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black and white
post Jun 14 2008, 11:18 PM
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Muris' odyssey got me thinking about how everyone ships their guitars. I traveled my strat to the canary Islands via airplane and I remember being super nervous that they would not let me take the guitar in the cabin for the flight. I was really spooked that they would make me pack it and put it in the belly of the place. Turns out, it fit perfectly in the overhead compartments and it did go in the cabin.

So that leads me to ask about everyones experiences in shipping the guitars on planes, trains and automobiles. Muris did yopu fly to the UK and what did you do with your guitar? has anyone packed them up and put them in cargo. What about Marcus from BG,......how are your guitars moved around the world? Thought this would be interesting to learn about.


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Bogdan Radovic
post Jun 14 2008, 11:30 PM
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I'm very interested to hear this as well!


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MickeM
post Jun 14 2008, 11:33 PM
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HARD CASE!!! Rock hard!!!

I've been abroad to perform and we checked in guitars and amps etc and while sitting in the plane we saw them load our stuff... Oh brother. Mine was in a hard case, it was tossed from the bandwagon onto the plane ohmy.gif
My buddys guitar wasn't in a hard case but in one of those semi hard guitar shaped cases... since it was lighter it was tossed even further. huh.gif

Luckily I didn't even see my amp go aboard... mellow.gif

So get the special cases for amps and guitars there are for transporation. Very well needed.

EDIT: Now a days there's special check in for stuff like trollys etc. Wasn't back then. Don't know how they handle this special goods. Better I hope!!!

This post has been edited by MickeM: Jun 14 2008, 11:35 PM


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black and white
post Jun 14 2008, 11:38 PM
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Amps, yeah i packed my amp in a suitcase. Put a ton of bubble wrap around it and then surrounded it with clothes, clothes, and more clothes. Hard case would have been a better idea. sad.gif But it did make the flights in one piece.
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SamJ
post Jun 14 2008, 11:49 PM
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I suppose if it's a bolt on neck you could pad it heavily and just put it in with your suitcase. I've taken my guitar on holiday a few times before and it's been fine, no problems at all.
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Fran
post Jun 15 2008, 12:40 AM
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This is an interesting topic, I'm going on vacation to Canary Islands as well, and in the end I decided not to take the risk and got me a shredneck instead. But I heard that they usually allow you to take the guitar in the passenger cabin as long as it doesn't have a bulky case.

I'm curious to hear your personal experiences though, I'd be horrified if they made me put the guitar with the rest of the luggage, seeing how they treat the suitcases...


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Ivan Milenkovic
post Jun 15 2008, 02:15 PM
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Wow, that tossing in the airplane didn't build me no confidence at all mellow.gif


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-Zion-
post Jun 15 2008, 03:03 PM
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Hi everyone..

Im also very anxious to hear peoples experiences with this sort of thing..
In september im going to USA and getting myself a guitar, and im terrified to check the guitar, even though it's a hardcase.. I've been checking up on a lot of airlines on this.. hmm.. maybe i should post my findings..

Edit: Added airlines and musical instruments

fyi: This is only about guitars as carry-on luggage.

Northwest Airlines
Carry On: Guitars and smaller musical instruments will be accepted as the passengers *one* item of carry on baggage provided the maximum linear dimensions do not exceed 45 inches. Carry on baggage must be stowed under the seat in front of them or in the overhead bin or closet. These instruments are in lieu of the passenger's carry-on luggage item. Passengers traveling with a guitar or smaller musical instrument may also carry a small personal item.

Delta airlines
Carry On: Guitars and other smaller musical instruments, such as violins, will be accepted as your free carry-on baggage on Delta operated flights1. These items must easily fit in the overhead compartment or approved stowage location in the cabin, on a space available basis at the time of boarding. If adequate space is not available, the item must be checked.

