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jazzyvee
Advanced Member
Username: jazzyvee

Post Number: 352
Registered: 6-2002
Posted on Monday, February 20, 2006 - 11:30 am:   Edit Post

Let me just tell you of my very recent experience of this.
I know there have been threads on this but I couldn't find them.
Anyway. Usually when I work abroad and travel by air, I have always carried my guitar in a proper good quality flight case. Occasionally I've taken it onto the plane with me and had no problems at all.

This weekend as I was taking my new Alembic I didnt want to risk it going in the hold, flight case or not. So I packed it into one of my lightweight moulded guitar cases so I could carry the guitar on the plane.

Checked in at London Gatwick on Delta Airllines from London to Orlando via Atlanta.
The checkin clerk said yes its fine to carry the guitar on board if it will fit in the overheard.
it did so all was well. When I got to Atlanta, I had to change plane and still they were fine with me carrying the guitar on board.

Now on the way back. Delta Airlines in orlando Florida refused to allow me to take my guitar on board the plane. Two other members of the band also were refused permission to carry their bass guitar and Trombone on board. We tried reasoning with Clerk, then her supervisor and eventually the manager who insisted that FAA Rules had recently changed and now forbid the carrying on board of any musical instruments.

So it was a case of either have the guitar put in the hold or not get the plane home.
Not much choice really. So We had to hand the guitars to the baggage staff who passed them through the xray machine, lay my guitar down, then the trombine in a padded leather case. The bass players instrument was in a non padded gig bag and the handler just deliberately dropped it onto the floor next to our cases.... no regard for the fact it was a musical instrument at all. Now if they can do that whilst you are stood right in front of them, you can imagine what goes on behind the scenes.

Fortunately all the instruments got back to London ok and undamaged. But from now on i'm back to flight cases and worrying about the baggage getting delayed or misplaced, or stolen.

I just thought I'd let you know in case you are thinking or hoping to carry your instruments on-board for safety.
Best get a robust case and stick it in the hold.

Would be interested in your own experiences.
Jazzyvee.
lbpesq
Senior Member
Username: lbpesq

Post Number: 1004
Registered: 7-2004
Posted on Monday, February 20, 2006 - 11:58 am:   Edit Post

That's why I have travel instruments. Either small size (Baby Taylor, Hofner traveler, Wechter Travel guitar) or something less expensive that I can live with if an accident happens (Takamine instead of Taylor, almost any solid body instead of Alembic). Trying to bring a full-sized instrument on board puts you at the complete mercy of the gate agent. They have a fight with their spouse that morning and you're the one who gets screwed. Given the hassles involved in flying these days, I try to drive whenever I can. My wife & I traveled almost 2000 miles from S.F. to Austin, Texas last summer. We rented a Ford Escape (little SUV), loaded all kinds of stuff in the back, including acoustic and electric guitars, and had a great time!

Bill, tgo
keith_h
Advanced Member
Username: keith_h

Post Number: 345
Registered: 2-2005
Posted on Monday, February 20, 2006 - 12:01 pm:   Edit Post

The FAA rules do not disallow musical instruments. Other than the number and size the FAA leaves the carry on determination to the airlines. Unfortunately this means it is frequently some low level person who decides what can and cannot go on a particular flight. If they are having a good day you get to take it. A bad day you have to check it. I ran into this even before 09/11 increased restrictions.

When I used to travel I would always insist on taking the bass with me to the gate. If the gate person or flight crew said no I would gate check it. This avoids the instrument going through standard luggage as they hand carry it to the hold and return it to the gate at your destination. There is still room for problems but less than regular baggage.


From what I've heard Delta is not known to be very friendly towards musicians and their instruments.


Keith
keavin
Senior Member
Username: keavin

Post Number: 683
Registered: 12-2002
Posted on Monday, February 20, 2006 - 12:31 pm:   Edit Post

I still travel but i prefer greyhound (U can carry a gig bag onboard) but i no longer trust the airlines since I cant carry my sh#t with me.(onboard) the last time i flew on a jet with my Alembic they (baggage boys) broke the mutherf#cker & refused to pay for it, I was pissy yellow!!!

