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Flying with your bow in a bowcase; checked baggage or carry-on?

Discussion in 'Bows and Rosin [DB]' started by Eric Swanson, May 3, 2015.


  1. Eric Swanson

    Eric Swanson

    Oct 8, 2007
    Boston, MA
    I've been taking a bow with me when I travel and renting basses where I land. I've been packing the bow in a bullet-proof Bobelock fiberglass case in my checked bag, with no hassle or worry.

    Now I'm going for a short jaunt where I really don't need to check a bag; I could do it all with only "carry on" bags, other than the bow, which is longer than official carry-on size.

    I'm ignorant of the latest TSA attitude toward traveling with a bow, domestically. Anyone have any problems with bringing a bass bow, with a mastodon ivory tip, on the plane? Size issues?
     
    Last edited: May 16, 2015
  2. salcott

    salcott Supporting Member

    Aug 22, 2007
    NYC, Inwood.
    I think you'll be OK in country with it as carryon, which is what I'd do anyway. Don't EVEN consider leaving the country with it if there's anything that could be construed to be ivory. I'd have serious appraisal papers as well just to be on the safe side. You never know when some TSA drone is going to decide he's an expert on bows.
     
  3. Eric, I have been traveling back and forth to Europe with my bow case as carry-on for several years. Sometimes the TSA people want me to open the case to verify what it is. Mostly, it just goes through the x-ray machines with no notice. And I have had flight attendants question whether it can go in the over-head containers. When I tell them what it is, they are always helpful in finding a place for it. (Its a bit long for some overheads.)
    In the past, I have carried bows that might have contained newly banned materials. I always declared them and I never had a problem. However, with the new rules, I just fly with my carbon fibre bow which complies with all the rules.
    Note: I believe that TSA doesn't enforce the rules on bow materials. Customs agents have that responsibilty. I have had no problems bring bows through airports.
     
    Last edited: May 4, 2015
  4. Blaine

    Blaine

    Aug 4, 2001
    new york area
    2 years ago, on one of 5 flights in Italy security actually made me go back and check my bow case(my only carry on), and the person 2 people ahead of me going thru security had a violin that they let thru. Go figure,
     
  5. E.O.M.

    E.O.M.

    Dec 7, 2001
    Grand Rapids, MI
    I've been carrying my bows on flights for years now. AFAIK, there are no restrictions for the mastodon/other ivories within the country; the issue is returning to the US from overseas.
     
  6. salcott

    salcott Supporting Member

    Aug 22, 2007
    NYC, Inwood.
    ……or mistakenly think he knows something about ivory, export/import law, etc.
     
    Ross Kratter likes this.
  7. oliebrice

    oliebrice

    Apr 7, 2003
    Hastings, UK
    I have twice been fined over-sized carry on fees by budget airlines when carrying a bow - despite being tiny it was technically slightly longer than the limit. Since then I've started checking it in a hard case inside my luggage
     
  8. robobass

    robobass

    Aug 1, 2005
    Cologne, Germany
    Private Inventor - Bass Capos
    Was it RyanAir? I've never had problems with carrying on a bowcase flying around Europe with German wings, AirBerlin, etc., but I've heard that RyanAir employees actually get punished if they don't make a fee quota. I only use them with extreme caution...
     
  9. oliebrice

    oliebrice

    Apr 7, 2003
    Hastings, UK
    Yep, Ryanair both times - I try to avoid them but there isn't always another option...
     
  10. robobass

    robobass

    Aug 1, 2005
    Cologne, Germany
    Private Inventor - Bass Capos
    I wonder if anyone's ever tried to make a two piece bow:roflmao:
     
  11. MikeCanada

    MikeCanada

    Aug 30, 2011
    Toronto, ON
    All of mine come in three for no extra charge:

    Stick

    Frog

    Button
     
  12. Eric Swanson

    Eric Swanson

    Oct 8, 2007
    Boston, MA
    Maybe I could put a nice hinge in the middle of mine...

    Or, maybe a telescoping bow?

    Seriously, though; thank you all for the experienced and thoughtful advice.
     

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