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#2459879 - 01/02/13 01:52 PM Airplane Guitar TRAVEL!!!??
blake5377 Offline
Member

Registered: 12/31/12
Posts: 5
Hey Everybody...

So what is your advice on Traveling with your guitar via Airplane?

I usually try to Gate Check my guitar, Instead of putting it in the belly..

I have a standard Gibson SG Case


Ive heard some horror stories with this case... but in my past experiences, had no problems when I traveled long distances via Air....


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#2459885 - 01/02/13 02:15 PM Re: Airplane Guitar TRAVEL!!!?? [Re: blake5377]
p90junior Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 08/01/08
Posts: 57
hmm...

Last time I flew with a guitar, actually 2 of them which I'd stuffed into an acoustic gig bag and padded with blankets, I just put it in the overhead compartment with no problems, accept one leg of the flight where the plane was packed and the stewardess had me stick it with their luggage in a closet up front. I remember getting to the gate check point with it on my back, right behind a guy who had a small road case who handed it over to the guy and said "be VERY careful with this, it's very sensitive electronic equipment" and the guy turned around and threw it down the shaft right in front of him, which made the guy explode in a tirade of profanities about it being a $6,000 projector or something and the airline guy just looking at him like "screw you." When I walked past he extended his hands towards me and I said "no way..."

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#2459887 - 01/02/13 02:23 PM Re: Airplane Guitar TRAVEL!!!?? [Re: blake5377]
Scott Fraser Offline
MP Hall of Fame Member

Registered: 03/20/05
Posts: 3876
Loc: Los Angeles
Originally Posted By: blake5377
Hey Everybody...
So what is your advice on Traveling with your guitar via Airplane?


Either in a very serious flight case if you're OK with checking it, or else it goes in the overhead in a gig bag. And I wouldn't take a priceless non-replaceable guitar with me on tour either.

Quote:
I usually try to Gate Check my guitar, Instead of putting it in the belly..


Gate checking it still puts it in the hold with the other luggage. It just avoids the conveyors getting from the terminal to the plane.

Quote:
Ive heard some horror stories with this case... but in my past experiences, had no problems when I traveled long distances via Air....


Consider yourself lucky. That kind of case provides a bare minimum of protection. It's OK with any normal careful handling, i.e. roadies getting you from van to stage & back, but not's not what you get with baggage crews.
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Scott Fraser

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#2459899 - 01/02/13 02:56 PM Re: Airplane Guitar TRAVEL!!!?? [Re: Scott Fraser]
p90junior Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 08/01/08
Posts: 57
Sitting in a bar in the airport in DC, I think, during a layover I was looking out the window and there was a plane being loaded right in front of us. The handler picked up what looked like a cello case, and started to put it on the conveyor belt, but stopped and banged it on the ground a few times before throwing it on... I couldn't believe it, made me VERY angry.

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#2459900 - 01/02/13 03:04 PM Re: Airplane Guitar TRAVEL!!!?? [Re: p90junior]
Terrell Offline
Platinum Member

Registered: 07/28/08
Posts: 1722
Loc: Austin, TX
Must have been AA. They are the "Dick's Last Resort" of the air!

BTW - Dick's Last Resort is a Bar on the San Antonio Riverwalk where they are rude to you on purpose...

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#2459904 - 01/02/13 03:12 PM Re: Airplane Guitar TRAVEL!!!?? [Re: Terrell]
The Geoff Offline
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Registered: 11/05/04
Posts: 8634
Loc: Near Glasgow
A tip I was given:

If it is any kind of acoustic or semi-acoustic (F hole) guitar or bass, then remove the strap-stud from the base of the guitar. Many are damaged by the weight of the guitar being banged (see above) down on the endpin and this springs the back or sides, or both.

Just sayin'.

G.
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#2459910 - 01/02/13 03:30 PM Re: Airplane Guitar TRAVEL!!!?? [Re: The Geoff]
Winston Psmith Offline
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Registered: 02/15/10
Posts: 1820
Loc: Inside the Beltway
I know that case, I've got them for my guitars, they're made by TKL in Canada, IIRC. Like Scott says, they're decent, solid cases, and reasonably road-worthy. I've had one flop right over, with my beloved SG inside, and not a problem, didn't even go out of tune. Air travel, however, is another story, and SG's are fragile.