(Message edited by keavin on February 20, 2006)
davehouck
Moderator
Username: davehouck

Post Number: 3278
Registered: 5-2002
Posted on Monday, February 20, 2006 - 12:35 pm:   Edit Post

I found this on a quick search of the net. If you don't want to read the whole thing (relatively short), scroll down and read the last bit.
jazzyvee
Advanced Member
Username: jazzyvee

Post Number: 354
Registered: 6-2002
Posted on Monday, February 20, 2006 - 12:54 pm:   Edit Post

Thanks for that Dave, I'll print it off and read on the way to the office in the morning. I think I'm gonna go back to using flight cases now. Maybe if the rules are different in Europe I'll do a carry on there but for the states. I'll play real safe. In fact I'm going to get a new insert for my case that is exactly the shape of my orion so there is no chance of any movement.

Cheers again
davehouck
Moderator
Username: davehouck

Post Number: 3281
Registered: 5-2002
Posted on Monday, February 20, 2006 - 12:57 pm:   Edit Post

I thought it was interesting that there was actually an effort to get rules enacted specifically in favor of musicians.
bigredbass
Senior Member
Username: bigredbass

Post Number: 630
Registered: 9-2002
Posted on Monday, February 20, 2006 - 2:57 pm:   Edit Post

I've always had a daydream of flying out to the coast, and going to Santa Rosa to pick up a new axe in person . . . a few minutes later I wake up shaking when I realize I'd have to check my bass and fly it back in the baggage hold !!

J o e y
jazzyvee
Advanced Member
Username: jazzyvee

Post Number: 355
Registered: 6-2002
Posted on Monday, February 20, 2006 - 3:10 pm:   Edit Post

Well Joey, in actual fact the guy at the Delta desk did say we could pay for a seat for each of our instruments.

However In practice I doubt if the cabing crew would allow that. Could you imagine the safety risk of having a guitar strapped up in a seatbelt mean for a human?
I certainly wouldn't want to be sat next to it. It could do some serious damage if it came flying towards a passenger in the event of a sudden stop or some heavy turbulence. It would be much better and safer in the overhead locker.
Jazzyvee
davehouck
Moderator
Username: davehouck

Post Number: 3285
Registered: 5-2002
Posted on Monday, February 20, 2006 - 3:41 pm:   Edit Post

If your flight has a "sudden stop", there will probably be some even bigger problems than flying guitar cases. <g>
keith_h
Advanced Member
Username: keith_h

Post Number: 346
Registered: 2-2005
Posted on Monday, February 20, 2006 - 4:14 pm:   Edit Post

The last I knew you had to buy seats on a bulkhead when buying them for a guitar or bass. They then strap it into the seat.

I just wish they would bring back the coat closet. There always seemed to be room in those but I guess it takes up space for paying passengers.

Keith
bracheen
Senior Member
Username: bracheen

Post Number: 983
Registered: 11-2003
Posted on Monday, February 20, 2006 - 5:05 pm:   Edit Post

Jazzy, for future reference British Airways has direct flights between Gatwick and Orlando. I'm glad that everything made it home OK.

Sam
keurosix
Junior
Username: keurosix

Post Number: 37
Registered: 10-2005
Posted on Monday, February 20, 2006 - 7:51 pm:   Edit Post

Just trying to be introspective...
How does Alembic send out a new instrument to your local dealer when you first buy your new guitar? UPS or FedEx Air? A commercial airflight in the baggage compartment with non-personal baggage personnel who have no attachment to the value of the package. A cardboard box surrounds the case with an additional layer of protection? I know that local storage companies sell a stretch plastic that can be wrapped all around a guitar case with tension that adds a scuff-free outer layer. This discourages unwanted opening of the case.
jazzyvee
Advanced Member
Username: jazzyvee

Post Number: 356
Registered: 6-2002
Posted on Monday, February 20, 2006 - 10:37 pm:   Edit Post

Bracheen, thanks for that point and I understand why you make it..
However I'm not involved in the business side of the band but I do know that sometimes the promoters we are working for book the tickets rather than our management.

So I would imagine that on those occasions economy comes into their choice of routes rather than the practicality and emotions of musicians and their instruments.

