Flying a 20 hours flight, how would you protect your bass?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by modulusbassist, Oct 15, 2001.

  1. I will be on a plane across the Pacific soon and wondering how should I protect my bass? An ATA case or bring it onboard with me? I don't know if I'm allowed to bring my bass on board.

    Anybody has any experience flying intercontinentally with their bass?

  2. flipperwhite


    Jul 12, 2001
    I have done a few times and some airlines let my buy a ticket for it,just call them and ask,but they will most likely charge the same price,a good ol' anvil case is also a good idea and will come in useful down the road too.
  3. Almost all airlines would never allow a bass guitar in the cabin, not even in a gig bag. I always put it in my hard case that came with my G&L bass(SKB i think).

    It's been doing allrite so far...but again alot of the damages comes from the way different countries handle the luguages. I've been in many long flights with no problem at all, but been in a 1 hr flight and had some serious damage done to the hard case.
  4. Arvid,

    So did you just use your SKB case? I could get one that is supposed to be ATA spec but I might get an Anvil or similar case made for my Elrick, mahal bo(My Elrick and the Anvil case)! I think it's worth getting a flight case cos I could use it down the road.

  5. flipperwhite


    Jul 12, 2001
    geeze,I'm glad no one told the two airlines I flew on this summer:p j/k
  6. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson Inactive

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    DR Strings
    Try it now;)
  7. Well I said almost all....;)

    But did you really?..... Good for you. Cause I had to fight with the check in attendant every time I try to convince them to allow it on cabin. I did bring it in the Cabin once from Seattle to Florida(in a gig bag).
  8. pmkelly


    Nov 28, 2000
    Kansas City, MO
    I think with what has happened recently, that the chances of getting a bass in the cabin of a plane are about as good as that of the devil getting his toungue stuck to a frozen pole (anyone else see that commercial?) call ahead to the airline, and see what the new requirements for carry-ons are, and see what arrangements you could make. If I had to send it as luggage, then I would get the most bad-a$$, high dollar flight case that I could find, that locks like a demon, and says nothing on the outside about musical instruments...

    [email protected]
  9. Kelvin


    Apr 30, 2000
    I've done both.

    Flew on Northwest airlines from Singapore to LA. Had a Warwick in a hard shell case. No problems although you have to remember to detune your instrument.

    Last year, from LA to Singapore. 2 Basses in the double soft case, I believe the same one marketed by Lakland. Was not stopped by the cabin crew, and the overhead bins were large enough for the bass case, but this was business class.

    You could ask cabin crew to let you stow your bass in the coat locker. I did that with a guitar on a long haul flight this year. No problems whatsoever.
  10. Thanks Kelvin,

    I was hoping that they would allow me to put it in the coat locker.

  11. Phat Ham

    Phat Ham

    Feb 13, 2000
    I fly from the east coast to Japan twice a year and I always bring my bass as carry on in a gig bag. If the flight is not too full (which isn't too often) I put it in an overhead bin, but usually there is too much other stuff for it to fit. When I can't put it in an overhead bin I get the attention of a flight attendant and tell her I'm putting it in the closet.

    With the new regulations I don't know if they'll let you bring a bass as carry on. You should call the airline and make sure.
  12. beaglesandbass

    beaglesandbass Think first, then post? Staff Member Supporting Member

    Aug 14, 2001
    Philly Suburbs
    im gonna be flyin for a while, so i don't have to worry about it
  13. melvin


    Apr 28, 2001
    I saw a guy bring a double bass on a plane once, I think he just bought an extra seat for it.

    But seeing what just happened I doubt theyd let you bring anything like that.
  14. I can't see airlines preventing you from taking a bass onboard in the overhead stowaway, even now (they'd prolly search it real good though). Also with more space (generally) on flights these days you prolly won't have any issues with fighting for overheads.

    Remember to slacken yer strings first! Especially if the bass makes it into a non-pressurised container.

    The last time I was in the USA I managed to bring back my Ampeg lucite AND my Ampeg B2R amp in the overhead's a matter of doing it real quick (before stewardesses and other passengers make it a pain) and doing it without showing any exertion - they would've had a fit if they had weighed my carry-on with the B2R in it, so I had to act as though it was balsa wood! :D

    I'd tend to leave out "extras" (strings, strap, picks, etc) from the gigbag/hardcase to save yourself headaches as well.
  15. Nil:

    So do you really have to slacken the strings for flight? I just posted a new thread regarding this...cause many people told me this. Some even took the trouble of detuning after every gig...don't you think it creates more stress to the neck if you do that all the time? It's like bending a spoon backward and forward'll create stress on the metal etc.

    Is this true or would bass be an exception?
  16. There's definitely enough tension on bass strings that under the wrong conditions it could warp horribly - kinda similar to off-tuning due to humidity, but more so.

    You really only need to slacken if the bass goes into a non-pressurised cargo hold (as the change in atmospheric pressure as the plane gains and drops altitude can wreak havoc). Hardly any plane these days sends passenger check-in luggage non-pressurised...but it's a good idea to slacken just in case (Murphy's law dictates that as soon as you have loaded the bass in the overhead, a stewardess will inform you that it needs to be moved to the hold...)
  17. geshel


    Oct 2, 2001
    Actually I used to wonder the same thing: why detune, when the truss rod is in there pulling the opposite direction? The answer, when I heard it, made a lot of sense:

    The truss rod doesn't go into the headstock. Typically the weakest point on any guitar is the neck / headstock junction, and having all that forward force on the headstock, a good hard jar risks snapping it. Detuning the strings, on an instrument with a decent neck, shouldn't risk warping it at all, and will ease the pain at the headstock joint.

    I can't remember exactly who, but I heard this from a well-known luthier somewhere sometime. . . anyway, it may be wrong, but it made sense to me.