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post #1 of 49 (permalink) Old 05-21-2002, 05:11 AM Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Dec 2000
Location: PA
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How do I get my guitar on the plane?

In the past I know there have been people here who have taken there guitars on the plane with them. My only question is how do you all get away with it? Seems like anytime I try they give me a hard time I'm going on vacation and I've got to take a guitar with me so I can practice! Thx.
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post #2 of 49 (permalink) Old 05-21-2002, 06:25 AM
 
Join Date: Sep 2001
Location: Dorset, UK
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I've never had a problem with this. I just tell them that the guitar is my only piece of hand luggage and I keep it in a gig bag. If they even suggest that it has to go in the hold I kick up a sh*t storm about how it will get damaged as it is not in a hard case etc etc.
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post #3 of 49 (permalink) Old 05-21-2002, 09:25 AM
 
Join Date: Feb 2002
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I've never had a problem either and I must have done it at least 10 times. I just tell them it's carry-on luggage. As soon as get on the plane, I hand it to the flight attendent and say, "Here. Keep it some place safe. Won't fit in the overhead compartment."

- raijin
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post #4 of 49 (permalink) Old 05-21-2002, 09:25 AM
 
Join Date: Jan 2001
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I remember posting this about 2 forums ago so I'll repost my tips and tricks for all the newbies.

I've been travelling with guitars on planes now for about 8 years. The first time I ever brought one on a plane I checked it in a baggage but I put the guitar in its case and in the shipping box and packed the hell out of it. This was pretty expensive to do because it was considered 'oversized' and I think I paid about $75 both ways. That's the expensive option and I don't recommend it anyway.

The other option is to ship your guitar via UPS to your destination. This will probably be the best option if you are really worried about getting a scratch or ding on your guitar because the option I recommend for bringing the guitar on the plane is not 100% scratch proof.

The best way to go:
First off, try to get an isle seat. Next, put your guitar in a well-padded electric guitar gig bag. Take your trem bar off if you got one on before you put it in the bag, duh. I will usually wrap a hand towel, old (but clean) sock, washrag, or bubblewrap around my headstock for extra protection . I always check-in two large bags with my non-valuables and carry-on two items which you CAN get away with even though most airlines say no more than 3 bags total. See 'Cool little things to remember #1' below for more info on how to get away with 2 carry-ons and 2 check-ins. Security has never questioned me about my guitar, but I haven't travelled with my guitar since 9/11 so I can't be sure what will happen now.

When boarding the plane look for your seat and when you find it you will need to claim the overhead compartment just to the opposite side of your seat. The most important thing is to wait until the compartment is near-full. Once this is done, there is usually about 2-5 inches of clearance at the top of the compartment. Stick your guitar in this space snug and shut the compartment door. Failure to have snuggness may result in a nasty fall when a bubble-headed blonde stewardess decides to 'find more room' and open the compartment and bam! There goes your guitar. I've also had an incident that took a small chunk from my headstock when the stewardess decided to move around items in the compartment and grabbed my guitar by the gigbag strap and pulled. The guitar was heavier than she thought (it was my 1957 Gibson Les Paul Custom) and BAM on the armrest of the seat. ALWAYS keep your eye on the overhead compartment.

When the plane lands and finished the taxi, rush the compartment like a mad-man AFTER the fasten seat belt sign has been turned off. Grab your goods and go before anyone else has a chance to pull their bag from under your guitar and BOOM! Bye bye guitar.

Cool little things to remember:
1. Women are allowed 2 carry-ons (if they check in 2 bags). Men are allowed 1 carry-on (if they check in two bags). Sexist? Yeah, reason being is that women are allowed to carry on a purse that is considered 'acceptable' as an extra carry-on and fully exempt from the carry-on rules. If you have, oh, lets say a camera bag and a guitar in gig-bag and they give you a hard time just say the camera bag is your purse. It works because they don't want a discrimination lawsuit on their hands. Bottom line: Check in two large bags with non-valuables. Bring your guitar in a gig-bag as your carry-on. Pack a reasonable size (not too big) camera bag or portable computer case and shove all the valuables you don't want to check-in like your cameras, guitar fx, etc. Bring that item in as your 'purse'.

