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flying over seas

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by tww001, Sep 14, 2008.


  1. tww001

    tww001 Supporting Member

    Aug 13, 2003
    Telford, PA
    Hello! In a few weeks, I will be flying overseas and will be bringing an electric bass with me. My question is whether or not anyone has had experience doing this, and if I would be allowed to bring the bass as a carry-on (I don't have a flight-rated case to check it, nor do I have the money to buy a flight rated case). United Airlines and Lufthansa and Aeroflot are the airlines I'll be on (flying from Dulles to Frankfort to Moscow to Novosibirsk). Any input would be very helpful. The manager in charge of the trip says he's checking with the airlines, but I'd like some first hand accounts from fellow bass players. Thanks!
     
  2. Gnome

    Gnome

    Jul 27, 2006
    Mexico City, MX
    I've done it before. Usually, they let you take your bass on as carry-on.

    If you're obsessive about your bass' well-being, like I am, you can attempt to carry it between your legs the whole flight. The flight attendant may not agree and may ask you to put it in the overhead compartment, but usually they're too tired to argue too much.
     
  3. tww001

    tww001 Supporting Member

    Aug 13, 2003
    Telford, PA
    Thanks for getting back to me. I know sax players and guitarists who have brought their instruments as carry-ons, I just didn't know if an electric bass would be too big or not.
     
  4. odin70

    odin70

    Dec 26, 2007
    i have done it several times, but never with those airlines. If you carry it with a gigbag it should go fine.
     
  5. Pacman

    Pacman Layin' Down Time Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 1, 2000
    Omaha, Nebraska
    Endorsing Artist: Roscoe Guitars, DR Strings, Aguilar Amplification
    The risk you take is that if they ask you to check it, it will be unprotected. Rondo sells flight cases for 80 bucks - I bought one for my move to Japan. It's now been on 3 flights and it's fantastic! Money WELL spent!
     
  6. tww001

    tww001 Supporting Member

    Aug 13, 2003
    Telford, PA
    thanks pacman, I'll check into that. I was just looking at the SKB flight case...$120, and it allows for a gig bag to fit inside of it so that you don't have to lug the flight case around the city.
     
  7. Pacman

    Pacman Layin' Down Time Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 1, 2000
    Omaha, Nebraska
    Endorsing Artist: Roscoe Guitars, DR Strings, Aguilar Amplification
  8. Molan

    Molan

    Dec 13, 2003
    Oxfordshire, UK
    Make sure you get it insured for damage in transit as well, especially if it does end up in the cargo hold.

    I've had a bass shipped in cargo before & it was fine. I 'hid' it in an anonymous box to cover up the fact it was in a nice flight case.

    Not sure if it's an urban myth or not but slackened the strings off before packing it as it gets really cold in a hold and I was concerned about neck warping if the string tension increased.

    Mine came through just fine without even any marks on the box.

    I've seen acoustic guitar cases taken through as hand luggage in fairly large flight cases. Some airlines have a stowage area on the plane for large items like this, it's usually where they stick the baby buggies & stuff :)
     
  9. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member In Memoriam

    Regulations on this kind of thing have tightened up dramatically in Europe - so I was held up for a long time in Austria recently, while they checked my carry-on luggage.

    In British airports they have specific size limitations about what you can carry on board, which would rule out a bass - and I have found that other European countries are even stricter, due to terrorism threats...:meh:
     
  10. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member In Memoriam

    I did a quick google search and found Lufthansa baggage limitations here :

    http://www.lufthansa.com/online/portal/lh/uk/info_and_services/baggage?l=en&nodeid=1769620

    So it says :

    Each piece of hand baggage may not be larger than 55 x 40 x 20 cm and may not weigh more than 8 kg. An exception are foldable garment bags. They count as hand baggage up to a size of 57 x 54 x 15 cm.

    Pieces of baggage exceeding these limits have to be checked in. As the stowage space in the cabin is limited we will transport them in the cargo hold. This is in the interests of your own and other passengers' safety and comfort.

    [PS. 55cm is just under 22" - a very short scale bass!! :p ]
     
  11. Mystic Michael

    Mystic Michael Hip No Ties

    Apr 1, 2004
    New York, NY
    Exactly. While you may get lucky and all of your flights have excess room for your instrument in the passenger compartment - along with sympathetic flight attendants who will cooperate with you - I wouldn't bet on it. And if for any reason they force you to check your instrument, it rides in the cargo hold and you don't have adequate protection - you are screwed. :eek:

    Using a gig bag gives you a little extra chance to carry it on (it's a little less bulky) - but if you have to check it, you have virtually zero protection. Using an ordinary hardshell case gives you a little extra protection in case you have to check it, but not nearly enough. And in addition, virtually none of the airlines will honor a compensation claim for the instrument - in case it is damaged or destroyed - unless it was packed in an ATA-approved flight case.

    No way I would ever make such a trip without using a flight case. Never! :eyebrow:

    MM
     
  12. Mystic Michael

    Mystic Michael Hip No Ties

    Apr 1, 2004
    New York, NY
    Yes. It is an urban myth...

    MM
     
  13. tww001

    tww001 Supporting Member

    Aug 13, 2003
    Telford, PA
    Thanks for all the great replies. I'll send the info about lufthansa's restrictions to my guitarist. He was planning on carrying his guitar on board.
     

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