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Air Travel with bass to recording

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Jim Carr, Nov 27, 2006.


  1. Jim Carr

    Jim Carr Dr. Jim Gold Supporting Member

    Jan 21, 2006
    Denton, TX or Kailua, HI
    fEARful Kool-Aid dispensing liberal academic card-carrying union member Musicians Local 72-147
    Should I ship my Sadowsky (FED-EX) or use my ATA case and check it? Forget carry-on...don't even try it...been there a 100 times. :help:

    I have checked my ATA case many times with less valuable instruments, it works fine. However, with the Sadowsky, I am not worried about damage, I am worried about thieves! :help:
     
  2. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    Ya, forget carry-on. The days of carry-on guitars and basses are pretty well over. Using an ATA approved case is the way to go. Fed Ex is going to drop it and slam it just as much as any airline baggage handler, plus they'll charge you $100 to ship it overnight. At least with the airline you can check two bags for free. Just make sure you watch it go into the system and be there immediately to pick it up at the end. And if anyone asks, tell them it's a cheapo. Nobody needs to know it's a $3000 bass.
     
  3. jokerjkny

    jokerjkny

    Jan 19, 2002
    NY / NJ / PHL
    honestly,

    just get a big ol' flight case, and make sure there are no outer showings of "sadowsky". i've flown w/ my gear a few times, and have yet (knock on wood :)) to run into a problem yet.

    also, get insurance! insurance guys like Clarion cover theft.
    http://www.clarionins.com/Coverages_whatthepolicycovers.aspx
     
  4. Jim Carr

    Jim Carr Dr. Jim Gold Supporting Member

    Jan 21, 2006
    Denton, TX or Kailua, HI
    fEARful Kool-Aid dispensing liberal academic card-carrying union member Musicians Local 72-147
    Thanks.
    I do use Clarion, and I've got a very good ATA case with recessed hardware that has worked well with my Skylines and newer Fenders, but TSA locks don't fit an ATA case (I think), so it has to fly UNLOCKED. :confused:

    Has anyone found a way around that? :ninja:

    As I recall, Victor Wooten has recommended his camp attendee's consider shipping. I still have my Sadowsky shipping carton. Anybody here tried shipping? :help:
     
  5. BartmanPDX

    BartmanPDX Supporting Member

    When I go back home to Georgia for a week or so, I always ship a bass to a friend of mine who is a bass player. Then I ship it back home at the end of the trip. Never had any problems yet, though bad things do happen.

    Then again, I don't travel enough to own an ATA flight case.

    Tough decision. I think the bass would more likely survive the trip in the ATA case, but would also be more likely to "disappear."

    Best of luck.
     
  6. jokerjkny

    jokerjkny

    Jan 19, 2002
    NY / NJ / PHL
    shipping's one thing, but if you have a string of gigs that are flight bound, then what?

    and the ATA locks dont fit your case?! :eek: omg, that's asking for it. i'm sure there are a number of locks at a well stocked hardware store that can replace the ATA one.
     
  7. salzie

    salzie

    Dec 27, 2005
    NYC
    How about taking the neck and body apart and wrapping it up in your clothes/luggage?

    A friend of mine from Tokyo uses this trick whenever he travels. Never tried it myself but seems like it might work if you are comfortable disassembling and reassembling your bass.
     
  8. cadduc

    cadduc

    Mar 4, 2006
    geez

    i still walk on with my bass and i have been thru sfo, lax, sea,
    as well as the east coast

    i have been challenged but it has not been an issue
    again i show up well in advance, and if i cannot carry on
    i will buy it a seat

    last time i did this was two weeks ago between seattle and oakland
    no hassle

    and i would rather do that than pack it in my luggage
    that seems like a real crap shoot
     
  9. Jim Carr

    Jim Carr Dr. Jim Gold Supporting Member

    Jan 21, 2006
    Denton, TX or Kailua, HI
    fEARful Kool-Aid dispensing liberal academic card-carrying union member Musicians Local 72-147
    I wish it were a string of gigs. Looks like rehearsals in CA and recording in Oregon. :p

    About the ATA and TSA locks: I have a 2-year old ATA case. It can't be retrofitted with TSA locks (unless you are a master rivet shooter). It has to fly unlocked or get broken open. I have flown unlocked many times, but not with my Sadowsky. Once I found my Lakland 55-01 partly disassembled. It was so silly. I guess they wanted to make sure my bass caught my flight....:D

    There are lock-straps and cable locks that might work on an ATA case--sort of--so I may go that way. However, it all assumes the crooks don't work for TSA or haven't gotten the "TSA Special Tools" for opening TSA locks. I am very skeptical about the idea that TSA can open things with magic keys that somehow crooks don't have. puh-LEEZ! :smug:

    Then again, the whole darn case (with bass inside) can disappear. Am I paranoid? Perhaps I am too attached to my "baby." :D :D :D

    Anyone used a golf bag case with gig bag inside? They are TSA lockable. :ninja:
     
  10. seebee

    seebee

    Dec 17, 2004
    Philadelphia,Pa
    Here's a link from AFM to Airline websites and their musical instrument policies.

    http://www.afm.org/public/departments/airline_links.php
     
  11. bassjam

    bassjam Supporting Member

    Aug 2, 2004
    dfw
    Lakland Basses, G&L Basses, Genzler Amplification
    you may have to flip a coin-check it or ship it.i see your delima.problem is,no guarentee either way.i fly my bass quite a bit,so far only one problem-damaged case,but they replaced it.if it were me id check it.for all the thousadns of bags the airlines handle,its such a small percentage that gets lost.since its a recording session,i see the importance of having your main bass,otherwise id use something else.

