Reply to Thread Bookmark Thread
Posts 1 to 34 of 34
  1. #1

    User Info Menu

    This summer I will be flying with a big band to Lithuania (departing from Brussels) to play on a jazz festival. Backline will be provided, but we have to bring our own instruments.

    I am thinking of either bringing my Fender Modern Player Tele Thinline P90 or my Squier/Fender Partscaster Strat. Both fine guitars but not very valuable instruments (although I’d hate to see either of them get wrecked....)

    What would be the best strategy?

    [A] put it in my SKB strat/tele case (older model ABS hard case) and carry it as cabin luggage and gate check it if they don’t allow that?

    Or

    [B] take it in an as small as possible gig bag (to make it the least bulky) and take it as cabin luggage?

    I never have any troubles flying with my Aria Sinsonido in it’s gig bag: they have always allowed that as cabin luggage. It’s the only piece I take then, no other bag, and that’s a bag of about 92 cms long, 35 cm wide (Thomann house brand). The same Thomann gig bag for a Strat/Tele would be 105 cms long and 35 cms wide, so not much bigger.

    Any experiences?





    This is the gigbag:

    :: Jazz, Funk, Soul & Boogaloo: My group ::
    ::::::: Listen to Hip Jazz a Go Go! :::::::
    :: Jazz, Soul, Blues: Eva & The Tracies :::

  2.  

    The Jazz Guitar Chord Dictionary
     
  3. #2

    User Info Menu

    That's all good but what you gonna play
    with the big band ?


  4. #3

    User Info Menu

    Seriously I'd take the hard case

  5. #4
    I've not had the best luck with carrying an instrument on short intra-Europe flights, but you might get away with a Fender in a gig bag. With a big band, I'd be as much concerned about transport between airport, hotel, and festival. Will the guitar be crammed in a cargo van with the trombones and saxes, loaded and unloaded by someone else? That would lean me toward a choice for the SKB more than the initial plane ride. Best wishes for your travel and music!

    PK

  6. #5

    User Info Menu

    I would unscrew the neck of the partscaster and put neck and body in a backpack

    I’ve used a flightcase in the past and they did protect the guitar but I’ve seen too many horror stories.

  7. #6

    User Info Menu

    Hi Littlejay,

    I think a lot will depend on which airline your band travels with.

    With some of the budget European airlines, it can work out cheaper to buy a second seat for your instrument than to check it in the hold as an extra piece of luggage (if you book well in advance). I had flown on Ryanair with my archtop in a gig bag on Ryanair using this technique without difficulty.

    As you are travelling as part of a group and someone else is presumably handling the logistics, I would choose your option [A] and take a guitar in your ABS hard case. If they don't allow you to then carry it on board with you, at least it has a better chance in the hold than just a gig bag.

    London Jazz Guitar Society:
    www.meetup.com/londonjazzguitarsociety
    LJGS on Twitter: www.twitter.com/LDNJazzGuitar

  8. #7

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by blille View Post
    I would unscrew the neck of the partscaster and put neck and body in a backpack

    I’ve used a flightcase in the past and they did protect the guitar but I’ve seen too many horror stories.
    +1. If you detach the neck often you can have steel inserts put into the body and use bolts.
    Build bridges, not walls.

  9. #8
    +1 for buying the extra seat as David suggests.
    Midnight Blues

  10. #9

    User Info Menu

    Paying for an extra seat isn't always viable. There might not be an extra seat to buy, and the cost might be as much as he's being paid, or at least enough to be a significant expense. Beyond that, I have no usable advice. The last time I flew with a guitar I had no problems, but that was in 1973, and things might have changed by now.

  11. #10

    User Info Menu

    I bought a Hiscox Pro-II (hard shell case) for my Eastman 371 and checked it in as baggage and I didn't worry about it - given what I read about it. I bought a Reunion Blues Continental (gig bag) for my Eastman T386 and I carried it on and put it in the overhead compartment. Both approaches worked as advertised. But I wouldn't attempt to carry on the Hiscox, nor would I check the Reunion Blues.

    And, as you noted, the Eastmans can be replaced - unlike their Gibson counterparts which I left at home.

  12. #11

    User Info Menu

    Thanks for all the suggestions! Leaning towards the hard case for now! Unscrewing the neck is also an option to consider indeed!

    The flight will be payed by the jazz festival, so I think hiring a 2nd seat won’t be an option. We are taking Brussels Airlines SN2371.

    Does anyone know Brussels Airline’s attitude towards carrying instruments on board? (As this is a Belgian forum

    :: Jazz, Funk, Soul & Boogaloo: My group ::
    ::::::: Listen to Hip Jazz a Go Go! :::::::
    :: Jazz, Soul, Blues: Eva & The Tracies :::

  13. #12

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by pingu View Post
    That's all good but what you gonna play
    with the big band ?

