage. 5 yards down, the guitar joins the next conveyor by slamming into the wall neck-first, then falling over with a loud bang. A suitcase then falls on top of it. I narrowly restrain myself from going ballistic...

Graham.


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Subject: RE: BS: Flying with your guitar
From: Murray MacLeod
Date: 27 Sep 01 - 08:21 AM

Yeah, I knew about the remplate, Seamus, last time I flew with a guitar was just before they introduced them, and I was able to carry it on board (in a gig bag).

In previous threads on this subject, there were always one or two peopole who swore they could cajole their way into getting their guitars on board despite the template. I agree with you, I just don't think it is worth the hassle, (especially after 9-11) and that your Calton case is the solution.

For Kendall's benefit, and anyone else who may be interested, here is a link to information about flight cases from the website of the very wonderful Christine Lavin.

Murray


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Subject: RE: BS: Flying with your guitar
From: Midchuck
Date: 27 Sep 01 - 08:22 AM

Best prices on new Caltons that I'm aware of. Still a lot.

I've had good luck tracking down used ones, but fit is always a consideration.

Peter.


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Subject: RE: BS: Flying with your guitar
From: DebC
Date: 27 Sep 01 - 09:29 AM

I also have to chime in here as well...(Murray, I had my Martin in a Calton case when I came to visit you last year, remember?)

The Calton case is the best investment I have ever made for my guitar. When I saw that United was doing the template thing, I plunked down the $500+ and got a Calton. I have no uneasy feelings about checking my Martin when it is in the Calton. There are some great survival stories and testamonials about how Calton cases have protected guitars.

I fly a lot and I cannot stand it when people take up the overhead bins with all kinds of stuff. As one flight attendant said to me when I asked about the carry-on situation, "It's really a safety issue. Things DO shift in the bins during flight and the possibility of something that heavy landing on someone's head is a risk that we don't want to take"

I haven't flown with my guitar since the disaster, but the airlines have been great...I ask that my guitar be brought to special handling where you have to show your claim number to retrieve it.

Spend the $$$ for a Calton. It's worth it.

Deb


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Subject: RE: BS: Flying with your guitar
From: Murray MacLeod
Date: 27 Sep 01 - 09:35 AM

Yes Deb, I remember it well. I also remember that I was the one who had to carry it around ! *BG* . But my arm is much better now .....................:-)

Murray


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Subject: RE: BS: Flying with your guitar
From: Walking Eagle
Date: 27 Sep 01 - 10:14 AM

It might be a hassle ( now especially ) but I'd call ahead to the airline ahead of your planned flight and ask what their NEW policy might be regarding musical instruments. I once flew with my dulcimer in a hardshell case and found out that the airline would neither check it through or put it in overhead storage. I wound up buying a ticket for it. I learned my lesson, check first. I imagine that applys doubly now.


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Subject: RE: BS: Flying with your guitar
From: Amos
Date: 27 Sep 01 - 10:21 AM

A thin layer of high-density foam inside the hardshell case will provide an extra layer of protection and alittle more peace of mind.

Good advice on calling to ask the airlines.

A.


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Subject: RE: BS: Flying with your guitar
From: Mrrzy
Date: 27 Sep 01 - 10:32 AM

Somebody posted on one of the other 9-11 threads about flying with a guitar and security didn't even open the guitar case, this was after the attacks.

The only time I saw my father cry was when he found out that one of my sisters had checked his guitar and it had been destroyed by the airline. As with any luggage, assume that they will trash it, not that they will be careful with it...


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Subject: RE: BS: Flying with your guitar
From: 53
Date: 27 Sep 01 - 11:54 AM

make sure it's wings are strong enough to hold both of you up in the air.bob


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Subject: RE: BS: Flying with your guitar
From: John MacKenzie
Date: 27 Sep 01 - 02:00 PM

Flew back from Logan on 21/9, 1 piece of hand luggage only,they let me carry my new banjo on as hand baggage but nothing else,so had to check my hand luggage in. Still no real problems.

