In general, you are allowed to carry musical instruments on an airplane. You can consider these, for example, either as checked-in baggage or as carry-on items. But you have to be prepared, as according to regular traveling musicians, your right to fly with your guitars still poses complications and risks.
Utilize some strategies to avoid disconcerting experiences. Here are carefully thought-out tips to assist you, that you may consider:
Recommend checking with the airline as to its instrument policy.
Checking with the airline about their policies before deciding to take on their flight may save your time and avoid any issues. Depending on the airline, they will permit you to have the guitar as hand luggage. They would put in the overhead bins or in the stewards’ and stewardesses’ closets. Other airlines may have the instrument gate-checked as they do on other carry-on pieces of baggage. Figure out the size of your guitar as well because the carrier’s overhead bins might be narrow. That being the case, it is essential that you know your details and gets confirmation that you can bring the guitar with you prior to arranging the flight.
Invest in a good guitar case.
Always think of getting a sturdy case for your guitar whether you are traveling or not. This is to protect it from any potential damage. Especially when you miss inquiring about the airline’s rule and you had little choice but to agree to checked-in the guitar. You will not panic at all if you have packed it in a solidly built case. Be sure that you obtain the right kind of case. To give you an idea, durability and lightweight are critical features. It has to be designed to survive the bad mishandling in air travel.
The image below is called the Gibson case and it is a hard case. It protects the guitar very well. It is quite pricey but recommendable. It worked efficiently on the guitar according to a musician and fits the overhead compartment.
Guitars as checked-in baggage also put them in danger of thievery. Definitely, you are not prepared to lose them. Maybe if they are poorly made guitars, you will not be afraid of suffering a loss at all.
Loosen the Strings.
As extra care, it is recommended that you loosen the strings on the guitar. Shifts in air pressures at altitude during the flight may cause the strings to snap and damage the neck of the guitar.
Protect the guitar inside the case.
To make sure it stays secured during the course of the travel, fill in any air spaces around the guitar inside the case. You may use bubble wrap, foam, or soft clothing such as a buttonless shirt, underwear, or pair of socks. In addition to that, take important note of filling in the spaces around the headstock and the strap button at the back-end of the guitar. The stuffing done inside the case will make the guitar safe from sliding or moving in any direction.
Know the laws in your area for flying with your instruments.
In the United States, air carriers are required to accommodate musical instruments as carry-on baggage. Former President Barack Obama signed into law the “FAA Modernization and Reform Act of 2012″. Amending the section on Musical Instruments, quoted as follows:
‘‘(A) the instrument can be stowed safely in a suitable baggage compartment in the aircraft cabin or under a passenger seat, in accordance with the requirements for the carriage of carry-on baggage or cargo established by the Administrator”.
As to size restrictions, this will depend on what model of aircraft you are flying on.
We trust that the aforementioned tips will one way or another help you out in putting up the best effective ways to fly with your guitar. Never worry again about this stuff!