    We are playing our soul and disco program Pingu! For this tour we are taking singer Orlando Milan:

    Theater 'T Web - West Coast Big Band + Orlando Milan: Soul Show | Facebook

    Theater 'T Web - Roof Garden door West Coast Big Band + Orlando Milan | Facebook


    :: Jazz, Funk, Soul & Boogaloo: My group ::
    ::::::: Listen to Hip Jazz a Go Go! :::::::
    :: Jazz, Soul, Blues: Eva & The Tracies :::

  14. #13

    User Info Menu

    In the 90’s I would fly every other week with either my Ramirez 1a or 2a. I was very thankful I invested in a Mark Leaf flight case. These weighed a ton (and are no lonegr available), but I just got in the habit of checking the guitar as baggage. It always arrived safe and sound.

    If it looks like flying with your guitar is going to be a regular event, my advice is to invest in a modern flight case.
    Check out my tracks at www.soundcloud.com/billmcmannis

  15. #14

    User Info Menu

    Flying with a guitar: what’s the best strategy?


    Don't look down :-)

  16. #15

    User Info Menu

    Some of my friends took 3/4 size Martins to Jamaica in a gig bag and carried it on and put it in the overhead compartment. No problem, mon.

    I wrote a complementary review of the Air Voyager travel guitar recently—I have a mini dread which I took with me. Couldn’t be happier about the sound or the portability. I’ll be taking it to Hawaii in March. As a bonus lots of extra space for carrying clothes and books and iPads.

    VA also makes some electric guitars. You might check them out.

    TransAxe Series: TelAir VET-2SBB

    TransAxe Series: 10th Anniversary TelAir VET-1 Yellow - One of a Kind!

    If I were a regular traveling musician and needed to carry a solid body electric with me, I would either consider one of these guitars or put inserts into the Tele neck slot and use bolts, ala Bill Kirchen. The good thing is that Teles are pretty much indestructible, whether you take the neck off or put it in a gig bag or a HS case and check it as luggage...
    “Without music, life would be a mistake”--Friedrich Nietzsche

    Current lineup: Gibson ES-135 ('02), Peerless Sunset, Harmony Brilliant Cutaway ('64), Godin 5th Avenue, Alvarez AC60 A/E classical, Kay K37 ('56), Fender Squier VM Jazz bass, several ukes. Amps: Fishman Artist, Fender SCXD, Pignose 7-100.

  17. #16

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by Little Jay View Post

    As long as you are playing something that they can dance to, you are doing okay.
    Check out my tracks at www.soundcloud.com/billmcmannis

  18. #17

    User Info Menu

    My experience is US based and american flights may be different; but, for what it's worth: Now that most domestic airlines charge for baggage, the overhead space will basically always end up full. I used to take my guitar in a soft case all the time on flights, but things have changed a lot in the past 5 years and I would never do that anymore, because of the risk of having to gate check.

    Additionally, some fares (again this may be only US based) are "Basic Economy" which mean that you can't carry on *anything*.

    So, I always take instruments in a hard case now if I have to fly with an instrument. Usually they will fit in overhead, but if not, I've never had a problem gate checking an instrument in a hard case. Hard cases can be annoying because most people don't need them very often, but when you need one, you really, really need it. So I'd recommend buying one, they are not that expensive.

  19. #18
    I would never willingly gate check a guitar i would mind losing cause over the years i 've seen friends hard cases breaking, instruments destroyed etc, and i really wouldn't like to put my guitars through the extreme temperature difference involved in luggage compartments. I have flown dozens of times with archtops and acoustics onboard, (BUT not in the US in the last 10 years), and always had good luck carrying them onboard. (And i 've toured a lot with a 3 guitars gig, carrying 2 gigbags onboard, double gigbag electric & nylon solidbody plus an regular acoustic.. talk about stress! - but that was mainly in Greece and Europe). I am always very polite, avoid asking unnecessary questions, and try not to flash guitars till gate time. Many times the crew will store them in a compartment in the plane if you ask nicely.

    Having said that, if not sure about the particular airline, i 'd use a tele with a gigbag. If all else fails, just unscrew the neck and problem solved, the guitar now meets onboard dimensions. And if you fly often, get instruments that won't break you if you lose them (rarity, cost or sentimental value), just tools for the job.