A long time ago, some luggage company had a commercial, showing a gorilla slamming one of their suitcases around in his cage. Imagine your guitar case getting that kind of treatment, then decide. The safest guitar to travel with is some kind of bolt-on, like a Strat or Tele. Take it apart, and put it in your carry-on luggage, then re-assemble it at the other end of your flight.
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#2459921 - 01/02/13 04:15 PM Re: Airplane Guitar TRAVEL!!!?? [Re: Winston Psmith]
Dannyalcatraz Offline
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Registered: 07/28/04
Posts: 2958
Loc: Dallas/FW Metroplex, Texas
The only person I know who has traveled with a guitar via plane usually books a seat for it.


Edited by Dannyalcatraz (01/02/13 04:16 PM)
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#2459953 - 01/02/13 07:08 PM Re: Airplane Guitar TRAVEL!!!?? [Re: Dannyalcatraz]
blake5377 Offline
Member

Registered: 12/31/12
Posts: 5
Yah I heard all the crazy horror stories... and freaks me out a lot... but Ive toured all over with this case without problems...
And gate checking is really the best thing to do especially for a big transfer airport like Atlanta... haha

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#2460010 - 01/03/13 08:30 AM Re: Airplane Guitar TRAVEL!!!?? [Re: blake5377]
Scott Fraser Offline
MP Hall of Fame Member

Registered: 03/20/05
Posts: 3876
Loc: Los Angeles
Originally Posted By: blake5377
Yah I heard all the crazy horror stories... and freaks me out a lot... but Ive toured all over with this case without problems...
And gate checking is really the best thing to do especially for a big transfer airport like Atlanta... haha


The neck joint on an SG is a fairly vulnerable weak point, so if you're going to check it, I'd add some additional neck support so there's no possibility of flexing. A wad of T shirts under unsupported parts of the neck would be good.
Over 40 years ago, when I didn't know anything, about airlines or guitars, I checked my Strat in its original tweed case to South America & back. But I absolutely stuffed the case with T shirts so the guitar couldn't move around at all. It arrived safely going & coming, but a Strat is a whole lot thicker & sturdier than an SG, & I'd certainly never do that again.
Have good travels. Pack (yourself & your guitar) carefully.
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Scott Fraser

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#2460022 - 01/03/13 09:18 AM Re: Airplane Guitar TRAVEL!!!?? [Re: Scott Fraser]
p90jr Offline
Platinum Member

Registered: 11/21/07
Posts: 1825
well, you asked for our advice...

Gate-checking a guitar in anything less than an ATA anvil case - to me - is like handing over your child to a guy in a van who pulls up to your house.

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#2460023 - 01/03/13 09:21 AM Re: Airplane Guitar TRAVEL!!!?? [Re: p90jr]
Dannyalcatraz Offline
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Registered: 07/28/04
Posts: 2958
Loc: Dallas/FW Metroplex, Texas
Yup- you have to ask yourself, "Will my child scare this man in a van so much that he'll pay me to take him back?"






What?


Edited by Dannyalcatraz (01/03/13 09:21 AM)
_________________________
Sturgeon's 2nd Law, a.k.a. Sturgeon's Revelation: “Ninety percent of everything is crap”.

My FLMS- Murphy's Music in Irving, Tx

http://murphysmusictx.com/

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#2460043 - 01/03/13 10:15 AM Re: Airplane Guitar TRAVEL!!!?? [Re: Dannyalcatraz]
Larryz Offline
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Registered: 06/23/08
Posts: 4925
Loc: Hwy 49, California
Welcome aboard Blake! grin

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#2460045 - 01/03/13 10:16 AM Re: Airplane Guitar TRAVEL!!!?? [Re: Dannyalcatraz]
Griffinator Global Moderator Offline
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Registered: 03/28/02
Posts: 18949
Loc: Lynchburg, VA, USA
Originally Posted By: Dannyalcatraz
Yup- you have to ask yourself, "Will my child scare this man in a van so much that he'll pay me to take him back?"






What?


*hammers like button repeatedly* grin grin grin
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I would also watch [the Super Bowl halftime show] if applDeApp and Tabu were doused in hot oil, covered in feathers, and then set on fire while will.I.am was trepanned live.... and I would leave the sound on.