    as far as locks,as you said you cant lock it.but i always ask tsa to tape it up(you may have to throw them a couple bucks)that way you at least know if someone has been it.

    oh be sure to insure it though.i think the airlines cover up $1500 as long as it is in an ata approved case

    good luck


    QUOTE=Jim Carr]I wish it were a string of gigs. Looks like rehearsals in CA and recording in Oregon. :p

    About the ATA and TSA locks: I have a 2-year old ATA case. It can't be retrofitted with TSA locks (unless you are a master rivet shooter). It has to fly unlocked or get broken open. I have flown unlocked many times, but not with my Sadowsky. Once I found my Lakland 55-01 partly disassembled. It was so silly. I guess they wanted to make sure my bass caught my flight....:D

    There are lock-straps and cable locks that might work on an ATA case--sort of--so I may go that way. However, it all assumes the crooks don't work for TSA or haven't gotten the "TSA Special Tools" for opening TSA locks. I am very skeptical about the idea that TSA can open things with magic keys that somehow crooks don't have. puh-LEEZ! :smug:

    Then again, the whole darn case (with bass inside) can disappear. Am I paranoid? Perhaps I am too attached to my "baby." :D :D :D

    Anyone used a golf bag case with gig bag inside? They are TSA lockable. :ninja:[/QUOTE]
     
  12. bassjam

    bassjam Supporting Member

    Aug 2, 2004
    dfw
    Lakland Basses, G&L Basses, Genzler Amplification

    usually thats not a problem.but they have the right to deny it in the main cabin.i never had a problem bringing mine on,but as things change i wouldnt want to risk it.
     
  13. deaf pea

    deaf pea

    Mar 24, 2005
    Cuernavaca 1 hr S Mexico City
    Seymour Duncan/Basslines SMB-5A Endorsing Artist
    Yeah, I got my SKB Golf Bag Case a little more than a year ago and haven't had any real problems, yet (15+ flights). But it DID arrive 6 hours late one time (but there wasn't any gig that day, lucky me!)

    BTW, although it IS lockable, I don't lock it anymore. One time the TSA guys broke my TSA-approved lock . . . I guess they didn't have the key handy . . .
     
  14. Jim Carr

    Jim Carr Dr. Jim Gold Supporting Member

    Jan 21, 2006
    Denton, TX or Kailua, HI
    fEARful Kool-Aid dispensing liberal academic card-carrying union member Musicians Local 72-147
    Ever since I had to gate check (into cargo the hold) my 55-01 in an ordinary gig bag, I have used an ATA case. I tried everything I could to get the nasty young woman to let me carry it on. It was even the EXACT same aircraft I had on my outbound flight, but she insisted that "FAA regulation...blah blah blah." Perhaps having the airlines own written policies to wave around might have helped. I have since gotten the AFM web pages, which have also been posted to this thread (thanks!).

    However, after something like 23 years of frequent business and music related travel, often with musical or computer equipment, I have little faith in the power of "policies." This is especially so now that REAL security concerns have multipied the descretionary power of airline personnel and agents by orders of magnitude, not to mention the TSA (biting tongue very hard). :spit:

    I am considering the Golf Bag case thing. Anyone know about dimensions? Most web pages selling them only spec length (48") and weight (~14lbs).

    Oy! I hate Golf, whoda thunk it might help me (I'm of scottish descent, so blame me).....:D :D :D
     
  15. Jim Carr

    Jim Carr Dr. Jim Gold Supporting Member

    Jan 21, 2006
    Denton, TX or Kailua, HI
    fEARful Kool-Aid dispensing liberal academic card-carrying union member Musicians Local 72-147
    I have considered this, especially since I have a P-bass I swap necks on from time to time.

    However, this is my new Sadowsky, which is so perfect in every way. I just can't disturb the sweetness of the factory set-up. I guess I am chicken, even though I've done my own setups for years....it is just so perfect...what if I couldn't "get it back." Sick, I know. :D

    I think I've gotta keep it in one piece and either fly it in an ATA or ship. :D
     
  16. seebee

    seebee

    Dec 17, 2004
    Philadelphia,Pa
    I wouldn't touch the neck on the Sadowsky. I have a flying gig comming up and I'm just going to bite the bullet and leave my Sadowsky's at home. Even though I consider them to be best basses I have I don't want to chance it.
     
  17. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    Now THAT is the sane answer. Use a cheap bass for fly gigs. But I have to admit, sometimes I do and sometimes I don't. Sometimes you just want to play a good bass. It may not be sane to take a good bass out like that, but more often than not it's fine.
     
  18. Smooth_bass88

    Smooth_bass88 Groove it

    I flew out to L.A. from the east coast recently for a gig and I just carried on my Lakland in a gig bag...had no problems whatsoever. I had layovers both ways, and again, no problems. Just stuck it in the overhead. Will definitely do it that way the next time I go out there.
     
  19. -Kramer-

    -Kramer-

    Dec 9, 2003
    Charlotte, NC
    Any chance that you can rent a similar bass out there? Or maybe a fellow TB'er could loan you one...
     
  20. i saw get new latches, on the case the ones with the hidden locks so nobody thinks it heavily guarded, that way they wont think anything of it. I have taken (expensive) basses on planes at first you are a little worried but that passes after all the baggage is on the plane. im not sure why :)

    Then again fedex in an ATA case isent bad at all, unless fedex is dumb and takes forever to deliver it!
     

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