  20. #19

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by Alter View Post
    I would never willingly gate check a guitar i would mind losing...Many times the crew will store them in a compartment in the plane if you ask nicely.
    +1 on Alter's suggestions, and also a vote for the hard case. It's been a long time since I've flown with a guitar, and if you are traveling with a group the following advice might be out of your control, but this has worked for me. Arrive early at the gate, hopefully before the incoming flight lands (or at least try this as soon as you do get to the gate) and ask at checkin whether you can put the guitar in the "bulkhead". This is a little closet that typically is between first-class and coach on US airlines, usually right in front of the first row of coach. (On smaller planes there may be no bulkhead and in some cases its at the very back, near the galley. The crew uses the bulkhead to put their carryons and coats in. If you arrive early, and ask nicely, most flight crews will be kind enough to store your guitar in the bulkhead. It helps to try to catch someone in the crew that's actually flying on your plane; they'll usually be hanging around checkin waiting for the previous flight's passengers and crew to debark. This is a good time to pick a friendly face from the flight crew and chat them up, asking very politely if they can help you to safeguard your precious cargo.

    The one time this didn't work for me, I had to gate check a BRAND NEW guitar that I had flown to LA to pick up. It had been in my possession for all of an hour! I really didn't like signing that release saying that if I got it back in a million tiny pieces I could not hold the airline responsible. Fortunately, I did get it back unharmed.

    You might also consider getting a lock of some sort for the hard case. It won't stop a motivated thief but it will discourage casual snooping and the lowlife who would sneak the guitar out of the case and then send the empty case on its way.

    On larger planes, the first row in front of coach has a bit more legroom, as does the emergency exit row. You might sneak a case into that extra space if you can get one of those seats (and your companions in the row are willing to accommodate) , but it's unlikely that they'll let you put your guitar on the floor in the emegency exit row.

    Good luck!

    SJ

  21. #20

    User Info Menu

    One more time!

    Build bridges, not walls.

  22. #21

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by BigDaddyLoveHandles View Post
    One more time!

    That’s what I’m trying to avoid....... :-(

    :: Jazz, Funk, Soul & Boogaloo: My group ::
    ::::::: Listen to Hip Jazz a Go Go! :::::::
    :: Jazz, Soul, Blues: Eva & The Tracies :::

  23. #22

    User Info Menu

    I think I‘d put my tele in its hard case and wrap it into this protective foil that‘s now offered at airports to shield the case from damage. It‘ll also add another layer of protection to the guitar. Then just check it as baggage and hope for the best.

    Horns are much more sensitive than teles - what do the trombone and sax players do?


    Gesendet von iPad mit Tapatalk

  24. #23

    User Info Menu

    Unbolt the Tele neck from the body; pack the neck and body in a tough suitcase with lots of your clothing about them. I suspect that luggage handlers have a special spite for guitar-shaped or musical instrument cases.
    Great Deals with Great Folks: max52 (Guild-Benedetto Artist Award); prickards (Ribbecke GC Halfling); Cincy2 (Comins Concert)

  25. #24

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by docsteve View Post
    I think I‘d put my tele in its hard case and wrap it into this protective foil that‘s now offered at airports to shield the case from damage. It‘ll also add another layer of protection to the guitar. Then just check it as baggage and hope for the best.

    Horns are much more sensitive than teles - what do the trombone and sax players do?


    Gesendet von iPad mit Tapatalk
    We are still investigating but according to one of the trombone players - who is organizing most of the trip - in general T-bones, saxes (except for baritone) and trumpets are allowed as hand luggage in the cabin as long as the cases are not too big. In that case I think I can take my guitar in the hard case as well...

    Separating body and neck and putting it with my clothes in a hard case is also a good option I think.

    Another option I am thinking of is fabricating a cardboard box to fit around the hardcase, filling it with bubble wrap. It will protect the guitar with the added bonus that it won’t directly be recognizable as a guitar?

    :: Jazz, Funk, Soul & Boogaloo: My group ::
    ::::::: Listen to Hip Jazz a Go Go! :::::::
    :: Jazz, Soul, Blues: Eva & The Tracies :::

  26. #25
    In Japan, the airlines have dedicated shipping boxes for checking your guitar, similar to these CaseXtreme - Fly it Safe Guitar Cases
    I considered getting one for myself, but decided it would be a pain to haul around for the rest of the trip. It would be nice if more airlines had these available, as they continue to make it harder to carry instruments on.

    If you're disassembling your instrument, make sure it goes back together quickly. Many times the logistics of a gig can change and you have less time than you hoped between airport and concert.

    Even with a solid body, I'd detune the strings a step or so, and place several folded in thirds paper towels between the strings and fingerboard.

    PK

  27. #26

    User Info Menu

    I would tend to think that flying with an aeroplane would be vastly superior to flying with a guitar, but if you must, I suppose the best strategy would be to use a gig bag to free your arms, and attach a string to a drone that you can hold on to while you go for your joyride on your six-string flying machine.