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#2460128 - 01/03/13 03:38 PM Re: Airplane Guitar TRAVEL!!!?? [Re: Griffinator]
blake5377 Offline
Member

Registered: 12/31/12
Posts: 5
hahah amazing... thanks guys... Yah last euro tour I used the same case but checked it in normally.... nothing bad!
I stuffed it with shirts around and even tuned the strings so theyre floppy... creating 0 tension...
Good idea? smile

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#2460202 - 01/04/13 12:58 AM Re: Airplane Guitar TRAVEL!!!?? [Re: blake5377]
skipclone 1 Offline
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Registered: 08/21/03
Posts: 6695
Loc: Japan
Welcome Blake
I have a fair bit of experience with international travel-that may or may not be useful for you.
First, if you are going to try and take your guitar on board be first in line for `those in need of special assistance`. The onboard closets are basically reserved for first and/or business class passengers, any remaining space is on a first come first served basis.
If you travel often take note of what kind of plane you are on and the overhead rack space-especially before you need it. Last summer I was on an Airbus, I think it was the A 310 and I was able to fit a slimline case overhead easily. I connected with a shorter flight and on a hunch I checked it-sure enough there was no way it would have fit in the racks. Also you can call ahead and ask how full the flight is, tell them you have a musical instrument. Sometimes calling ahead can make a difference. Ask if there`s someone specific to ask for when you board.
If you get an unpleasant surprise about excess weight they will be less accommodating, if possible try to figure your total baggage weight before you get to the airport.
Hope that helps.
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#2460426 - 01/04/13 08:40 PM Re: Airplane Guitar TRAVEL!!!?? [Re: skipclone 1]
Terrell Offline
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Registered: 07/28/08
Posts: 1722
Loc: Austin, TX

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#2460428 - 01/04/13 09:15 PM Re: Airplane Guitar TRAVEL!!!?? [Re: Terrell]
p90jr Offline
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Registered: 11/21/07
Posts: 1825
I was just coming to post that, Terrell!

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#2460429 - 01/04/13 09:18 PM Re: Airplane Guitar TRAVEL!!!?? [Re: p90jr]
Terrell Offline
Platinum Member

Registered: 07/28/08
Posts: 1722
Loc: Austin, TX
Originally Posted By: p90jr
I was just coming to post that, Terrell!


Sorry - I've had the Flu, so I've been lurking and sleeping, sleeping and lurking...

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#2460431 - 01/04/13 09:21 PM Re: Airplane Guitar TRAVEL!!!?? [Re: Terrell]
Larryz Offline
MP Hall of Fame Member

Registered: 06/23/08
Posts: 4925
Loc: Hwy 49, California
Same here, bad cold (glad I took a flu shot)...lurking and sleeping, sleeping and luriking...what a good reason to quit flying and stay on the ground. sick cry


Edited by Larryz (01/04/13 09:22 PM)
Edit Reason: luriking? oh well...

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#2460480 - 01/05/13 08:37 AM Re: Airplane Guitar TRAVEL!!!?? [Re: Terrell]
skipclone 1 Offline
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Registered: 08/21/03
Posts: 6695
Loc: Japan
What is that, Jimmy Hoffa`s guitar?
_________________________
Same old surprises, brand new cliches-

Skipsounds on Soundclick:
www.soundclick.com/bands/pagemusic.cfm?bandid=602491

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#2461058 - 01/07/13 07:00 PM Re: Airplane Guitar TRAVEL!!!?? [Re: skipclone 1]
Scott Fraser Offline
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Registered: 03/20/05
Posts: 3876
Loc: Los Angeles
Here's Delta getting some really good publicity, courtesy of CNN:
http://www.cnn.com/video/?hpt=hp_c3#/video/us/2013/01/08/tsr-pkg-moos-airline-smashes-guitar.cnn
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#2461069 - 01/07/13 07:40 PM Re: Airplane Guitar TRAVEL!!!?? [Re: Scott Fraser]
Larryz Offline
MP Hall of Fame Member

Registered: 06/23/08
Posts: 4925
Loc: Hwy 49, California
How about shipping the guitar FEDx ahead of time in a box filled with squiggleys and insured for twice whatever you think it may be worth? And after the gig, ship it back home the same way...if it's just a travel guitar that fits in the overhead, you should have no problems. Are there companies out there that offer airline baggage insurance? 10 Grand for a 335 tells me the guy should be traveling with an Epi...


Edited by Larryz (01/07/13 07:45 PM)

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#2461088 - 01/07/13 10:03 PM Re: Airplane Guitar TRAVEL!!!?? [Re: Larryz]
p90jr Offline
Platinum Member

Registered: 11/21/07
Posts: 1825
I'm aware of some people who've shipped gear places for shows, Supposedly economical (compared to putting it on a commercial passenger flight) and you can insure the gear easily going that route.

