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Putting a gigbag in a case for flying?

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by slide2xxx, May 23, 2011.

  1. slide2xxx

    slide2xxx Member

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    So, I know there are many threads about flying with guitars.
    The bottom line seems to be:
    Take it with you in the plane if at all possible

    Now, my airline told me specifically, that they will not allow it.
    However, I need to bring my guitars for a gig in a few weeks

    I *think* it might be a good idea to put the guitars (LP and Strat) in my trusted Mono Gigbag, and put this bag in a yet-to-be-bought general purpose ATA case.
    The reasoning is this: The case is sturdy and provides protection against other baggage piled upon it, or being bumped into it. However, the guitar would probably suffer from impacts if not a 100% snug fit with neck support and all.
    Enter the Mono gigbag, which does exactly this and should provide ample support for the more or less harmless impacts of the gigbag moving inside the case.
    The advantage: I need a rather simple ATA case without any special fitting interior and all (that I can use for any guitar, if I make it big enough),
    I have the gigbag handy at my destination and I think the level of protection is superior to the guitar residing directly in a ATA style hard case.

    However - I've not seen this idea mentioned so far, in my search.

    Any major thing I'm missing?

    Thanks!
     
  2. mike6m

    mike6m Supporting Member

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    On fly dates, I only bring one guitar and I think most others do too. If you have an ATA case, you should be okay with just that, but if it is not form fitting to the guitar, it makes sense to put the mono case inside the ATA case and put in extra padding around the case so it doesn't move around.

    It also sounds like you have the Mono double gigbag, which I think would have a hard time finding an ATA case big enough.

    I have seen a guy check his P bass in a Mono case and it made it through okay, but I wouldn't recommend it.

    If you don't have an ATA case, they are expensive and they can be hard to sell if you try to get rid of them. I have seen others do this and I think it's a good idea. Put an ad on your local craigslist "LES PAUL OR STRAT FLIGHT CASE NEEDED". You may be able to rent a flight case from someone that has one sitting in their basement or not currently touring. Since these can be hard to sell, offering someone $20-30 to use for a weekend isn't a bad deal for you or the owner of the case.
     
  3. slide2xxx

    slide2xxx Member

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    Thanks Mike!

    Searching for cases to rent is a great idea!
    But, as I'm seeing more fly dates ahead of me, I'd also be willing to invest in a new one. I'm thinking more along the lines of a trunk case - no or very little protection on the inside - the Mono bag should provide more than enough protection for the guitar moving inside the case.
     
  4. dspellman

    dspellman Senior Member

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    ATA-type cases (and by the way, no one approves these cases for airline travel) are usually custom-made. If you take them the bag and tell them what your requirements are, they'll design the case around it. You might also tell Mono what you've got in mind; they may have a case company near them (or another solution entirely).
     
  5. Singin' Dave

    Singin' Dave Member

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    A few random thoughts that may or may not helpful.

    When I fly to gigs, I bring one guitar not two.

    That guitar is almost always a Tele - you could drop one of those off a plane from 30,000 feet, go retreive, tune it up and go on stage. A Strat is a little less robust but certainly not as fraglie as a LP. I don't think I'd ever risk an LP headstock travelling, even in an overhead.

    I've never had a problem bringing a soft case on a plane. A little charm goes a long way. But I guess you need to be prepared for having to check it.

    Always gate check if you can. Saves your guitar being conveyered around thousands of feets of chutes etc.

    A decent ATA case, well packed with t-shirts etc. should protect a strat pretty well.

    Another option is to peruse Craigslist in the area you are visiting, get a used MIM Strat onsite, play it, then sell it prior to leaving for a few less bucks. Not optimal I know.
     
  6. dspellman

    dspellman Senior Member

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    Absolutely not. You will definitely want more padding inside the case. In essence, you'll want NOTHING to move inside that case, even if that means slightly compressing the mono case. The classic is putting an egg inside a tin can (or YOU inside a '57 Cadillac without a seat belt) and dropping it. External damage may seem to be minimal, but the egg inside is scrambled. You want to prevent the Mono case ends from ever touching the ends of the trunk case, and you want to prevent the possibility of an internal bending load. And you'll probably want to put a bit of extra padding inside the mono case as well. I've got maybe 50 ATA cases and have traveled with them for 40 years or more, and it's simply amazing what the airlines can manage to break.
     
  7. musicofanatic5

    musicofanatic5 Member

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    My first question is what will you do with the "ocean-liner anchor" (flight case) at your destination?

    Just like it says in all the previous threads on this topic you refer to, I have flown to hundreds of gigs and never, ever been refused carrying my gtr in a soft case on-board. Ever! As stated, sometimes a little "charm" is necessary; I am always firm and resolute in my attitude, but never act overly entitled. I am always prepared to give a tearful, oscar-worthy performance if necessary! Early boarding ensures there being space in the overheads.
     
  8. slide2xxx

    slide2xxx Member

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    Ah, the plot thickens... :)

    Usually, you're right of course. If the guitar were lying in the case by itself, it would be a very bad idea to let it move in there.
    But the Mono case is already designed to absorb shock - to a certain extent.
    To stay within your example: If I put the egg inside the Mono case, it should survive dropping it, for example (we've all seen the vid of the ReunionBlues case getting dropped from the building...).
    So, basically, all I have to make sure is that the shocks for the Mono case inside the hard case are not exceeding what it is designed for.
    I guess that if the Mono can move freely into each direction a little, typical airline handling should pose no problem to the Mono.

    Then again, maybe I'm underestimating the powers that will be exertet upon the baggage...I'll contact Mono to see what they think of it.
     
  9. BluesForDan

    BluesForDan Member

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    If the tele got destroyed, you won't care because you died in the plane crash, too.
     
  10. teletroy

    teletroy Member

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    If it's not a set neck guitar, you could take the neck off too
     
  11. Bobby D

    Bobby D Member

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    SKB makes an ATA case that fits their regular case inside of it for air travel.

    i think a good ggigbag inside an ATA case will be fine.

    when i toured europe with my Nocaster, i had it in a $400 Anvil case, and that case was worth EVERY PENNY when i saw my guitar case get thrown 30 feet onto the tarmac in Sicily while i was sitting onboard the plane watching, waiting to disembark...
     
  12. slide2xxx

    slide2xxx Member

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    Ok guys, here's the answer from Mono:

    "
    These are great questions, I would highly recommend using our case with an ATA flight case as the shell. Our cases are definitely made for superior interior protection and would work well underneath a plane with an exterior shell made for the abuse. We've had customers come back to us with great success with the SKB Roto case for electric bass. I would assume it would be safe for a regular guitar with some extra foam inserted in there.
    "

    Sounds pretty convincing, I have to say... :)
     
  13. Grandturk

    Grandturk Member

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    Seems like a lot of work. How about renting a guitar when you get there?
     
  14. slide2xxx

    slide2xxx Member

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    Well, I used this situation to think about how I could handle flying with my guitars without having to worry about not checking it in.
    So it's *kinda* a general question as well.
    If it were a live gig, I might be easier off getting or renting a guitar there...but in this particular case, I'm meeting with a producer who may work with me subsequently.

    We're going to lay down some tracks to see how it works out. However, his studio is not well equipped with guitars and I'm feeling more comfortable knowing that I can bring two of my own trusted axes here...
    So in this case, it's worth the effort for me.

    And maybe I indeed find a case that I can rent for this occassion to see how it works out before committing to buying one myself.
     

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