I hope this thread is not redundant. For about 9 or 10 years now, I have been traveling with one of Ross Anderson's lovely travel basses (http://andersonbass.com/
) and reasonably happy with it as it is very bowable and sounds very close to a full-size instrument when amplified well. The David Gage "Czech-ease" bass is a similar instrument.
In its fiberglass case, the Anderson bass was designed to check in at the airport undersize & underweight.
However, within the last year or so, the airlines changed the rules and came up with a measurement they call "linear inches", the sum of the length, height and width of an item. Now, to my best recollection, this is not an actual, geometric, mathematical measurement. It is purist ********, and is only an economic measurement, i.e. a way for the airlines to take even more of our money.
At any rate, the official size limit of a piece of checked luggage is 62 linear inches. The weight limit is 50 lbs. The Merchant MVB-2 in its travel case is 68 linear inches. I'm still researching what else is out there. When I find one that checks as regular baggage, I'll make a switch. Your ideas?
A solution that can and has worked for my Anderson bass, at least in a large airport with lots of traffic, is to use the magic words, "This is a cello" and you may be able to check it as a regular piece of luggage. But, if they measure it, you're gonna be out $100.00, which completely defeats the purpose of owning such an axe.
Also, for all you "stick bass" players - travel with it in a hardshell golf club case and TELL the airline check-in agent it's golf clubs. Never use the word "bass".
Just thought I'd let y'all know of my experience. Good luck out there in the world of basses and travel!