Jock


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Subject: RE: BS: Flying with your guitar
From: Seamus Kennedy
Date: 27 Sep 01 - 02:17 PM

Amos, be careful with the foam, and make sure it's covered with some kind of cloth. I did this years ago with an old Martin D-28, without covering the foam with material, and apparently there's a chemical process called 'plasticizer migration" in which the chemicals in the foam can react with the chemicals in the finish of the guitar and cause blistering. Folks, the Calton cases are superb, but they only have 2 D-rings for one shoulder strap.Here's a little trick that I did to make it back-portable. I got an extra pair of D-rings from the company, and added them to my case on the other side from the existing pair. I can now attach 2 padded straps to carry it on my back.

All the best.

Seamus


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Subject: RE: BS: Flying with your guitar
From: Bert
Date: 27 Sep 01 - 02:49 PM

Well I had a hard case destroyed once on an air trip. I suspect that the only reason that the guitar survived was because it was a cheap Yamaha.

If I had to check a guitar now I would put the hard case inside a heavy cardboard box with a lot extra padding (all of my clothes for the trip).

The machines that transfer bags from one conveyor to another, do so by hitting the bag so hard that it flies into the air. Imagine your guitar being hit with a heavy sledge hammer and pack it accordingly.


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Subject: RE: BS: Flying with your guitar
From: GUEST,Kim C
Date: 27 Sep 01 - 04:11 PM

Well, this is all another good reason to drive, ain't it? Although it would be a trick driving from Greece to Nashville.

I have not had to fly with a musical instrument YET --- I am assuming they will let me carry-on my fiddle. But one never knows.

My fiddle teacher once told me some of the people she worked with carried on their guitars and put them in the little closet up front where people put their hanging bags.

Mrrzy, I don't know if you were talking about me or not, because I honestly don't remember if I posted this - but a guy that I played with last week had flown in from Colorado Springs on the 19th, and he told us security didn't open up his guitar case.

If you can get a tommygun in a violin case, what can you get in a guitar case?! Geez, do you think anyone could use a capo as an instrument of intimidation? Take this plane to Vegas or I'll pinch your nose! No, I guess not...


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Subject: RE: BS: Flying with your guitar
From: GUEST,Lyle
Date: 27 Sep 01 - 05:46 PM

A few years (3 maybe??) there was a discussion on bluegrass-l (I think!) about this, and one problem several talked about was that if you send if as luggage on your flight, and it is lost or damaged, the maximum you'll get is the $100.00 for lost/destroyed luggage. The advise was then to send it by freight where it can be cheaply insured for the full amount. Some even said it got better handling that way.

Anyone verify or refute this???

Lyle


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Subject: RE: BS: Flying with your guitar
From: Bert
Date: 27 Sep 01 - 11:16 PM

If it's going air freight, it is going to go through the same conveyor systems. If you ship it UPS, it will get thrown off the end of the conveyor into a chute at fairly high speed and will hit the side wall of the chute and then drop down into the chute and then finally drop onto the conveyor below.

Pack everything so that you would be confident in throwing it down stairs or out of an upstairs window. Be confident enough to actually perform that test, if not then go and repack it.

Duct tape or rope around a package will ensure that thieves leave it alone and go for easier pickings. Make your package look really cheap and tacky (with the rope) to also discourage thieves.


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Subject: RE: BS: Flying with your guitar
From: Nancy King
Date: 28 Sep 01 - 12:18 AM

Last February I took my guitar on a trip and tried to get it "checked at the gate" so as to minimize the banging around. Outbound they wouldn't let me do it because "it won't fit through the security scanner." Going home they said I could, but when it didn't go through the security scanner I had to go through quite a hassle. Not worth it, I think.

Quite aside from the strength of the case, the nature of the padding, and how and by whom it is handled, there are a couple of other suggestions I have heard (perhaps even read in this very forum) about flying with a guitar:
(1) loosen the strings so they don't tighten up too much in the cold baggage compartment and either break or warp the guitar neck, and
(2) when you arrive, resist the temptation to open the case and check it out right away. As long as it doesn't rattle, keep the case closed so the guitar can come up to room temperature slowly. If it's been really cold in baggage, and is suddenly exposed to warm air, the finish can crack and "craze." Happened to a friend of mine.

