I wanted to share my experience flying with my bass for the benefit of others after I read many threads trying to figure things out. This past weekend I flew from San Francisco to Newark on Virgin America with my Upton Standard Hybrid. I looked into renting a flight case, but in this case it wound up being cheaper to buy the bass a seat. After measuring the bass, a few phone calls with the airline, and checking SeatGuru
, I was pretty confident the bass would fit in the "Main Cabin Select" seats, which are coach seats with 6 inches of extra leg room. The standard fare ticket was about $170 (one way) and the upgrade for the extra leg room was another $150. I had seats 3A and 3B, which were up against the bulkhead, which also made things easier.
I was very nervous about the whole thing, but the trip went completely smoothly with no issues whatsoever. The TSA took my bass through the side door while I went through the scanner then swabbed it for explosives. When I got to the gate, I introduced myself to the agent to make sure there were no surprises and they were totally cool. When I walked on the plane I asked the stewardess for a seatbelt extender, strapped the bass in, and sat down. Overall, a very good experience, and I now have a very good opinion of Virgin.