Air France
Some musical instruments are accepted in the cabin with no prior agreement necessary (violin, mandolin, banjo, etc.)
An agreement is necessary for the transportation of bulky and fragile instruments (cello, double bass, etc.) that must travel on a seat. Ask for more information when you reserve your ticket from Air France or your travel agency.

For your information
  • The maximum weight of your musical instrument cannot exceed 75 kg.
  • The packaging must have rounded edges.
  • The allocated allowance cannot be increased.

KLM
There are four ways to transport your musical instrument by air: as check-in baggage, as hand baggage, taking up an extra seat, or as KLM Cargo.

As check-in baggage:
If you want to transport your instrument in the hold of the aircraft, you should consider the following points:
  • The instrument should be packed in a hard case. We assume no liability for damage if your instrument is not appropriately packed.
  • The standard excess baggage rates will apply if checking in your musical instrument results in having your total baggage exceed the limit. When your baggage is subject to the piece concept, a musical instrument counts as one item when it measures up to 100 cm in length.
  • If your instrument, including its case, is larger than 203cm (80inch)(length + width + height) or heavier than 32 kg, you will have to contact KLM reservations in advance to request permission for its transport. If your instrument is heavier than 46 kg or lanrger than 406cm (160inch) the only way to transport it is via KLM Cargo.

As hand baggage
You can also take your musical instrument with you into the cabin as hand baggage if it fits in overhead bin or under the seat. Click here for more information about the limitations for hand baggage.

Continental Airlines
Musical instruments can be carried on board or checked as baggage. If necessary, a seat can also be purchased for an instrument.

Carried on Board
A small musical instrument can be carried on as a personal item. If the musical instrument appears too large or irregularly shaped to fit under the seat or in the overhead compartment, it will not be accepted for in cabin stowage.

Checked as Baggage
  • Instrument should be in a hard shell case to protect it during normal handling.
  • Excess charges apply if checking more than the baggage allowance.
  • Oversize charges apply to musical instruments that measure 90 - 115 linear inches.
  • Overweight charges apply to musical instruments that are over 50 pounds.
  • Musical instruments over 70 pounds will not be accepted.
  • If the instrument is over 115 linear inches, contact Reservations.

In addition to the above polices, stringed instruments should have the strings loosened to protect the neck from damage due to expansion and contraction which result from temperature variations.

Brussel Airlines
Small sporting equipment and music instruments (including bikes)When traveling in b.light economy or Economy class, transportation of small sporting equipment is subject to payment of a service charge:
  • European flights: €40 per one-way
  • Medium (Helsinki, Moscow and Tel Aviv) and long haul flights: €80 per one-way

If travelling in b.flex economy+ or Business class transportation is free of charge. Exception: Tennis rackets, body boards and ski equipment (transport is free) Do not forget to check availability for your piece of sporting equipment on the flight
before you book. Our Customer Contact Centre is at your disposal for all the needed information.

Lufthansa
Special fees and conditions apply for the transport of musical instruments, bulky baggage items, fragile baggage (such as glass panes), etc. Please obtain information in good time from your local Lufthansa Service Team.

This post has been edited by -Zion-: Jun 15 2008, 03:17 PM
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Bogdan Radovic
post Jun 15 2008, 07:17 PM
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Yeah this seems rather complicated , but a high quality hard case should do fine in the luggage department..


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Ivan Milenkovic
post Jun 15 2008, 07:26 PM
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I think so too, good hard case should be pretty safe when it comes to transporting the guitar anywhere.


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Fsgdjv
post Jun 15 2008, 07:31 PM
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Damn, I shouldn't have read this. I'm in Iceland right now and have my guitar with me, and I have a soft (but still really good) gigbag and I check in the guitar in the special check in. I've travelled with it like this before and haven't had any problems, but now I'll worry for the way home.

But, so far I've had no problems, I've checked it in at special check in all the time. I've only travelled with my guitar with Icelandair though.


