View Full Version : Flying with guitar- checked or in the cabin?
03-29-2009, 03:45 PM
I've read a few prior threads on similar topics, but I haven't seen an answer to this specific question.
For those of you flying frequently with guitars, are you having any luck consistently getting the flight attendants to stash the guitar in a separate closet/cabinet, or are you forced to put it in an overhead bin?
I haven't had mine on a flight recently and I have a dilemma picking between taking it onboard or checking it in. FWIW, it's an electric and I'm planning to put in in a Mono gig bag if I take it onboard, at least it'll have more protection than the average soft gigbag.
I just don't want to put it overhead and end up under another carry-on, a case of wine bottles and who knows what else someone picked up at the duty free shop.
03-29-2009, 03:53 PM
Fly with EXPENDABLE guitars !
03-29-2009, 03:55 PM
Some of the larger planes still have the hanging closets in the forward cabin, but you can't count on it. As for the overhead storage in economy class, I wouldn't. I've been on several flights in the last month, and it seems that these bins fill up long before all the passengers get on the plane. The stews end up gate checking the surplus bags. If you could fit a guitar into one of these bins, you can count on somebody's laptop or rolling bag crushing it.
If you decide to check it, get a hard sided case that locks. They have special locks now that can be opened electronically by airport security personnel, but anybody else would have to use a key or combination. If you check a guitar in a gig bag, expect damage. I've seen the way some baggage handlers abuse bags, and it makes me cringe.
03-29-2009, 05:06 PM
If it's a valuable instrument, don't risk it. I've flown lots of times with a guitar, and if you ask nice enough, the cabin crew will find a place for your guitar. Usually, it's in the coat closet near business class. I even had one flight attendant stow it in their personal space. Try to be as unobtrusive as possible (get a gig-bag, not a hard case, don't pack anything but your guitar in it), and ask nicely enough, and you shouldn't have any issues.
Oh, and don't fly Air France. :BITCH
03-29-2009, 05:41 PM
Depends on who you fly. Southwest still uses 737s and there seems to always be storage space. Many (United, US Air) are using the smaller commuter planes, since the number of flyers is down.
These 50-80 seaters do not have extra storage, and you can't fit anything larger than a briefcase in the overhead. Certainly not the typical carry on luggage or a guitar. You can check at the gate, and they typically treat it pretty good in that situation.
03-29-2009, 06:34 PM
I never have a problem putting it in the overhead bin in a gig bag...just don't take a vintage strat
03-29-2009, 06:41 PM
I'm at the point now, where I just ship my stuff instead of dealing with checked or carry on. Save a ton of time at the airport with no baggage and sooo much faster going through security.
03-29-2009, 11:28 PM
thanks for your input, guys, definitely some good stuff to think about.
03-30-2009, 03:20 AM
I like what Bill Kirchen does, he had threaded inserts put into the body so he can remove the neck and pack the whole thing in a small suit case. Made sense to me!
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