Prehaps somebody in the know could weigh in on; if you could unscrew the neck and pack the guitar securely in a suitcase, I done this before with a cheap strat, but im not sure it is 100% safe.
Thats not a bad idea at all. By taking off the neck, you have to take off the strings, and pretty much any pressure on the neck that goes with it.
I've taken my Charvel on-board with me as my carry-on from Dallas to Washington state and back. The case looks just like a chainsaw case too! and this was last summer. I didn't have any problems. I got to my seat quickly and stuck it up in the overhead before all the idiots filled it up with thier purses and other small crap that can easily fit under their seat.
The way home, I wasn't so lucky. I managed to cram the case into the overhead bin, which are surprisingly big. . they dont look all that big from below, but once you get your guitar and hardshell case in there, You'd be surprised. I barely managed to get it to fit...
During takeoff, I got a tap on my shoulder from the guy behind me. I turned around and looked at him. He pointed casually to the overhead bin, so I looked up, and the overhead was popped open, and my charvel was moments away from falling out and giving me a nasty headache. I jumped up just in time to catch it right in my arms and got it in there snug, where it stayed the rest of the flight.