Re: Flying with my Jem checked in as luggage? Or bring it on board?
I would avoid taking such a unique guitar under the carriage of the plane unless you have one of those plastic hard shell cases that have rounded edges. From my experience the guitar cases that are made out of wood inside tend to get damaged easily.(They trow the cases, as I have seen it first hand in many occasions including mine despite all the fragile stickers). (Already had a horror story with TSA this past Christmas as it turns out there are people who don't know how to open a guitar case that had no locks placed on it. So they made a hole into the edge of the case and were tearing it open from the corner to a certain extent and poked holes into the interior too. The guitar was also damaged as well. I was SO enraged when I got my guitar at my destination and see a flyer explaining they had to open it by force if it was locked, which it wasn't. A reason to avoid your guitar being touch by TSA. As it is a gamble.
Back on topic.
If you flight during non busy season, it will be a lot easier to carry your guitar with you inside. It helps if your case is not too big, but one that is tight to the size of the guitar. As they are easy to put on the top shelf. Also you could also ask very politely to the flight attendants if you could put your guitar case on the compartment where First class store their jackets and coats. This is located on most planes upon the entrance to the gate to your right. (Next to the main gate and bathroom.) I had my guitars placed there in several occasions. Just make sure to ask nicely about it. (Since the planes for Europe are bigger, they might have that storage on a different location on the plane).
Also I notice they go easy on people who have soft case guitar cases.
Also another thing to keep in mind is to put a sock or something behind the tremolo and loose the strings, so they don't snap with the high pressure when flying.
I hope this helps Jeremy.
ps. The idea of taking apart the neck of the guitar and put it inside your luggage with plenty of clothing to protect it, is a valid idea as well. I did travel many years ago with an lcd monitor and it didn't got damaged at all.