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Flying a bass

Discussion in 'Basses [DB]' started by M Ramsey, Jan 10, 2006.

  1. M Ramsey

    M Ramsey

    Mar 12, 2005
    North Carolina
    Morning all,

    My son is gong to Tacoma, WA, in late February (Feb 23-26) and is needing to get a bass there. All of the rental units are gone for the weekend from the Hammond Ashely store in Seattle. If there is another store that rents basses in that area, I'd like to know information about it as well.

    We do have access to a Gage (maybe a Kolstein) trunk and the folks hiring the band are taking care of shipping/flying charges that will apply. The bass will be flown out of Nashville (since that's where the bass trunk lives).

    Now, I need plenty of pointers for those of you that are much more experienced or have had recent trips.

    This will be a laminate bass that we will be moving.

    Any help will be greatly appreciated.

  2. jallenbass

    jallenbass Supporting Member Commercial User

    May 17, 2005
    Bend, Oregon
  3. Search the miscellanous forum. There are several threads discussing the ups and downs of flying.
  4. JayR


    Nov 9, 2005
    Los Angeles, CA
    I flew my bass to illinois once. Security demanded to open the trunk, so I went in and started to open it for them, they informed me that I couldnt touch it because I might get my terrorist germs on it and I had to explain to them how to do it. Needless to say, it's not an easy process, opening and closing one of these unwieldly flight cases. So after 10 minutes they get it open, manhandle the hell out of my bass, I mean, toss it all around, leave it sitting with all the weight on the bridge, accidentally let the case snap shut onto the middle of the bass. When I protested, they told me to be quiet and stand back or they'd send me to Guantanamo or something, hell, I dont know, and then I had to explain to them how to get the bass back in its bag and then back into the case, where they let the lid slam on it again. This was a couple of years ago, and the bass was a relatively cheap (3k) chinese make, but I was still really furious, because I had all sorts of damage to the instrument when I unpacked it later. When I called to complain that they had knocked about 50 new dents and cracks into my bass, the airline company said that I would have to be able to prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that they personally had caused the damage, and if all they had was my word against the security inspectors that they wouldn't do anything about it.

    Flying a bass sucks.
    Really hard.
  5. JoeyNaeger

    JoeyNaeger Guest Commercial User

    Jun 24, 2005
    Houston, TX
    Bass Specialist, Lisle Violin Shop
    I've have now flown a bass on southwest three times. I never had any trouble doing it either. They just charged us $50 and took it no problem. I've heard that Southwest is one of the few bass friendly airlines though.
  6. D McCartney

    D McCartney crosswind downwind bass

    Aug 1, 2005
    Tacoma WA
    Hi Mike,
    What band will your son be playing with?
  7. basstef

    basstef Supporting Member

    Dec 18, 2004
    Bologna, Italy
    I've just returned from 12 days of gigs in Baja California, Mexico. I've had no particular problems in flying my bass, and I've had done it a lot. The companies involved this time were AirFrance, Delta & Continental. I always put a small padlock to close the case. If security wants to inspect it, it's not a big deal to break it. That's what happened in Houston. The bass was inspected. I wasn't present but everything was done correctly as to the replacement of the bass into the case. The only problem that seems to be relevant to me is the weight: almost every company seems to accept items up to 100lbs upon payment of an extraweight charge. But it seems much more realistic that If you have more that 70lbs you're going to be in trouble...That's why I sold my gage case to get a smaller and lighter flight case. Ok I don't have airbags anymore, but everything else is much smoother ;)
    Renting basses in the place where you're going to perform can be funny. Good luck
  8. M Ramsey

    M Ramsey

    Mar 12, 2005
    North Carolina

    He will be playing with Randy Kohrs at Wintergrass at the Tacoma Sheraton. Randy is one of the top dobro session guys in Nashville.

    Thanks for all the help and we still may explore the process of flying a bass. We also now have the option of flying a EUB.

  9. JayR, what airline was this?
  10. Alexi David

    Alexi David

    May 15, 2003

    That's just ****ing awful.

    One thing that helps, is to not fly any US airlines, period! I took mine on Malev and it was fine.