Anyone ever bring an amp as a "carry on" on an airplane?

Blauserk

Silver Supporting Member
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1,347
I have to imagine they're not easy things to get through security and on to a plane, right? Especially, say, a (cough cough) vintage Marshall head?
 

Jeff West

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1,029
Have carried-on small amps on domestic flights all over the U.S. inc Hawaii dozens of times over the past 30 years, before and after 9/11. In particular, '62 tweed Champ, '82 Rivera Champ II, '61 Maestro G-1, and '80s Marshall Lead 12 have all made many flights. I just feed them through the scanner, and all of these will fit in overhead racks. Only exception generally is small turboprop like from Green Bay to Rhinelander, WI, there you have to check it at the gate. It's funny, most times they go right through w/o a hitch. Occasionally the inspector backs them up for a second look or two, but I've never had real problems. Great conversation starter from strange musicians of all ages and backgrounds when you're standing around an airport holding a vintage tweed Champ, I've found. OTOH, I've never attempted carrying on a Marshall head or bigger amp.-Jeff
 

GT100

Member
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3,682
Have carried-on small amps on domestic flights all over the U.S. inc Hawaii dozens of times over the past 30 years, before and after 9/11. In particular, '62 tweed Champ, '82 Rivera Champ II, '61 Maestro G-1, and '80s Marshall Lead 12 have all made many flights. I just feed them through the scanner, and all of these will fit in overhead racks. Only exception generally is small turboprop like from Green Bay to Rhinelander, WI, there you have to check it at the gate. It's funny, most times they go right through w/o a hitch. Occasionally the inspector backs them up for a second look or two, but I've never had real problems. Great conversation starter from strange musicians of all ages and backgrounds when you're standing around an airport holding a vintage tweed Champ, I've found. OTOH, I've never attempted carrying on a Marshall head or bigger amp.-Jeff
I've never tried an amp but I always carry a guitar on. I travel more than 120 flights/year.
On a few occasions over the years the guy at the gate will say that I have to check my guitar.
He then puts a tag on it stating such and tells me to leave it at the end of the ramp just before I enter the plane.
I then head down the ramp to the plane -about half way down I remove the tag and board the plane with my guitar....

Lloyd
 

dcg810

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397
Where do you put the guitar on the plane? Does it somehow fit in the overhead compartment or...?
 

martinrawlins

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84
Hah, yes I did it with a Fender Princeton - it fitted perfectly the exact maximum dimensions allowed by British Airways as carry on... very heavy to carry all the way through the airport on landing though! I had no trouble at all with security.

I'd just check the dimensions of that head.
 

WrapAround

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384
Guitars do fit in most overhead compartment. I've also carried small amps on planes. Roland Cubes, Champ.... Is it a small head Marshall?
 

Geetarpicker

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2,838
I often do fly dates where I check my Strat in a heavy duty SKB flight case, check a small pedal board in with my cloths in suitcase, and carry on my 18 watt '83 Fender Champ II with a Tuki cover over it. The Champ II fits in the overhead with ease and is technically within the legal limits in size. I'll also bring a compact folding hand cart to roll the amp through the airport and a couple times I've been hassled with that as they on rare occasions like to count the folding cart as a 2nd piece. That said they have always let me through with the amp AND the cart, though they often do a full hand inspection of the amp when it goes through the Xray security. Come to think of it when they complained about the cart it might have been a time when I ALSO had a guitar in a gig bag on my back, which I have done before (along with the amp and cart) without hassle a few times on SW air.
 

GT100

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3,682
Where do you put the guitar on the plane? Does it somehow fit in the overhead compartment or...?
Usually I travel with a Steinberger GL-8. So it goes above even on a Dash-8 turbo prop. Even with the case.
The last time I was asked to gate check my guitar I was carrying a Tele in a Fender hard shell case ( plastic with metal trim ).
It was a large jet so there was plenty of room up above. I recomend boarding early though..

Lloyd
 

GT100

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3,682
Hah, yes I did it with a Fender Princeton - it fitted perfectly the exact maximum dimensions allowed by British Airways as carry on... very heavy to carry all the way through the airport on landing though! I had no trouble at all with security.

I'd just check the dimensions of that head.
If they were on their game they could have refused you because of weight.
Usually 20-25 lbs max.

Lloyd
 

djdrdave

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3,061
I was thinking of doing this too, with an amp head when I buy it. Don't trust airport security with precious cargo at all.
 

currynoodles

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105
I carried a Egnater Tweaker 15 head on a flight before. I think it was an Air Asia flight. I reckon it was okay because of its lunchbox size. Not sure about vintage Marshall heads though.
 

JPF

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8,724
I carried a Trace Elliot Velocette I bought in London onto my return flight to Madrid. It fit in the overhead compartment without trouble, and taking it through security was a breeze.

That was in 1994, though.
 
Messages
191
Any updates on this situation? Might be flying with an amp head as CARRY ON... should i get an appropriate case for it too (at the risk of it not fitting in overhead compartment) ?
 

Aslan

Silver Supporting Member
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2,553
I’ve traveled with a Phil Jones AG100 Cub. Comes with a padded gig bag so it was easy to carry on. I put a Tech 21 Fly Rig V2 in front and can play anywhere.
 

DiPa

Constant GAS
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14,049
I carried my Mesa MK1, it was 2002, no issues other than the weight and lugging it through the airport.
 

Geetarpicker

Member
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2,838
On fly dates I often carry on my Rivera Era Fender Bassman 20, mounted in a Champ II 1x10 combo cab. It fits in the overhead fine, though on one flight where the bins were full I had to put in under the seat in front of me. Security often flags it for inspection, but they always let it through.
 




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