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#2461089 - 01/07/13 10:07 PM Re: Airplane Guitar TRAVEL!!!?? [Re: skipclone 1]
skipclone 1 Offline
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Registered: 08/21/03
Posts: 6695
Loc: Japan
Missed the link to the story before-yea I say leave the crown jewels at home. 90% of the audience won`t know the diff from a decent guitar and only you will know it if it gets mangled.
_________________________
Same old surprises, brand new cliches-

Skipsounds on Soundclick:
www.soundclick.com/bands/pagemusic.cfm?bandid=602491

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#2461093 - 01/07/13 10:18 PM Re: Airplane Guitar TRAVEL!!!?? [Re: skipclone 1]
p90jr Offline
Platinum Member

Registered: 11/21/07
Posts: 1825
When I played noisy punky rock the necks on my Gibsons kept getting broken in the confusion of practice rooms and gigs... so out of necessity once just to make a gig that night I bought a cheap Epiphone P90 Les Paul Jr. (hence the nick/screen name). I didn't worry about the difference in sound quality and nobody else noticed or cared, so I bought more of them... the ones that were $100 with a practice amp, just the used guitars alone were $40. The funny thing is I'd play shows with touring bands that were pretty successful who were using the same guitars at the time, for similar reasons. They were just cool and utilitarian, and you could throw them across the stage if you wanted and whatever concoction of sawdust and glue and plywood they were made out of just bounced on its merry way. I still see them in the hands of people that surprise me.

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#2461103 - 01/07/13 11:07 PM Re: Airplane Guitar TRAVEL!!!?? [Re: p90jr]
Larryz Offline
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Registered: 06/23/08
Posts: 4925
Loc: Hwy 49, California
http://www.musiciansfriend.com/guitars/epiphone-les-paul-junior-special-electric-guitar <--- something like this? I walked in to a GC a couple years back and they had one of these plugged in to a pedal rack which happened to have an MXR Carbon Copy I wanted to try out. So I picked up this little guitar (I don't know where it was made) and I think they wanted $100 for it. After playing it, I forgot about the pedals but I thought man that's one cool little guitar and I walked out without buying it, but have thought about it ever since...cool P90 (although this one has a humbucker).

That little baby would make a cool travel guitar!


Edited by Larryz (01/07/13 11:12 PM)
Edit Reason: 2nd thoughts!

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#2461104 - 01/07/13 11:46 PM Re: Airplane Guitar TRAVEL!!!?? [Re: Larryz]
Dannyalcatraz Offline
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Registered: 07/28/04
Posts: 2958
Loc: Dallas/FW Metroplex, Texas
I haven't comitted to it yet, but one day, I'd love to get one of Jon Kammerer's Model 19s as a travel guitar. I don't know what he's calling that model these days, but they've got a small round-body which is doublecut and pancake flat. As it is, its about a 5lb guitar. I'd have him install Alumitone humbuckers, and get that closer to 4lbs.

The only guitars out there that might be lighter are those high-end Parker Flys.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SqZO_rADub4&sns=em




Edited by Dannyalcatraz (01/07/13 11:56 PM)
_________________________
Sturgeon's 2nd Law, a.k.a. Sturgeon's Revelation: “Ninety percent of everything is crap”.

My FLMS- Murphy's Music in Irving, Tx

http://murphysmusictx.com/

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#2461112 - 01/08/13 03:19 AM Re: Airplane Guitar TRAVEL!!!?? [Re: Dannyalcatraz]
skipclone 1 Offline
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Registered: 08/21/03
Posts: 6695
Loc: Japan
I did have a no-worries cheapo for a while, from one of ESP`s Japan off-brands. Threw a pair of custom-wound `buckers in it and it was good to go, indeed it`s the guitar on the forum track `Lister and Skipster` on my soundclick page. But it had tuning issues, had to let it go. I`m still keeping an eye out but, with the live scene in Tokyo the way it is I`m not in a hurry.
_________________________
Same old surprises, brand new cliches-

Skipsounds on Soundclick:
www.soundclick.com/bands/pagemusic.cfm?bandid=602491

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#2461116 - 01/08/13 05:03 AM Re: Airplane Guitar TRAVEL!!!?? [Re: Dannyalcatraz]
Fred_C Offline
Gold Member

Registered: 06/12/10
Posts: 804
Loc: PA
Originally Posted By: Dannyalcatraz
Yup- you have to ask yourself, "Will my child scare this man in a van so much that he'll pay me to take him back?"


FUNNY! This reminds me of a Rodney Dangerfield (one of my favorite comics)joke.

"I finally convinced my father to take me to the zoo. The guy at the gate thanked him for bringing me back!"








Edited by Fred_C (01/08/13 05:04 AM)
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