I really like Christine Lavin's suggestion about packing your clothes in a gig bag! Gotta get me a gig bag!

Cheers, Nancy


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Subject: RE: BS: Flying with your guitar
From: Midchuck
Date: 28 Sep 01 - 11:17 AM

Along with Nancy's suggestions: If the end pin isn't glued in solid, take it out and put it in the accessory case. If someone drops the case, or sets it down hard, on the bottom end, the end pin makes a fairly good splitting wedge.

Peter.


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Subject: RE: BS: Flying with your guitar
From: GUEST,Melani
Date: 28 Sep 01 - 02:45 PM

I have a hardshell case that was a birthday present many, many years ago. It weighs about 2,000 lbs., but it recently fell down a small ravine with no damage to the guitar. I have always checked it when flying and never had a problem, but then I don't fly that much.

Amos, Seasmus, thanks for the info about foam.


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Subject: RE: BS: Flying with your guitar
From: MARINER
Date: 28 Sep 01 - 03:05 PM

I wonder , with the paranoia being displayed by airlines and their employees regarding people of swarthy complexion and such deadly weapons as nail clippers and files, how long will it take them to ban guitar and banjo strings?. After all they would make a useful garrot, far more effective to the potential hijacker than a nail file? God I hope I haven't planted the idea in any of their minds.


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Subject: RE: BS: Flying with your guitar
From: Justa Picker
Date: 28 Sep 01 - 03:11 PM

This has been covered here before, but in light of this thread, the information remains pertinent and useful. Click.


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Subject: RE: BS: Flying with your guitar
From: weepiper
Date: 28 Sep 01 - 05:28 PM

My boyfriend has said he will refuse point blank to fly if he can't take his fiddle (last valuation: £27,000) on as hand baggage. We have a friend who once checked his conga and later saw it out of the check-in window being tossed onto a luggage cart, missing and bouncing 4 feet off the concrete...


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Subject: RE: BS: Flying with your guitar
From: Walking Eagle
Date: 28 Sep 01 - 05:51 PM

Shet your 'tater trap Mariner! **Giggle** I was just fixin' to do that very thing! NOT!!

Seriously, do call ahead and check for any new regs on odd ball stuff. One friend flying back from overseas this past week with his backpack guitar and case ran into a LOT of hassles.


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Subject: RE: BS: Flying with your guitar
From: Genie
Date: 30 Sep 01 - 11:07 PM

Midchuck, Couldn't you also make a kind of ring out of foam rubber or styrofoam to encircle the end pin, so that your foam ring would abosorb the inpact instead of the end pin, if someone set the case down hard?

My problem with taking my old Martin on a plane is as much fear of theft as fear of damage. Many airports have little or no security in baggage claim.
Alaska will (or used to) insure luggage beyond their usual liability for $1.00 per $100 value of the item.

Special handling was mentioned above. How much does that cost?

Airlines used to have "escort luggage," where you checked the luggage at the gate and picked it up there when the plane landed. Do any airlines still have that?
Genie


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Subject: RE: BS: Flying with your guitar
From: Tiger Eye
Date: 01 Oct 01 - 01:05 AM

This was before the September 11th terror attacks: As soon as they call for passengers travelling with small children, passengers in wheelchairs, etc, go to the front of the line, with no other carry-ons.

The bins are all empty at this point, so instruments don't pose any stowage problems. Carry-on bags fit nicely around them.

If you're late and the bins are partly filled, it can really be a hassle to stow the guitar. Be very early and alert and assertive.

My guitars and other instruments have all made it easily through the x-ray scanners, too.


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Subject: RE: BS: Flying with your guitar
From: Murray MacLeod
Date: 01 Oct 01 - 05:41 AM

Tiger-eye. your advice is erroneous. The days of guitars as carry-on luggaga are over.

And just how did you get your guitar through the template at the x-ray scanner? I suspect you are reminiscing about the (g)olden days of flying, when they didn't have templates, and a sweet smile was enough to get your guitar on board.

Not today.

