guitar and carry-on luggage?

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by surfshack, Oct 17, 2008.

  1. surfshack

    surfshack Member

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    i'm goin' to hawaii tommorrow.......i'm flying northwest airlines out of philadelphia. i'd like to take my tele in a soft guitar bag with me as carry-on.
    i know it exceeds the airline's measurements.....but do you think airlines will let me get away with it?
    or is that a bad idea and i'll get denied...

    has anybody recently taken a guitar on a commercial flight as carry-on luggage?
     
  2. coldfingaz

    coldfingaz Member

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    I do it all the time. I've never had a problem as long as I've checked the bag with my clothes in it. Normally, I carry only a guitar on board or for longer flights the guitar + a smaller bag that can fit under the seat in front of me.
     
  3. aram

    aram Member

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    i've never had a problem. i do it all the time.

    The only problem i've ever had was in Croatia.

    They wanted me to go through my pedal board and take the batteries out of all of my pedals.

    I put up a stink and it was fine.
     
  4. Shiny McShine

    Shiny McShine Member

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    Thanks. I was curious about this too.
     
  5. Lo Blues

    Lo Blues Member

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    Hmmm. I seem to remember NW airlines being OK. Southwest is exceptional. One time all the overheads were full and the captain overheard me and the flight attendant discuss what we could do and offered to take it into the cockpit with him! My guitar actually rode in the cockpit with the pilots! And this was about 2 years after 9/11. I travel with my guitar all the time. I just had to say Southwest rocks.

    If your really concerned you should try talking with the Airline company to someone in a somewhat high position and see if you can get them to say it's O.K. That should get you some leverage when dealing with the flight attendants. Also try to figure out how many people are on your flight, hopefully it's not full. And do what coldfingaz says. Check everything else you can. If you have two things you have to put up top that'll piss em off. And lastly, be strong. If you get some gate or flight attendant who's having a bad day just be nice but don't give up. I've seen/heard of people getting denied (mostly on Delta) only to find out that the flight is half empty! Oh and one last thing, try to get on the plane as early as you can just in case the flight is full. Have fun in Hawaii, your guitar should be fine even if you do have to gate check it (which you probably wont). Gotta love teles.
     
  6. surfshack

    surfshack Member

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    thanks guys, i'm goin' for it. it's a super-light tele and shouldn't be a problem.
    i just know that if i can't fit it in the over-head storage, the flight attendants will take care of me.
    i could see if it was something that was a little heavy , bulky and awkward....but that's not the case.....it's something that's lightweight and can be easily picked up and stored.

    i have shipped the guitar with usps to my destination before, but takin' the guitar with me sounds like a better idea.

    - thanks:AOK
     
  7. fenderball

    fenderball Supporting Member

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    u should be fine...i just did it on jet blue
     
  8. nmiller

    nmiller Drowning in lap steels Silver Supporting Member

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    Just about every airline officially won't let you take something as large as a guitar onboard - I'm pretty sure it's a TSA rule. That said, I've never seen any airline enforce it.
     
  9. pinefd

    pinefd Member

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    There's a great article on flying with your guitar on the Gibson website. In the article, there is a link to a TSA document (in PDF form) for proof that you CAN carry a guitar on the plane. Here's the article: http://www.gibson.com/en-us/Lifestyle/Features/Loosen%20Up%20and%20Fly%20Right_%20Tips/

    That being said, a lot depends on the specific airline you're flying on, the size of the plane you're on, and the mood of the flight attendants. Some of the smaller commuter sized planes...especially those with just three seats per row...usually don't have enough room in the overhead compartments for a full sized guitar, and they don't have coat closets. I had a terrible experience last year with a very valuable guitar, that I bought an extra seat for! But I won't bore you with the details.
     
  10. TSTALEY

    TSTALEY Member

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    I just got back from a trip to Europe and I carried on my guitar in a hardshell case and a back pack and had no problems at all.My bass player carried his bass on allso.We went from cincy to London to Bulgaria to Greece and than back through Paris and Atlanta and carried them on every flight and they never even question me.

