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Airlines clamping down on guitars as carry-on

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by JimmyM, Oct 31, 2005.


  1. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    Well, it's happened too many times for it not to be a conspiracy. For years and years, I took my bass in a gig bag right onto the plane with me and stuck it in the overhead bin and never got hassled unless the bins were just too small. This year, I have had 5 incidents of being stopped with it. Airports and airlines are disallowing guitars as carry-on.

    So this means I have to take a bass I didn't want to take on a flight to Houston because it's the only one I own with a hard case rugged enough to handle abuse from airline goons. Sucks. On the other hand, I do like the bass and I haven't played it live in a while. But still...why are they clamping down like that? It sucks. Now I have to buy a hard case for my Fender if I want to take it. Hard cases suck. Gig bags rule.
     
  2. Pacman

    Pacman Layin' Down Time Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 1, 2000
    Omaha, Nebraska
    Endorsing Artist: Roscoe Guitars, DR Strings, Aguilar Amplification
    I flew American twice a few weeks ago, and both my guitarist and I had no problems with axes as carry ons....even on relatively full flights.
     
  3. Akami

    Akami Four on the floor

    If you've got a bolt on neck you can always disassmble it and then either pack it in a suitcase or put it in your carry-on. I've done this only once, but I go to Japan every year and have only had trouble once, back in November 2001, shortly after something having to do with airplanes happened in New York.
     
  4. bassmonkeee

    bassmonkeee Supporting Member

    Sep 13, 2000
    Decatur, GA
    Are you in uniform when you fly?
     
  5. Marcus Willett

    Marcus Willett Supporting Member

    Feb 8, 2005
    Palm Bay, FL
    Endorsing Artist: Bag End - Dean Markley - Thunderfunk
    I've had the same experience. I took my bass as a carry-on for years, but that's rare these days. Just flew to Atlantic City a couple weeks ago, and carry-on wasn't even physically possible. It was one of those smaller connecting flights with overhead bins about 3 feet wide, and no area for hanging suits. I've just kinda resigned myself to having a 'travel' bass. If something were to happen to one of main axes, it would be disproportionately expensive to replace (almost all my stuff is custom made), so I just use a backup. Kinda sux, but I've seen too many times where the airline will say it's fine, but then to have that option taken away at the last minute. I don't wanna roll those dice...
     
  6. jammadave

    jammadave Rudderless ship Supporting Member

    Oct 15, 2003
    Wash DC metro area
    Wow, man. I'm NOT one to preach about or be offended by ANYTHING, but that's awfully nonchalant.
     
  7. Thor

    Thor Moderator Staff Member Gold Supporting Member


    I was actually wondering the same thing.

    [HIJACK] Marcus, congrats on taking the new gig!
    [/HIJACK]
     
  8. P. Aaron

    P. Aaron Supporting Member

    The TSA punks destroyed my guitar case even though I played by their rules regarding airline regs for checking a guitar.

    If I ever take a guitar on a plane again, I'll carry it on.
     
  9. bassmonkeee

    bassmonkeee Supporting Member

    Sep 13, 2000
    Decatur, GA
    Fixed it for ya. :D
     
  10. Akami

    Akami Four on the floor

    Hmmmm..... I guess you couldn't see the expression on my face as I was trying to insert one of the reasons for airport security having been at an all time high the only time I ever had trouble with doing a carryon without anyone thinking that I was trying to derail the thread into unintended territory.

    To tell the truth, it was also with more than a little trepidation that I boarded my flight - I mean heck, they took my axe! :(
     
  11. jammadave

    jammadave Rudderless ship Supporting Member

    Oct 15, 2003
    Wash DC metro area
    Tis cool man. I'm not the most patriotic guy in the world, mainly due to who's running the place now, but 9/11's direct impact, is simply all those who died, moreso than any political crap (motivations of the hijackers notwithstanding). I was just hoping you weren't trivializing it.

    Back on the thread: I'm kinda glad I'm deathly terrified of flying (nothing to do with terrorism, actually) - I never have to deal with my axe being taken; it rides just fine in the car.

    =0)
    Dave
     
  12. Pacman

    Pacman Layin' Down Time Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 1, 2000
    Omaha, Nebraska
    Endorsing Artist: Roscoe Guitars, DR Strings, Aguilar Amplification
    Nope. But we usually wear shirts that say USAF Band of the West on them (although in small letters - they're just polos).
     
  13. Akami

    Akami Four on the floor

    I'm not one to trivialize such things, but rather one who tries not to derail conversations, hence the oblique wording.

    Anyway, I used to be terrified (terrified! :eek: ) of flying too and missed out on some great gigs as a result, but then I decided to go to Japan for a once in a lifetime overseas trip, and have been going back every year now since '97.
    Still my preference is the same as yours; I'd rather drive the van to the gigs! :)
     
  14. tplyons

    tplyons

    Apr 6, 2003
    Madison, NJ
    What's the deal with checking a bass? If you get an ATA case does it just get thrown on the conveyer and flies where it's sub zero?
     
  15. Pacman

    Pacman Layin' Down Time Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 1, 2000
    Omaha, Nebraska
    Endorsing Artist: Roscoe Guitars, DR Strings, Aguilar Amplification
    It's the conveyor and baggage handlers that's the problem. Nowadays, baggage holds are pressurized and heated - pets fly in there, too, you know.
     
  16. Phil Smith

    Phil Smith Mr Sumisu 2 U

    May 30, 2000
    Peoples Republic of Brooklyn
    Creator of: iGigBook for Android/iOS
    A couple of weeks ago I had a gig in Aruba and I didn't even want to gamble on whether or not I could take my bass on the plane. I bought one of those SKB Bass Safes ($100 or so at Musicians Friend) dropped my bass in that with it's gig bag, checked it, no big deal. The guitarist that I was traveling with had no prolem bringing his guitar on board and I probably wouldn't have had a problem either because the flights there and back weren't full.
     
  17. SuperDuck

    SuperDuck

    Sep 26, 2000
    Wisconsin
    Hmm... must be the sidearms, then.
     
  18. Pacman

    Pacman Layin' Down Time Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 1, 2000
    Omaha, Nebraska
    Endorsing Artist: Roscoe Guitars, DR Strings, Aguilar Amplification
    Yeah, I guess it could be that.;)
     
  19. Bard2dbone

    Bard2dbone

    Aug 4, 2002
    Arlington TX
    And then the baggage handlers take it out of the flight case and to the Paul Simonon/Pete Townsend thing and when your main bass is now firewood, tell you it was your own fault for using insufficient packaging and refuse to pay for repair/replacement.

    Or at least that was MY experience.
     
  20. Akami

    Akami Four on the floor

    Just got back from Japan and brought two basses with me and for the Asiana Air part of my flight had to check them, which was handled very courteously and they had them waiting for me on the other end in hand with no damages whatsoever.

    The Alaska Airlines legs of my flights I was as always allowed to carry them on with me.

    Should probably note that I had one medium scale bass inside its own gig bag which I put inside the gig bag of the second bass, a standard long scale.