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flying with your bass

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by Bayou_Brawler, Mar 5, 2005.

  1. Bayou_Brawler

    Bayou_Brawler The most hurtful thing ever realized

    Oct 23, 2003
    Ann Arbor, MI
    i want to bring one of my other basses from back home to detroit with me. it's a stingray in a huge hardshell case. the idea of checking it and having go under the plane with luggage just scares the hell out of me.

    is there anyway i can take it on the plane?

    has anyone here checked their bass?

    any horror stories?
  2. Minger


    Mar 15, 2004
    Rochester, NY
    do a search...
  3. Bayou_Brawler

    Bayou_Brawler The most hurtful thing ever realized

    Oct 23, 2003
    Ann Arbor, MI
  4. Wrong Robot

    Wrong Robot Guest

    Apr 8, 2002
    I have a SKB bass safe. I feel totally fine checking it in that thing.
  5. P. Aaron

    P. Aaron Supporting Member

    Yes, a Horror story.
  6. sobie18


    May 5, 2002
    Shaw AFB, SC
    Whenever I fly commercial, I pck the bass in a padded gig bag. it fits in the Overhead compartment (much to the stewardess' rude comments). Just make sure that no dorks try to squash it with their over-sized suitcases. I usually find the ideal location, throw in some extra pillows/blankets, and hurry up & close the compartment (so nobody else can place stuff in there).

    Or, you could ask the stewardess to place it in their linen closet/garment closet.

    I never loosen the strings, either.

    Good luck!
  7. Bard2dbone


    Aug 4, 2002
    Arlington TX
    P.Aaron is feeling my (ancient) pain here. One of my favorite basses ever was destroyed by American Airlines. Before they would let me check my bass, they made me sign a form for 'inadequately packaged items.' It wasn't inadequately packed. It was in a flight case. SOMEHOW, perhaps by magic, my bass was removed from its case and pretty badly smashed. There were chunks of binding missing, and the neck had a brand new 'S' curve. It was irreparable. And they said they didn't have to give me anything for it because I had signed the form. Although my choices were limited to 'Sign the form or stay in Chicago.' Unfortunately, I wanted to go home and couldn't afford to wait for another flight.
  8. P. Aaron

    P. Aaron Supporting Member

    All I did was comply with their regulations, so I had them. But from now on, if I take an instrument on a flight: gig-bag-overhead compartment under my continuous supervision. The Ibanez still plays fine and wasn't scratched, but I've had that guitar goin' on 13 years and every time I opened the case, that new smell was there reminding me of the day I bought it, that I am still pissed about.
  9. Bard2dbone


    Aug 4, 2002
    Arlington TX
    I'm still mad about mine, because it couldn't have happened by accident. My bass had to have been removed from it's case to be damaged like that, and I really picture someone going totally Townsend-Hendrix-Simonon with my bass to get the damage it sustained. And then they just say "Tough." when I confronted tham about it.

    It's been close to twenty years and I still get pissed off thinkning about it.
  10. Surgeon


    Mar 4, 2003
    North Dakota
    I've got to fly in less than a month and I've been thinking about how to bring my bass with me.

    I can't imagine trying to stuff my big ol' bass in the overhead! :eek:

    Has anyone tried using your hard case but securing it with straps/tape/something to make sure it doesn't open?
  11. Bard2dbone


    Aug 4, 2002
    Arlington TX
    Except that they WANT to be able to open your stuff. Nowadays they SAY it's for Homeland Security reasons, but I think it's so they can Simonon your bass on the loading dock and then refuse to accept responsibility for it.
  12. Trevorus


    Oct 18, 2002
    Urbana, IL
    Get a heavy duty locking flight case. They can x ray it all they want, and you can open it for them there, but you can also put small hasps on it with tamper evident tags, or tamper evident tape like they use on some computer cases. Take a few snapshots of it before transit, and keep a hold of them, just in case. Basically, give them no chance whatsoever to blame improper packing on you. What I did once with a guitar I had was this: I disassembled it, neck from body. Put it in a thickly padded gig bag, and folded it over to fit in my luggage duffel. I surrounded it with clothes. They could toss it all they wanted, it wouldn't hurt it a all.
  13. Rockgurl


    Dec 17, 2004
    CT, USA
    I have to fly to California for some shows in a couple of weeks, and I purchased a Gator case (suuposedly unbreakable military grade propylene) but the closer the date gets the more reluctant I am to allow my precious and rare limited edition Bleached Blonde Warwick Thumb out of my sight. I know my band's previous bass player always used to take her basses on the flight with her in gig bags and I am tempted to do the same. However, I am seriously considering taking my cheaper Ibanez instead and leaving my Warwick at home. It's just not worth it. I can use my Warwick when I'm on the road and can keep her in sight at all times (she even goes into the restroom and restaurants with me!). Hell...I don't even take my favorite boots in my luggage in case they lose my suitcase!
  14. glnflwrs


    Jan 25, 2005
    Hesperia, CA
    A hard case with hasps and locks, inside a good bass shipping box, taped securely will almost always survive the worst the gorillas can dish out.

    One thing though, if your case doesn't support the headstock from the back, place a pair of socks or a small pillow under the head. I've seen guitars snap at the nut area from being dropped a couple feet.

    No need to loosen strings, and make them X-Ray it if they demand to see inside, or let you supervise the inspection and then lock it back up.
  15. Wrong Robot

    Wrong Robot Guest

    Apr 8, 2002
    Just flew into california yesterday, my bass is fine, though it will need to get used to this warm climate again :)
  16. Surgeon


    Mar 4, 2003
    North Dakota
    I just looked into the SKB flight case--looks like it would work great but I don't fly enough to warrant buying it....yet.

    I think I'll contact the airline and see if I can put it in the stewardess closet.
  17. xshawnxearthx


    Aug 23, 2004
    new jersey
    ok, never de tune. always keep it in the key you have it set up as.

    i like the flight case route. i still have the case(which is for sale) and i checked it in, came out fine.

    i have also on shorts flights, just sat with it ina gig bag between my legs. that worked. i didnt bother trying the overhead thing but next time i will.

    also, always make sure to lock your case. if you do not lock it, you are going to have it opened and ****ed with. also, if you are bringing more then one guitar, duct tape the two cases together. just a suggestion.

    the tamper proof tape is good too, that way, you know that was opened if the seal is broken.
  18. P. Aaron

    P. Aaron Supporting Member

    If it does not have the TSA locks on it when you check it, or it has your own locks on it, they will either be sawn off and the case and contents examined, or you'll make the flight, but your instrument...probably not. That's their stinkin' law!

    The guitar case in my first post was an SKB case. Real nice standard issue equipment. They broke it like it was standard operating procedure.