Murray


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Subject: RE: BS: Flying with your guitar
From: BK
Date: 10 Oct 01 - 11:07 PM

Not knowing abt this thread, I started another w/the following:

"Prior to 9/11/01, I had travelled on commercial flights for more than 20 years - countless times - virtually always w/a (mostly dreadnaught) guitar in HSC, & as much as practical, I had it pretty much down pat... (even a Jumbo HSC can fit in near any overhead on modern airliners. Been Der', Done Dat, many times.) BUT NOW?

Has any mudcatter tried to take their axe on a commercial flight w/them since 9/11? I've gotten a few comments from non-musicians which are contradictory. I've also been told that they (airlines) are GRATEFUL AS HELL FOR THE BUSINESS, suggesting they MIGHT be accomodating/understanding.. I also know that it's easier to ask for forgiveness than get permission.. which is part of what virtually always worked for me in the past..

Any advice?? Recent experience??"

I can tell you that as late as july this year I flew, as always, w/a guitar in HSC, ("ooo" sized, this time) on-board in the overhead, w/no hassles (forget what airline, but probably TWA). I've almost always ignored their silly-ass templates and apparently not every carrier displays/uses them & the only time I was hassled abt the template was when I was carrying a Baby Taylor, of all things, & brought it on board any-way, after some tense unpleasantness. That was Southwest, & I will never voluntarily fly w/them again.

Cheers, BK


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Subject: RE: BS: Flying with your guitar
From: Crane Driver
Date: 10 Oct 01 - 11:17 PM

Friend of mine tried to bring a Breton 'bombarde' through customs - before he'd got the whole word out they were under the table -


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Subject: RE: BS: Flying with your guitar
From: BK
Date: 10 Oct 01 - 11:17 PM

Forgot to say: ALWAYS try to get the highest numbered (row) seats, (>20), as these are at the back, & load first (among the peons & after folks w/kids, special needs, etc). In this way the overheads are nearly empty & there is no problem having enuf overhead space. Also, I've not encountered a scanner that even a jumbo case won't easily fit through.

Cheers, BK


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Subject: RE: BS: Flying with your guitar
From: JedMarum
Date: 11 Oct 01 - 12:24 AM

On a flight from Boston to Dallas last week, tehy wouldn't even let me bring my capos and harmonicas on-board! Don't even think about trying to carry on your guitar!


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Subject: RE: BS: Flying with your guitar
From: Seamus Kennedy
Date: 11 Oct 01 - 04:00 PM

Once again, buy a Calton case (I am not a paid endorser, just a full-time traveling entertainer) and check the guitar. No hassles. No scenes. If they lose it they will replace it. In 30 years, I've never had an instrument lost or damaged. If you try to argue with security or podium personnel, you'll get bounced. It's not worth the aggravation.

Seamus


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Subject: RE: BS: Flying with your guitar
From: Bert
Date: 11 Oct 01 - 10:56 PM

Jed Marum, The only man with a '38 Special' harmonica.


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Subject: RE: BS: Flying with your guitar
From: Seamus Kennedy
Date: 12 Oct 01 - 01:56 PM

Yeah, Bert, but what caliber are his capos?

Kysers are pretty harmless, but those Shubbs.....

Seamus


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Subject: RE: BS: Flying with your guitar
From: X
Date: 28 Nov 01 - 01:02 PM

I buy my guitar a ticket and for my banjo, I take off the neck and put it in my rucksack along with the pot and carry it onboard. I check the empty banjo case.


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Subject: RE: BS: Flying with your guitar
From: Maxine
Date: 28 Nov 01 - 02:13 PM

I flew back to the UK from Florida with Virgin on 22nd October this year. I bought my guitar whilst I was on holiday and obviously had to bring it home with me. I was terrified that they would take my new 'baby' away and make me put it in the hold and I had visions of it being a battered and crushed wreck by the time it got through the conveyor belts at Gatwick. The steward, literally as I was stepping onto the plane said "is that a guitar"? (duh!) and said I wouldn't be able to take it on board as it could be used as a lethal weapon. My husband was quick to point out that, though my playing was bad, it really wasn't that bad! Bless him. Steel strings I suppose. Apparently, it is completely up to the cabin crew as to whether they are happy with it on board or not, and after much begging the steward put it in their own private locker. So my guitar was saved many indignities and I got it home in one piece. What I really wanted to say is 'check with your airline' I just went a very long way about saying it!