Bearing in mind the gig was only confirmed on the Tuesday before we flew out, availability for a group of 10 people on the same flight may have been limited.

I do insure all of my instruments and although in the event of loss , it's unlikely to bring that instrument back to me, I should be able to claim enough to get it replaced with another.

And for now anyway I will continue to take my Alembic on the road with me.

Jazzyvee
jacko
Senior Member
Username: jacko

Post Number: 521
Registered: 10-2002
Posted on Tuesday, February 21, 2006 - 1:41 am:   Edit Post

Out of interest Jazzy, who do you insure your instruments with? I've been looking for a while and have come down to either Musicguard or E and L.

Graeme
grateful
Intermediate Member
Username: grateful

Post Number: 126
Registered: 12-2004
Posted on Tuesday, February 21, 2006 - 5:28 am:   Edit Post

Graeme:

I've insured my Further with E and L: I chose them coz they're based in York, and their web site accepted instruments of this value. It was just over 80 p.a., includes public liability insurance and covers the instrument anywhere in Europe too. It'll cost more if you want world-wide cover.

Mark, ago
jacko
Senior Member
Username: jacko

Post Number: 522
Registered: 10-2002
Posted on Tuesday, February 21, 2006 - 5:36 am:   Edit Post

Thanks Mark, I'm pretty sure I'll be going with EandL. It occured to me a couple of weeks ago that I'm carrying about 8000 worth of kit to gigs so I really ought to make sure I'm covered. EandL are going to cost about 11 / month for peace of mind.

Graeme
jazzyvee
Advanced Member
Username: jazzyvee

Post Number: 357
Registered: 6-2002
Posted on Tuesday, February 21, 2006 - 10:18 am:   Edit Post

I'm in the musicians union and use the company they use called Allianz Cornhill. I figure that they should know what they are doing. Fortunately never had to make a claim. But you have to be careful with the company you choose because many have a clause that will invalidate your claim if you are performing for gain.
I don't know if they are the cheapest but since they are aligned to the musicians union they should have a good idea of a musicians life and risks etc.
I'm happy so far.

Stuff I don't take out of my house I insure under my current contents insurance.


I don't have their number off the top of my head but i will find it and post it here later as I'm off to rehearsal in a bit.

Cheers
Jazzyvee
bigredbass
Senior Member
Username: bigredbass

Post Number: 632
Registered: 9-2002
Posted on Tuesday, February 21, 2006 - 8:22 pm:   Edit Post

JVee:

I WAS wondering if you could still by a seat for your axe in this post 9/11 world. I always remember the stories of BB King buying a seat for Lucille, so at least that can still happen.

J o e y
jazzyvee
Advanced Member
Username: jazzyvee

Post Number: 362
Registered: 6-2002
Posted on Tuesday, February 21, 2006 - 11:20 pm:   Edit Post

Well that was one of the options suggested by the checkin crew but as I said earlier that would pose more of a safety hazard in the event of an accident or turbulance than putting the guitar in the overheard locker.

If you are BB King then I would imagine you would be travelling first class and would only be on airlines that allowed you to carry your guitar on board.

When you are travelling economy class, less options are available.

Although on one trip to europe last year when i carried my guitar on board the stewardess placed my guitar flat across on the empty row of 3 seats behind me and put the seat belts round it as additional security.

Jazzyvee
adriaan
Senior Member
Username: adriaan

Post Number: 774
Registered: 6-2002
Posted on Wednesday, February 22, 2006 - 1:29 am:   Edit Post

They'll put trolleys and stuff into the small passenger's wardrobe at the front of the plane -if there's room. Never travelled with a bass, so not sure if it will fit in your average passenger plane.
gtrguy
Junior
Username: gtrguy

Post Number: 41
Registered: 9-2004
Posted on Wednesday, February 22, 2006 - 8:51 am:   Edit Post

I just flew back from San Francisco with a bass (not my alembic) and what I did was unbolt the neck (if yours does this) so I could carry it in my luggage bag. For neck-throughs and most instruments, I was told that a hard case in the baggage compartment is the way to go and that it should be capable of surviving a 50 lb weight dropped on it. I would pad the instrument in the hard case as well.