    You should'nt have a problem,just walk on the plane like you do it all the time,your Tele will fit in the overhead no problem.
     
  11. pinefd

    pinefd Member

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    And I'm assuming you were on fairly large planes each leg of the journey. I think that's the key. The larger the plane, the less likely you'll run into problems.
     
  12. surfshack

    surfshack Member

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    thanks guys......i'm not worried, my tele only measures like 39" in the bag and it's super light-weight.
    finding a place for it on carry-on should be an easy deal.
    ahh, playin' my tele and champ amp in the beautiful hawaii sun awaits!

    [​IMG]

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    Last edited: Oct 17, 2008
  13. pinefd

    pinefd Member

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    You lucky dog! Have fun!
     
  14. Ricman

    Ricman Member

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    location, location - it's the most important thing
    I asked a stewardess to put a Rickenbacker in a hardshell case in her locker once and she did it for me.
     
  15. TSTALEY

    TSTALEY Member

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    Nope,the only large planes were from cincy to london and paris back to atlanta(767)the rest were smaller 2 row seat planes and I was'nt even questioned.I took an Epi Elitist les paul and it fit in the overhead.

    I was so worried about before we left but it was no big deal I just walk on the plane with the guitar and my backpack stuck them in the overhaed and sat down.
     
  16. Kief

    Kief Senior Member

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    with strats, I take the neck off and pack the neck and body in different layers of clothing in my suitcase. works like a charm!
     
  17. gsh1968

    gsh1968 Member

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    It's very much the call of the airline. I recently returned to the UK from Las Vegas, flying with Virgin. I had hoped to buy a new telecaster, but didn't really want to check a new guitar in the hold.
    Virgin's website states that guitars can be carried through security to the gate where they will be checked into the hold. I called to question if this was set in stone and was told yes, the only other option was to buy another seat for the guitar.
    On the flight out I asked a cabin steward, who gave the same answer - nothing over the official hand luggage size was allowed on the plane unless a seat was purchased for it.
    The really annoying part was on my return, the overhead above me was empty and could easily have accommodated a guitar in soft case without causing anyone inconvenience.
    When I got back I checked the BA site as I have a friend travelling to Chicago in a few weeks with them. BA state that any musical instrument up to the size of a guitar may be carried on as hand luggage.
    This just solidified my belief that Virgin are a crap carrier who nickel and dime the passengers to squeeze more money out of them (charging extra for exit seats etc - there were 3 or 4 Upper Class seats available on my return - instead of upgrading people, they made an announcement that the seats were avaialble to purchase)
    So give NWA a call - hopefully they'll be okay with it.
     
  18. surfshack

    surfshack Member

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    i made it!!
    i flew all the way from philly to hawaii with a stop in minneapolis.
    both times no problem or hassles at all!
    the first leg to hawaii i asked the stewardess if she could put the guitar someplace safe for me....and she said, "just put it behind the seat in the last row, it'll be between the seat and the back wall." so i did that and it was perfect.
    for the second leg to hawaii , it was a much bigger plane (an 800 , i think)....and i just stuck it in the overhead.....thankfully , i was near the back of plane and there was plenty of room in the overhead.
    thanks to all who responded.......hawaii is awesome.....perfect weather.....my headache's gone!!
    i think the key was that i used a very small and less padded guitar bag....the tele in the bag only measured about 39 and a 1/2 inches....so i think there was no cause for alarm by any security.
    going thru customs they just made me take the guitar out for a second so they could see what it was, but that was it......very easy.
    oh, on another note.....airlines are now charging for checking luggage. NWA charged $15.00 per checked item.....i got charged $15.00 extra right there at the check-in counter for checking in 1 bag.
    i guess money's tight so they are charging extra fees wherever they can.
     
  19. 1959burst

    1959burst boogieman

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    joe you ole sob take in alot of sunshine and this time bring me back some bumber stickers for my van....................lolololololol
     
  20. surfshack

    surfshack Member

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    it was your bag that i used for the gawd-tele.....it was perfect! thanks!
    i think that deserves a couple of bumper stickers.....:dude
     

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