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Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by otisspunkmeyer, Mar 16, 2006.
heading out of town and want to take my bass with me? do they fly well?
You should do a search. This has been discussed recently.
My opinion- If you don't NEED it, do risk taking it. If you insist on taking it, get an ATA case and check it.
True, this topics has been extensively discussed.
But a quick tip: most basses inisde a gig bags will fit inside any commercial jet's cabin, either laying down inside any overhead comparment or in the little closet close to the door where they store suits.
I took about 50 flights last year with my bass inside a Kaces III gig bag, and I had no problems whatsoever.
Just watch when other passangers store their luggage that they don't place any heavy items on top of the bass.
I use to wrap the bass with a couple of t-shirts for extra protection. Wrapping the bass with bubble wrap inside the gig bag will make excellent protection, too.
thanks for the help. going to be a last minute decsion
+1 on lefties response. The other choice is ATA flight case. Bassically a coffin that goes into baggage. Go with the gig bag!
The only problem with going with a gigbag is that, if the airline decides to say "no" to you taking it onboard, then you're going to be throwing that gigbag in the hold. I get the impression that airlines in the US are a bit more lenient about this than they are in Europe, but personally, I prefer to know that my bass will be safely packed in a case that'll stand up to the hold.
Another problem you'll encounter in the US is that, if you decide to check the case as baggage, you're not allowed to lock the case. If you do, the security officers (I'm not sure what they're official title is - maybe customs??) are legally allowed to open the case by any means they require, and will then leave a sticker on the case explaining why it is that they smashed the lock on the case. I know this for a fact, as I've seen the evidence on a bass case that returned to Portugal from the US.
If you do decide to go the checked bag route, just make sure that you pack a lot of clothing around the bass inside the case so that it doesn't move around. Also, detune the bass a little bit - say to D or C. I've been told by luthiers not to detune the strings to the point where they're floppy, although I can't specifically recall why. But I've always used the above method, and I've carried about 15 basses back and forwards on flights with no mishaps so far. Finally, when you check in, ask if the airline has a "fragile goods" area to submit the case. The airport will hopefully have a special counter set up to accept things like skis, surfboards, and other unusual sized items, and it's a great place to put a guitar or bass.
Good points bassaussie, on the rare occassion that has happened to me, and it has, the attendents were always respectful of what was in the case. They obviously knew I was a musician and that usually translates into extra TLC for both me and the bass. They would place the bass carefully away from all other luggage and it would be waiting for me at the top of the Jet way. In some ways, more convenient than if I stowed it myself in the overhead. That's my experience.
Best bet is to find out what type of plane you are flying and get the dimension of the overhead luggage compartments - that is what I did. Some airlines have this info right on their Web site.
I did get my bass taken maybe two times, and yes, they usually are nice about it. They put them right with the baby strollers, in a separate compartment below, not together with all the cargo.
I did have an SKB ATA case - the one that is a shell where you put your gig bag inside (not a rectangular case with custom-molded interior, that cost a fortune). This SKB cost around $100 and is ATA approved. But I thought to be a pain to check it as luggage and I think the instrument get even more banged up like that, than taking the risk of having it in the cabin.
I've only flown once with a bass when went to I play in Nashville. I carried it on in a gigbag and put it in the overhead. The check-in realized I was a musician and said its fine in a bag.