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Subject: RE: BS: Flying with your guitar
From: 53
Date: 28 Nov 01 - 02:50 PM

was that a taylor baby? BOB


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Subject: RE: BS: Flying with your guitar
From: Roger in Baltimore
Date: 28 Nov 01 - 05:49 PM

I have had two experiences flying with a guitar. The first was flying to Canada about 5 years ago. I asked the airline ahead of time and they agreed to let me bring it on the plane. On the way back to the USA, my connecting flight was cancelled. I was given a ticket on another airline. I was stopped at the gateway door and firmly told I could not bring my guitar on board. I pleaded that it was a vintage Martin and a family heirloom to no avail. I had to check it at the gate and watch it being loaded on with the other checked baggage. I said a prayer for it (an infrequent behavior for me).

I went out and bought a Mark Leaf case. Different than a Carlton, looks like crap (like it's covered by aluminum foil) and is a rounded triangle shape, no obvious upper and lower bout. It is designed specifically to fit my guitar. I have not thrown it out the window, but I suspect the guitar would survive. Still I flinched as I watched it on the conveyor.

I flew 11/11/01 using the Mark Leaf case and had no problems with the guitar as checked baggage. However, at both destination airports, it was not on the baggage carousel. It was at the "odd shaped baggage" pickup. When I picked it up in Baltimore, there was luggage waiting from previous flights. One was a nice hardshell guitar case. I was tempted to go peek. There was no supervision to prevent me from picking it up and taking it with me (cringe!).

I am not a frequent flyer or a nasty guy, but I try to avoid having any carryon luggage that doesn't fit under my seat. I suspect if I saw a Mudcatter whom I didn't know shove a dreadnaught guitar HSC into the overhead luggage bin I would consider him or her to be an inconsiderate jerk. They are clearly taking up much more than their fair share. All too frequently I see the last few boarders have little or no space for their carry-ons, usually because the kitchen sink and everything else has already been stuffed in.

The airlines are at fault for this. Except for my guitar, they seem to be oblivious to the carry-on baggage a person has except to announce routinely that the number and size are limited. Many people get on with objects more numerous or larger than allowed and no one comments to them.

It is a dog-eat-dog situation and I don't much like it so I opt out.

Roger in Baltimore


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Subject: RE: BS: Flying with your guitar
From: Murray MacLeod
Date: 28 Nov 01 - 09:11 PM

Roger, you make some very valid observations. It really annoys the shit out of me when I see some fat-assed broad hauling three tons of carry-on crap on board and holding everybody else up while she stuffs it inro two overhead compartments. Meanwhile, I could have fitted my guitar into a quarter of the space, but no, I checked it in, didn't I?

I hope to God that one result of the new airline revamping will be that the FAA finally gets its finger out of its ass and standardizes and enforces the same regulations for all airlines. At the moment it is a total crapshoot as to what be carried on and what can't.

Murray


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Subject: RE: BS: Flying with your guitar
From: Kaleea
Date: 29 Nov 01 - 04:36 AM

In the bicentennial year (1976)I began to fly with my guitar, a 1964 Gibson J45. I had bought it to replace the 12 string that caved in (duh!). I put my gibson in the 12 string case which was made with very thick plywood (got it with the 12 string in 1972 when things were made in a markedly different manner, i.e, good. I could even set it down on it's side-*handle side up*- and sit on it at airports or wherever! When I placed it in the case, and realised that my 12 string was longer (hey- I was just a teenager!), so I put a sponge made for car washing which was sort of half moon shaped(a real one from the ocean, not the fake kind) at the base area on the end pin, which perfectly fit the curve of the case. I loosened the strings, as mentioned above, placed a cheap little humidifier into the accessories compartment of the case, and folded a plush towel over the face. As with most Gibsons, the face checked (had fine cracks in the laquer) from the temp in the bowels of the baggage compartment of the jet. My guitar has traveled quite well over the years in this fashion. I suggest that we all keep our eyes out for second hand 30-40 year old guitar cases & pay the price for those old high quality cases. Meanwhile at home, since geezerhood has set in, I carry the old guitar in a padded nylon gigbag. And no, I don't sit on it.


