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Checking in a bass

Discussion in 'Orchestral Auditions [DB]' started by JPHYeoh, Mar 22, 2013.

  1. JPHYeoh


    Jan 22, 2013
    Hey all!

    I was just wondering, when flying with a bass do you just check it in at the airport? Both Westjet and Air Canada for me have told me I need to do cargo, but with everyone who I've talked to who have flown with a bass says that there should be no problem checking in. What are your experiences with this and how much have you had to pay? Thanks all.
  2. I've checked my basses a couple times with no issue. The airlines I used allowed 1 or 2 checked items for free so it was no cost to me. This is my experience, of course.
  3. Indybass091


    Mar 1, 2009
    Call ahead. Give them a week's notice that you'll bring a double bass on the flight, have the weight and length ready as well. Some airplanes, especially on shorter routes, have cargo holds that cannot fit a flight case through the door. When booking your flight, the website might be able to tell you what plane they use on each route, or just call the airline and explain your needs.

    Oftentimes employees are not sure of their own policies for a bass, so being as well versed as possible before you get to the airport is valuable. If you've got a smart phone (or just print it out), show the airline/TSA agent what their website states if needed.

    Check the bass, and expect an oversize baggage charge.
  4. Dreads, this is a DB forum. It's not free to check these things.

    It depends on the airline's policies. Cargo is generally much more expensive, but also less stressful. You need to make certain your airline has a policy in place for oversize musical instruments and to confirm the cost of checking it. Some airlines, such as Southwest, have very reasonable policies specifically for double basses ($50 in a hard case, no fuss). Others will hassle you over weight and size restrictions if you haven't cleared it with them before the flight. Some airlines refuse to handle them.

    Be aware that weight restrictions will vary widely. Some airlines will accept nothing over 70 pounds as checked baggage. Others will take 100. Smaller planes may not fit a double bass.

    You absolutely must use a hard case.
  5. You're right. So sorry!
  6. dtosky


    Jan 4, 2010
    SW is now $75
  7. grbass85


    Dec 19, 2010
    Is this an official policy that SW has towards double basses / flight cases? If so does anyone have a link to a printable version of this policy? Inquiring minds would like to know. $75 sure beats the $200 one-way charge that Delta hit me with recently
  8. dtosky


    Jan 4, 2010
    You can find any airline's current contract of carriage through a Google search. I've been charged anywhere from $100-$225 (I think $225 is what they are actually supposed to charge) one way on Delta, which is still cheaper than many other airlines.

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