2. I used to carry a screwdriver in my gigbag zipper pocket. DON'T DO THIS! Remove all tools (including alan wrenches and trem bars) from the gigbag pocket if there, or you'll lose them during security check. Check them in with your baggage.

3. TRIM YOUR STRINGS! Loose guitar hair dangleing off the tuners might be considered a weapon. Trim them low.

4. NEVER put your guitar in an overhead compartment where pillows and blankets reside. The compartment will get opened and closed too many times and too many hands will be in there.

5. If you fly first class they can put your guitar in a coat closet. When you fly coach, they will probably never let you do this.

Hope these tips help out.
Gabe
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post #5 of 49 (permalink) Old 05-21-2002, 11:04 AM
 
Join Date: Feb 2002
Location: Massachusetts
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Yeah, I think we did cover this before didn't we? Anyway, here's what I've learned when I took an acoustic with me on a business trip. The guy working at the ticket counter told me that if I'm going to check the guitar in and not bring it on as a "carry on", then I should loosen all the strings because the pressure in the luggage area of the plane will snap the neck in half. He said he use to work in the luggage department for the airport and has seen guitar necks that snapped from the pressure. I'm not sure if that's true but it scared me enough to loosen my strings. It wouldn't hurt to put plenty of slack in those strings before checking it in. Use a hardshell case and tape it shut. Then when you get off the plane you'd be tuned down nice and low to jam out some Static-X or Drowning Pool. HEHEHEHE.
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post #6 of 49 (permalink) Old 05-21-2002, 07:10 PM
 
Join Date: Apr 2001
Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
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wow, nice timing...

i'm leaving on a big international flight back to canada (i'm currently visiting cairo, egypt right now) and i took my baby (an RG7620) with me. because it was the only carry on bag i had, they didn't make too much of a fuss, which was cool. LISTEN TO GABE'S ADVICE (its good and its pretty right, i just dealt with alot of it 3 weeks ago when i arrived here). i had the fortune of keeping my axe in the first class coat closet (WOOHOO). why? who knows... maybe the flight attendant was infatuated with my tall, thin, tanned frame, shiny dark ponytail, and killer smile (LOL), but as soon as i stepped on the plane, she was like "oh, here, i'll keep that in the coat closet for you" (this is british airways, by the way). I might not be lucky enough for the flight i'm about to get on now, so listen to gabe's advice because it is all very relevant and true.

and hey, if you're a guy, what better way to start a conversation with a girl than by "bumping" into them with a gig bag and talking about music (being tall, dark, pony tailed, and mysterious-looking is optional, of course, LOL j/k).

wish me luck, and good luck to you as well (whoever else is travelling, that is)
-Pryde
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post #7 of 49 (permalink) Old 05-22-2002, 06:05 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pryde7
wow, nice timing...

i'm leaving on a big international flight back to canada (i'm currently visiting cairo, egypt right now) and i took my baby (an RG7620) with me. because it was the only carry on bag i had, they didn't make too much of a fuss, which was cool. LISTEN TO GABE'S ADVICE (its good and its pretty right, i just dealt with alot of it 3 weeks ago when i arrived here). i had the fortune of keeping my axe in the first class coat closet (WOOHOO). why? who knows... maybe the flight attendant was infatuated with my tall, thin, tanned frame, shiny dark ponytail, and killer smile (LOL), but as soon as i stepped on the plane, she was like "oh, here, i'll keep that in the coat closet for you" (this is british airways, by the way). I might not be lucky enough for the flight i'm about to get on now, so listen to gabe's advice because it is all very relevant and true.