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Subject: RE: BS: Flying with your guitar
From: BK
Date: 16 Dec 01 - 12:36 AM

Update: flew to Houston from St Louis w/the DM in an old "airline proof" Martin hardshell; Got EVERY OTHER HASSLE IN THE UNIVERSE, (took HOURS to get to the plane & endless b.s. & they really freaked over my 30-year-old 4" crescent wrench hanging on my key ring, a momento of my Navy days I wasn't about to let them throw in the trash.) but NOT A WORD OF PROTEST OR HASSLE AT ALL ABT THE GUITAR, PICKS, STRINGS, CAPOS, ETC! FROM ANYONE, PERIOD. go figure. Flying back was the opposite; TWA had been bought by American & a TWA employee breaking in to American was told by an arrogant American employee (we later found had been demoted from supervisor) to disallow us - after he told us airport security was the problem, not the airline. This guy later changed his story several times & was absolutely vituperative by the end of our discussion.

My wife checked w/security, which made a liar out of that clown. Then she went to a real American supervisor, who retrieved my guitar & said the problem was that they now flew a lot of smaller "F-100's" (a German airliner, not the super-saber) & their bins were "small." We did indeed fly back on an F-100 & the bins are SIGNIFANTLY LARGER than the usual Boeing & Douglas planes. The DM in HSC fit w/gobs of extra space.

After this mess I will drive if at all possible & will not fly American unless there is no acceptable option. I've had it... At St louis the baggage was unattended by any seurity, our bags were already laying about when we got to baggage claim, & if the DM had been among 'em, & by good luck not busted, it would certainly have been stolen before I could get there, & that (theft) is what an insurance employee we talked to said were, by far, the bulk of the claims they had to settle re guitars & just abt anything else of value when comercial air travel was involved. Tha casual lack of any security at baggage claim is astonishing & potentially dangerous. You still get the impression that total confusion reigns in most of the air travel industry & I doubt that air travel is really any safer against a skilled & competent bad guy.

BTW we did check w/the airlines multiple multiple times in the weeks & days before we flew & were, surprisingly, given no prohibition against the guitar being in the cabin. We were also told a small knapsack was among the preferred "personal items" one could bring on-board in addition to a stricly enforced SINGLE CARRY-ON, but at the airport I was forced to check it. Go figure.. I was also "randomly" selected at every opportunity for additional searching.. The dullwits doing most of the "security" were very entertaining. Most were teeny-boppers, or close to it. The guy at the last check opened the guitar case & stared a long time at the DM, & finally said "I guess that's a guitar, huh?" I assured him he was spot-on in his astute assessment... Then he politely waved me on to the plane..

Also for grins I realized I'd been flying w/a guitar since I was 18; Let's just say over 30 yrs. I've yet to personally encounter a security scanner too small for a dreadnaught in HSC & it's been decades since I've seen an overhead compartment too small for one in any of the standard jet-liners. (The small comuter liners are generally different.)

Our experience & my $0.02 worth.

Cheers, BK


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Subject: RE: BS: Flying with your guitar
From: BK
Date: 16 Dec 01 - 12:42 AM

Forgot to say: the above air travel was in the last days of November & the first week in December.

Cheers, BK


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Subject: RE: BS: Flying with your guitar
From: GUEST,Uwe Schmidt
Date: 16 Dec 01 - 09:56 AM

I fly every year from Frankfurt to Ireland. I used a hardcase and I had to give it to the luggage. And they crashed three times my guitar! One time even the neck was broken! (Fortunatelly it could be repaired) Now I never again give my guitar to the luggage. I take an old guitar (not my 12 string Martin) with me and put it in a soft cover. Then I hope that they have to let me bring the guitar on board.


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Subject: RE: BS: Flying with your guitar
From: Bert
Date: 17 Dec 01 - 01:33 AM

Many times before Sept. 11th. I have carried a guitar as hand luggage without a case and never had a problem. I think that the sight of the naked guitar elicited a certain amount of sympathy from the airline staff. I don't think I'd try that now though.