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Bogdan Radovic
post Jun 15 2008, 07:35 PM
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QUOTE (Fsgdjv @ Jun 15 2008, 08:31 PM) *
Damn, I shouldn't have read this. I'm in Iceland right now and have my guitar with me, and I have a soft (but still really good) gigbag and I check in the guitar in the special check in. I've travelled with it like this before and haven't had any problems, but now I'll worry for the way home.

But, so far I've had no problems, I've checked it in at special check in all the time. I've only travelled with my guitar with Icelandair though.


So you checked in the guitar and it went to luggage department , you didn't carry it in the aircraft with you ?
I hope they will treat it well..


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Bali
post Jun 16 2008, 01:15 PM
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That reminds me of a story about Steve Howe, the guitarrist of Yes, that buys a second seat for his 1964 Gibson ES175 while on tour. There's this Yes DVD where you can see the manager booking 2 seats "for Mr Steve Howe and His Guitar".
Unfortunately until you're rich&famous that may not be an option.

My lovely white Ibanez Rg has a big dent on the back courtesy of the gentlemen at British Airways, that are so paranoid about their security they didn't allowed me to carry my guitar with me on my last trip. Even though they put a big FRAGILE sign on it, they managed to crash it.

Over 15 years ago, these same ****holes broke the SOLID case of another of my guitars (it was a hollowbody Epiphone, luckily the guitar survived).

So I suggest really hard cases, and check your axe thoroughly on arrival in case you need to make a claim to the airway company.

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OrganisedConfusi...
post Jun 16 2008, 01:37 PM
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Somebody I know transported an acoustic in a case on a plane and it arrived and the neck was no longer attached to the body. I'd no way send my guitars on a plane unless I was moving to a new country and then I'd send them insured by courier.


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Marcus Siepen
post Jun 16 2008, 04:41 PM
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When we are touring we are using special flight cases for our guitars, like this I can be 100% sure that my guitars survive the flights. But you don't HAVE to spend a lot of money on such a case, in case you have a solid case for your guitar this might also do the job, it might not look as nice after the flight though wink.gif To give you an example, I also used a regular Gibson case for one of my Les Pauls for a flight, and the guitar was perfectly fine, just the case looked a bit "older" wink.gif But I would only do this with really good and solid cases, because no matter how many "handle with care" stickers you put on your equipment, the guys that are in charge to handle the cargo don't really seem to care much about such stickers...


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black and white
post Jun 16 2008, 05:06 PM
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Great exchange of experiences and information. Thanks to everyone. Again, when I fly recently from the US to the Canary islands, i was able to fit my strat with case into the overhead bins in the passenger area. We flew on Delta to madrid and Iberia to the island. Both airlines allowed the guitar. I was pleasantly surprised.

On another note, on the Delta flight, i was so concerned about my guitar that I left my laptop in the waiting area when i boarded the flight. Fortunately I bought the gate agent coffee as she looked cold. She picked up my laptop for me and send it to lost and found. Believe it or not, the laptop was returned to me perfectly intact. Just goes to show, what comes around goes around.
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-Zion-
post Jun 16 2008, 08:50 PM
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hey black and white.

Excellent news.. So, sometimes you can be pleasantly surprised..
Lucky as i am, my trip to the US is with Delta as well, and i hope my flight will be equally pleasant..
Im almost positive that i'll DIE if i have to check my brand spanking new guitar.. my hope in humanity has been restored. (well, almost. biggrin.gif )

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Fsgdjv
post Jun 16 2008, 09:03 PM
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QUOTE (Bogdan Radovic @ Jun 15 2008, 08:35 PM) *
So you checked in the guitar and it went to luggage department , you didn't carry it in the aircraft with you ?
I hope they will treat it well..

I have travelled three times like this as I said in my post and they did treat it well. Those who haven't gotten their guitars treated well, have you checked them in with the rest of the bags? Because I've been checking my guitar in in the special check in and it has only went well so far. Even though I'll be worried when I'm travlelling back now^^


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