and hey, if you're a guy, what better way to start a conversation with a girl than by "bumping" into them with a gig bag and talking about music (being tall, dark, pony tailed, and mysterious-looking is optional, of course, LOL j/k).

wish me luck, and good luck to you as well (whoever else is travelling, that is)
-Pryde
ROTFLMAO!!!!!! That's too funny, dude!!
Thanks for the advice. I'm going to be traveling to LA in a month and I'm taking my RG too. I hope I can carry it on. :-)

Alden : )
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post #8 of 49 (permalink) Old 05-22-2002, 09:21 AM Thread Starter
 
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Thx everyone, but looks like if I do take one I'll have to check it in since I'm taking my PS2 as my second carry on!
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post #9 of 49 (permalink) Old 05-23-2002, 05:20 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scott 74
Thx everyone, but looks like if I do take one I'll have to check it in since I'm taking my PS2 as my second carry on!
PS2? I hope you're taking software too 'cause I don't think U.S. software will run on it...
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post #10 of 49 (permalink) Old 06-27-2002, 09:15 PM
 
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I want to add that you should remove the strings completely while taking a guitar on a plane. The strings generate A LOT of tension on the neck. I can't remember how much just that if your using a light guage (.009) the tension is a least 130 lbs. When a guitar is taking t such extreme altitudes the humidity changes and air pressure changes, so, logically the guitar will change slightly too. But with the string tension on the neck and the neck changing humidity and density you could land (pardon the pun) yourself in serious problems with your guitar neck.
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post #11 of 49 (permalink) Old 06-27-2002, 11:10 PM
 
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You actually want to leave it at pitch. If it's a hardtail it can't "hurt" slacking the string, just loosen the truss too!! But if it's a Floyd never detune it for shipping. No string tension on the front side the trem will walk right up the posts and pop off, much less what a trem will do clamped against the claw from spring tension.

You don't do anything different than if you were shipping it next day air, which is, leave it alone
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post #12 of 49 (permalink) Old 06-29-2002, 12:37 AM
 
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post sept 11 travel

Hi, I was just wondering if anyone here has tried travelling with their guitars after the Sept 11 attack. I know it might be a sore topic but i'm hoping that someone has some advice for me because I'm attempting to bring my guitar onto the plane as a carry on.

I am actually worrying quite a bit about this as I expect a lot of sh*t from the airline ppl when i carry my guitar...

ultimately, is checking in a well-packed hardcase guitar in a cardboard box better than carrying it on in a well-padded gig bag?

Thanks
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post #13 of 49 (permalink) Old 06-29-2002, 04:50 PM
 
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I'd opt for the carry on. If you ask politely you may be allowed to use the coat closet in first class. (Best chance of this happening is during warmer weather when the closet isn't full of bulky winter coats.)
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post #14 of 49 (permalink) Old 07-09-2002, 02:44 PM
 
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[quote]Hi, I was just wondering if anyone here has tried travelling with their guitars after the Sept 11 attack. I know it might be a sore topic but i'm hoping that someone has some advice for me because I'm attempting to bring my guitar onto the plane as a carry on.

I am actually worrying quite a bit about this as I expect a lot of sh*t from the airline ppl when i carry my guitar...

ultimately, is checking in a well-packed hardcase guitar in a cardboard box better than carrying it on in a well-padded gig bag?

Thanks

quote]

yeah i took my guitar with me in a hard case and checked it and nobody asked me about it. when i landed i had a buncha stuff and the guy at customs was x-raying everybodys luggage. he just asked me what was in the case and didnt put it through the machine just told me 2 go.
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post #15 of 49 (permalink) Old 09-07-2002, 05:55 PM
 
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If you dont get to keep your guitar in the coat closet where would you put it otherwise??

If it was mentioned and I missed it can you just repeat it please.

//Me
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acoustic guitar , electric guitar , eric sands , floating tremolo , gibson les paul , gibson les paul custom , les paul , les paul custom , neck split , padded gig bag , steve lukather , string tension , tremolo system

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