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Subject: RE: BS: Flying with your guitar
From: Naemanson
Date: 24 Oct 02 - 09:06 AM

There's some great stuff here. Thanks to all.

I guess my best bet is to buy a hard shell case from Calton for the 12 string and build cases for the other guitars. I'll ship the built cases. I think I can build them sting enough to do the job. I'll paint them bright yellow or something equally ostentatious so they can stand out in a pile. Hopefully that will help to protect them. Then on my trips I will use the hardshell case to carry the one guitar I need and let the others abide at home.

I agree with everyone who prefers to drive. I do not like flying. It doesn't scare me (much) but it is so uncomfortable and regimented. I hate being driven like sheep through the sterile plastic environment of an airport. I hate airports, security, bland art work, fake smiles, hurrying, and all the other things that make up the flying experience. I drive whenever I can avoid flying. However, moving to the other side of the big puddle will require me to grin and bear it.


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Subject: RE: BS: Flying with your guitar
From: 53
Date: 24 Oct 02 - 11:01 AM

don't.


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Subject: RE: BS: Flying with your guitar
From: GUEST
Date: 24 Oct 02 - 11:05 AM

I'll bite, Bob. Don't what, fly?

g


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Subject: RE: BS: Flying with your guitar
From: 53
Date: 24 Oct 02 - 11:18 AM

That is correct.


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Subject: RE: BS: Flying with your guitar
From: GUEST
Date: 24 Oct 02 - 11:22 AM

But if you lived across the ocean from your children wouldn't you fly to visit? Uh, perhaps you would just not bring along the guitar(s). Hmmm. g


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Subject: RE: BS: Flying with your guitar
From: Naemanson
Date: 24 Oct 02 - 11:23 AM

It's a long swim to Italy from Maine, especially pushing a guitar case.


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Subject: RE: BS: Flying with your guitar
From: GUEST
Date: 24 Oct 02 - 11:24 AM

*Grin*

g


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Subject: RE: BS: Flying with your guitar
From: 53
Date: 24 Oct 02 - 11:27 AM

Don't fly with your guitar. Rent one when you get to where you are going. That way yours won't get hurt.


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Subject: RE: BS: Flying with your guitar
From: GUEST
Date: 24 Oct 02 - 11:28 AM

I think I know where Bob is coming from. He'd just not move that far away. In fact I know he likes living so near all his children he can visit them regularly.
g


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Subject: RE: BS: Flying with your guitar
From: 53
Date: 25 Oct 02 - 11:11 AM

Thanks g


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Subject: RE: BS: Flying with your guitar
From: Midchuck
Date: 25 Oct 02 - 11:23 AM

I have a guitar (20+ year old Guild D25) that lives with my daughter, formerly in Salt Lake, now in Bozeman. Saves a great deal of hassle, and she has a spare for company. (Of course, those old Guilds, you could probably check in with no case, and they'd come through fine. How come the Guild people in the '70s could build a guitar as rugged as those are, that was not too expensive and still sounded good, and now no one can? I mean, there's a ton of great guitars available, but they're all fragile.)

Peter.


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Subject: RE: BS: Flying with your guitar
From: Troll
Date: 25 Oct 02 - 11:53 AM

I flew to Japan from Florida in May 2002 with two guitars. I bought Harptone 5-ply cases for the trip and both guitars came through without a hitch. The toloex was scratched on one case and that was the only damage.
I padded both guitars heavily and made sure that the peg-head was well supported.
As I said, no problems. I'm coming home in November and I'll pack the same way. If there is any problem , I'll post with the details.

troll


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Subject: RE: BS: Flying with your guitar
From: Charley Noble
Date: 25 Oct 02 - 08:57 PM

A strong case is essential, fill all voids with socks and underwear, loosen strings, add a strap to case so if it comes unlatched it still will not open, and don't count on "special handling", be there at the baggage shoot so you can catch your beloved instrument as it flys out.
That's my winning formula since 9/11 and I really would miss my old 5-string banjo.

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


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This Thread Is Closed.


Mudcat time: 9 July 5:18 AM EDT

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