  28. #27

    User Info Menu

    Alright, it seems fitting to conclude this thread with the final solution:

    I will fly with my thinline Tele in the SKB-case, but it won't have to go in the cargo haul since we are left with a spare seat (somebody cancelled last minute). Since the seat is only €35 (for the round trip, seems we made a good group-deal) I offered to pay this and use the seat for my guitar ;-)

    So in the end I can even use a gigback, but the SKB-case seems safer in the tour-bus and back stage and all.

    In the thrift-shop I found an old Samsonite briefcase for only €3 (!) that perfectly houses the small pedalboard I use in the big band, so that is taken care of as well ;-)

    :: Jazz, Funk, Soul & Boogaloo: My group ::
    ::::::: Listen to Hip Jazz a Go Go! :::::::
    :: Jazz, Soul, Blues: Eva & The Tracies :::

  29. #28

    User Info Menu

    I flew with a guitar twice.

    Invested in a good CaseXtreme flight case. Checked baggage. First time no problem with flying, had a hard time getting the case in a rental car.

    Second time luggage was "lost", arrived a day later. No damage.

    The case had foam pieces that fit around the hard guitar case and provided a snug and secure fit inside the flight case.
    There was a large picture on the inside cover of the flight case of how to place the foam pieces.
    TSA inspected the case, put the guitar back in a tossed the foam pieces in, negating their purpose.

    No matter how you do it once your guitar is out of your control it is a crap shoot.
    Last edited by BBGuitar; 05-24-2019 at 03:00 PM.

  30. #29

    User Info Menu

    That’s why I am very happy I have a seat for the guitar now, BBguitar!

    :: Jazz, Funk, Soul & Boogaloo: My group ::
    ::::::: Listen to Hip Jazz a Go Go! :::::::
    :: Jazz, Soul, Blues: Eva & The Tracies :::

  31. #30

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by Little Jay View Post
    Backline will be provided, but we have to bring our own instruments.
    Quote Originally Posted by Little Jay View Post
    Alright, it seems fitting to conclude this thread with the final solution: I will fly with my thinline Tele in the SKB-case, but it won't have to go in the cargo haul since we are left with a spare seat . . . In the thrift-shop I found an old Samsonite briefcase for only €3 (!) that perfectly houses the small pedalboard I use in the big band, so that is taken care of as well ;-)
    Jay --

    There's hope for a happy ending!

    But that "backline provided in Lithuania" has me thinking that you would be smart to put a micro-amp on your pedalboard. Mine sits in my gig-bag along with a female-to-female 1/4" adapter that lets me plug into a combo speaker. It's the ultimate gig-finisher, and I've only had to use it once or twice . . .
    Attached Images Attached Images Flying with a guitar: what’s the best strategy?-lr2t6n98x6khtylakckw-jpg 
    "Don't worry about that. Everybody talks about finding your voice. Do your homework and your voice will find you." - Branford Marsalis

  32. #31

    User Info Menu

    Yeah Sam, I’ll take my Joyo American pedal, not an amp of course, but a decent preamp that also does a good job making crappy SS-amps sound acceptable. But Lithuania is a pretty modern country and it is a big band festival where multiple big bands perform, I am actually not too worried about that.

    But a good suggestion for sure!

    :: Jazz, Funk, Soul & Boogaloo: My group ::
    ::::::: Listen to Hip Jazz a Go Go! :::::::
    :: Jazz, Soul, Blues: Eva & The Tracies :::

  33. #32

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by Sam Sherry View Post
    Jay --

    There's hope for a happy ending!

    But that "backline provided in Lithuania" has me thinking that you would be smart to put a micro-amp on your pedalboard. Mine sits in my gig-bag along with a female-to-female 1/4" adapter that lets me plug into a combo speaker. It's the ultimate gig-finisher, and I've only had to use it once or twice . . .
    The festival is organized very professionally, the organization sent us all the information, there will be a Fender Blues Deville amp on stage. For the soul repertoire with my Tele it will do!


    :: Jazz, Funk, Soul & Boogaloo: My group ::
    ::::::: Listen to Hip Jazz a Go Go! :::::::
    :: Jazz, Soul, Blues: Eva & The Tracies :::

  34. #33

    User Info Menu

    Taking the thinline tele on the plane went without problems. I was even allowed priority bording ;-)










    :: Jazz, Funk, Soul & Boogaloo: My group ::
    ::::::: Listen to Hip Jazz a Go Go! :::::::
    :: Jazz, Soul, Blues: Eva & The Tracies :::

  35. #34

    User Info Menu

    Good thread! There is much useful info here. Thanks for sharing, guys! I'm going to visit my relatives who live abroad soon, and I want to take my guitar with me. As it will be the first time I'll be flying with it, I need some tips. Having surfed the Internet, I found a collection of helpful travel sites that can provide you with the answers on many questions about traveling by air. Maybe this source will be useful for someone.