Advise on bringing a new guitar from abroad to the US

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by veus55, Feb 12, 2012.

  1. veus55

    veus55 Silver Supporting Member

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    Can someone advised me on what is involved in bringing a brand new guitar from a trip abroad?

    1) Do you pay customs?
    2) How much?
    3) Do they let you bring it in the plane?
    4) If not, do they charge you as a regular bag or extra because of the size?

    If you have any experience please let me know,

    Thanks in advance,
    Dan
     
  2. axedoc2010

    axedoc2010 Member

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    I'm not sure about US customs but I have had friends carry back about 9 guitars from the US to India so have quite a bit of experience with airline policy. Most airlines have a clearly listed policy regarding musical instruments on their baggage allowance page. Some are very lenient (e.g KLM) while others not as much (e.g Singapore airlines).

    That said most airlines will allow an electric guitar in a soft case onboard as hand baggage if their overhead compartment is the standard 46 inches length (nearly all international airlines use aircrafts with these dimensions). They want the guitar to fit into the overhead compartment and not endanger other passengers. Secondly you must always call the airline at least 24 hours before hand and tell them you'll be carrying a guitar. Thirdly airlines are much stricter with tickets bought at discounted fairs (the only time one of my friends was not allowed to carry the guitar onboard was when she had bought a discounted ticket. A stewardess friend of mine later told me this can happen). Lastly you must get in half an hour before standard check in time (3 hours) - its helps to be one of the first people checking in, especially if the flight is packed.

    Sometimes airlines with smaller planes (e.g inland flights) will not allow guitars as cabin baggage because of the smaller cabin size. They will however allow you to carry the guitar till you board and take it away and store it last in the luggage compartment and take it out first. This is not ideal, especially if the guitar is in a soft case, but luckily my schecter made it though the last leg from Honk Kong to India like this.

    Checking in guitars is no problem. It will be counter as one bag though and they may refuse to check it in unless its in a hard case. Some airlines have stopped putting Fragile stickers on bags so you might want to print some of your own.

    All the best with your guitar. Let me known how it went. Cheers~
     
  3. veus55

    veus55 Silver Supporting Member

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    Anyone with experience on customs at the US airport?
    Do you need to pay customs?
     
  4. jaxn slim

    jaxn slim Member

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    I brought a guitar to the US from Japan a few months ago. Customs was a total breeze. I declared it, and no one cared.

    Japan Airlines, on the other hand, made me check it! :FM However, it made it safely.
     
  5. veus55

    veus55 Silver Supporting Member

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