Flying with my Bass

Discussion in 'Basses [DB]' started by Brian K, May 21, 2004.

  1. Brian K

    Brian K Supporting Member

    May 21, 2004
    Toronto, ON

    I'm hoping to havee a few questions answered. This summer I'll be flying with my basses for the first time. Eight domestic flights in Canada.

    1) Do I need to loosen the strings or do anything special to the bass before putting it in the flight case?

    2) Does anyone know anywhere near Toronto that I can rent a flight case from?

  2. D.W.

    D.W. Guest

    It may be bad but I never do anything to my bass, I just put it in the flight case and hope for the best . As for cases in Toronto there is a bass player who makes flight cases and he may rent them as well, I think his name is Roberto Occhipinti (sp?). Probably doesn't help at all, but I tried.

  3. stu FORD

    stu FORD

    May 22, 2004
    what is the difference between a flight case and a hard shell case?
  4. Nothing

    rupect, call your local Musicians Association, get some names of some symphony players.....they should be able to steer you to somebody who rents. I know Don Thompson has one, if you can find him he might rent. Or know someone who does.
  5. JohnThomasson

    JohnThomasson Supporting Member

    Feb 3, 2003
    Nashville, TN
    Endorsing Artist: Mesa Boogie, DR Strings, Fender, Source Audio & Fishman

    Does anyone have any ideas on a current average price the airline will charge to fly my Gage case and bass and what to expect post 9-11. Will I need to tape a allen wrench key to the case? My case is in storage and I can't find where I wrote down the weight and deminsions of the case to call the airlines.
    I have a new gig where I will have to a fair amount of flying with my bass.
  6. D.W.

    D.W. Guest

    I think there is some information on David Gage's website about flying with a bass, and there is also a great article in a recent issue of double bassist.
    I find it's kind of a crap shoot. Airlines always tell you to call ahead and make arrangements, but when you call they don't know what your talking about. The best advice I can give you is to travel with your bass and only one other piece of luggage, that way they can't charge you for excess baggage. The other key words are oversize, but it's underweight (I think most airlines the cut off is 100 pounds).
    Good luck....Dave
  7. JohnThomasson

    JohnThomasson Supporting Member

    Feb 3, 2003
    Nashville, TN
    Endorsing Artist: Mesa Boogie, DR Strings, Fender, Source Audio & Fishman
  8. Geoff Firebaugh

    Geoff Firebaugh

    Apr 1, 2004
    Nashville TN
    Endorsing artist:Blast Cult, BNA Audio, Fender, Innovation Stings, K&K
    You really should check with the airline. I know that on southwest, they charged me 45 dollars each way to fly my bass in an SBS case. Northwest, on the other hand, wanted 389 dollars each way, IF they had 'space' on the flight, otherwise it would have to go air cargo.
    You really might be better off trying to rent in each city. I have already heard horror stories about cases being CUT open and taped shut with the basses loose inside. My friend marks case got dropped during handling and the neck was broken off at the heel. the airline refused to take responsibility, even though the 'homeland security' inspectors failed to properly re-secure his bass in the case. I have given up on flying my basses anymore. I just rent local basses, and carry strings, bridges and tools in my suitcase.

    just a thought.

    - geoff
  9. Anymore, like D.W. says it's purely a crapshoot anymore. I really think if you love your axe like I love a cheapo bass and have it set up really nice, but something you won't have a nervous break-down if it's damaged or totally ruined.
    But really, i'd just rent something if possible. Take strings and make sure the rental has bridge adjusters.
    I think geoff has the right idea!
  10. Yeah, I read an interview with Ray Brown, and he said he didn't want to take his valuable beloved Italian bass out on the road, so he bought an inexpensive Czech or German bass for touring.

    Consequently, of course, his road bass never suffered so much as a scratch.
  11. Baron von Basso

    Baron von Basso

    Nov 3, 2002
    I've been searching the archives here for some other flihgt-related questions and haven't found anything yet so any help is much appreciated. I was wondering if there is any unofficial list of "bass friendly" airlines (if there is such a thing). I am preparing to shell out twice as much as needed to fly United based on what I've heard and on the recent Double Bassist article but wanted to know of any horror stories. That article confirmed what I've know for years-American Airlines SUCKS for bassists. They screwed me over and even misplaced the bass that HAD to be shipped cargo across the USA. Avoid them fellow bassists.
  12. Hi, Try Long and McQuade on Bloor St, they have one in the band department or Troy at Heinls on Church st. rents his out. I just popped mine in and didn't loosen the strings, I think the sound post might fall over if you did. Good luck!

  13. Long and McQuade seemed to be the better deal by far
  14. McBass


    Mar 31, 2004
    Brooklyn, NY

    If you're flying with your bass for a gig, it's standard for the band leader or promoter to cover the airline cost. Just like they'll be paying for your ticket and your hotel and some of your meals. If they won't guarantee covering that cost, don't bring your bass. Eventually you'll get stuck paying more than you're likely to be paid for the gig.
  15. Wyzird05


    Dec 1, 2003
    South Bend, IN
    Double Bassist Magazine just published a nice article about flying with a DB. I would recommend getting your hands on a copy at and if you can't PM me and maybe I can help you out.