I was told a carry-on bass might make a potential weapon, what with the metal truss rods that show up on the x-ray machine. On busy flights, the overhead gets pretty full. There is a test storage container in airports the show what size baggage you can carry aboard. It is nowhere big enough to put a guitar into. Theft is also now a problem. The airlines just had a record year for baggage damage and loss.
old_guy
Junior
Username: old_guy

Post Number: 16
Registered: 2-2006
Posted on Wednesday, February 22, 2006 - 1:21 pm:   Edit Post

An ATA flight case custom made to fit a factory case weigts 50 lbs and can go Fex-X P-1 A.M. delivery for about $125.00. Can be insured for any ammount, Needs no inspection and the Anvil style case has multiple locking options. If it must go in cabin, ask to speak to the Captin. He has ultimate decision of "on board" items. Chances are he is a player too! If the Captian is a she, AND lets the instrument on, well then you take it from there!
davehouck
Moderator
Username: davehouck

Post Number: 3299
Registered: 5-2002
Posted on Wednesday, February 22, 2006 - 1:43 pm:   Edit Post

I'm guessing that locking the case is not what you want to do.
jazzyvee
Advanced Member
Username: jazzyvee

Post Number: 363
Registered: 6-2002
Posted on Wednesday, February 22, 2006 - 2:01 pm:   Edit Post

Locking the case is not a good idea as they will, ( and have in the past), broken the hinges to get into the case.

When I first took a guitar on tour in the early 90's to California, I had a full aluminium covered birch ply custom, flight case made with a good lock on it. When the case came back through to the baggage claim belt, after the tour, the whole thing was in a large see through plastic bag.

The hinges were broken off and so nothing was secured and obviously the guitar suffered damage due to being shaken about in the bag with the metal case flapping about during the flight.

The airline refused to pay any compensation for the guitar or case. My travel insurance company also refused to pay for the damage.

Don't whatever you do lock the case with a key. better that you get cases with those butterfly type clasps not the type of clasps you get on the normal standard cases since they do come open far too easily if knocked.

Things would be much easier if musicians could carry their stuff on board without the luck of the draw arrangement you have now. Obviously there are size limitations but guitars and basses easily fit into the overheard lockers. On International flights anyway.
Good information coming out from this thread, thanks for your input.
Jazzyvee
old_guy
Junior
Username: old_guy

Post Number: 17
Registered: 2-2006
Posted on Wednesday, February 22, 2006 - 4:24 pm:   Edit Post

You are correct--not locking with the airlines. My reference was to Fed-X shipping. I've been most happy with overnites. I believe priorties process thru so quickly no one has an oppertunity to query. Also I've not known Fed-X to sub to the cattle carriers.
dean_m
Senior Member
Username: dean_m

Post Number: 405
Registered: 7-2002
Posted on Monday, February 27, 2006 - 8:03 pm:   Edit Post

I've been traveling with my bass now for about a year or so. Every week I'm flying with my bass. Here's what I've learned and this came from a Delta pilot......
There is no FAA regulation prohibiting musical instruments from being carried on an aircraft. Every now and then you run into someone who thinks they are doing the airline a great sservice by thinking they can enforce this. Now remember FAA regulations do not mean that the airline can't prohibit them.
I've been flying Delta and have had only one run in so far and this was at the gate, not the check in counter.
When this happens I usually ask for permission to see if the lead flight attendant or pilot has a problem with it. If you can get this far, there usually is no problem.
Lately I've only been able to get small 50-75 seaters out of Manchester NH. There literally is not enough space in the overhead. I have a hard time even getting my laptop up there.
This requires me to "gate check" my bass. When I get to my destination, they hand me my bass as I walk off the plane. This isn't so bad. Even if you do find space in the overhead, you run the risk of someone trying to jam their carry on into your bass.
Lately I've been using an SKB Bass Safe. This allow you to put your bass in a gig bag and then put that into an ATA approved case. Here's a link to the page on my site. http://www.monotunesmusic.com/SKBBassSafe.htm.
Even then you still run the risk of the airline losing your luggage. There really is no absolute solution.

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