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Flying Internationally with a Bass

Discussion in 'Basses [DB]' started by Dr_Atomic, Sep 25, 2008.

  1. Hey,

    I'm planning next summer on going back to a festival in Switzerland I was at this summer, but I'd like to bring my bass this time instead of borrowing one.

    I'm planning on getting funding from my university to pay for travel (the festival is a fellowship apart from travel), so I was wondering if anyone has any advice about flying between NY and Geneva with a bass.

    Should I rent/borrow a flight-case or buy a seat? Can I buy a seat for my bass? Also, I will need to bring my bass on the train from the Geneva Airport to the festival (a ride of about 4 hrs), so having a flight-case on a train might be very tough.

    The airlines that fly Geneva-NY are: United, Swiss International, British, American, Continental, Brussels, Lufthansa, Air France, and Iberia.
  2. If the flight case is relatively light and has wheels, I wouldn't worry too much about getting it on a train at Geneva... it's an easy transfer from the baggage hall to the train station there (although I haven't done it with a bass myself, as I recall it wouldn't be a problem). You'd have to ask the airlines if you can buy a seat for the bass, whereas they pretty much have to take the bass in a flight case (there's an international treaty about musical instruments on airplanes...)
  3. That's true, the trains are very good in Switzerland. I have never travelled with a flight case before, so I am nervous about it especially as the ordinary trains have those very narrow doors that one might not be able to fit a flight case through... The Gornergrat trains near where I'll be at the festival have huge baggage spaces (i.e. for skis, etc.) though.
  4. Hello,
    I´m quite experienced on this matter. The only problem I have met is that you might need to pay overweight (usually 100 dollars) but that doesn´t happen to often. If you can, pack all your other stuff in the hand luggage and that will help you.
    I think the days when you could buy a seat for the bass is gone. But with a flight-case you´ll be pretty safe.

    Another thing you can do is to leave the flight-case at the airport and go with a soft-case on the train. That will help you alot!
    And about airlines, I don´t know but I think european airlines in general are more kind to bassplayers.
    Good luck!
  5. Cool, thanks! Can you really leave your flight case at the airport? Where, by the coin locker area in the airport? Would you be able to leave it in there for like 3 weeks?
    Thanks for the information, very helpful!
  6. bilias


    Oct 7, 2006
    Most of the airports have a "Left Luggage" room where you can leave your things
    for days. Give them a call just to be sure.

    I also think that the price will not be bad.

    good luck
  7. Yes, bilias is right. Your back will thank you...

    Good luck with the trip and the gig!

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