Recent Airline Experience with Bass?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by RunngDog, Feb 12, 2005.

  1. RunngDog


    Jan 22, 2003
    Chicago, IL
    I'm leaving shortly on a brief business trip to the UK. I'd like to bring along a small bass (30" Rob Allen Mouse), but I don't have a hard case for checking it. What are folks recent experiences with carry on? This bass is quite small (gigbag measures 41" long and is V-shaped -- around 6" wide at the headstock and about 15" at the body). I''d really like to bring it, but I'm scared to death that I'll get to the airport and United will force me to check it -- in a gigbag!
  2. fenderx55


    Jan 15, 2005
    I 'm pretty sure, depending on what class ur flying, that the stewardess should be all nice and be like "can i take that for you?" there's a coat locker for bussiness class and they'll put instruments in there for u if you ask nice enough. You should probably call the airline, i'm sure they can help u.
  3. stamman5


    Aug 10, 2004
    According to FAA regulations, the stewardess is not supposed to put an instrument in the coat locker. That is not to say that they don't, but technically they are not supposed to. If it will fit in the overhead bin then you might be able to get away with it however, the ONLY way I have ever gotten my bass onto a plane is to buy a seat for it. Otherwise they have ALWAYS forced me to check it. That, of course, is just my personal experience. I aggree that you should call ahead, but be careful, the person you talk will probably not really be there and I have been told I could carry on a bass over the phone just to get there and have to check it away. All in all, I see carrying a nice bass is soft case to the airport a big risk.

    Just my .02. And good luck :hyper:
  4. willgroove2


    Aug 16, 2003
    chicago IL
    Endorsing Artist;Essential sound products,Dunlop, Ergo Instruments
    If it will fit in the overhead bin then you might be able to get away with it however, the ONLY way I have ever gotten my bass onto a plane is to buy a seat for it. Otherwise they have ALWAYS forced me to check it.

    um really? i fly all the time with my bass's and in the 15 years i have been doing this i have had to check my bass TWICE both times with the same airline (ATA)i have had to gate check it once or twice since 911 heres info from the american fed of musicians on this subject;Musical Instruments As Carry-On Luggage

    The AFM has been successful in persuading the U.S. Transportation Security Administration (TSA) to issue a directive to its personnel requiring them to accommodate musicians. The resulting TSA letter drastically reduced problems with government screeners, but musicians are still having difficulties with the individual airlines, who are not covered by the TSA directive. The AFM is negotiating with the airlines through their trade association, the Air Transport Association (ATA), to clarify the airline industry’s musical instrument policy and to make it more accommodating for traveling musicians. The AFM also continues to work with individual airlines to clarify their respective policies and ensure they are communicated clearly and enforced consistently" my rules are this 1. get there early and get checked in,usually if your going to have a problem this is where it will start,i get there at least two hours ahead.2.have as little in your gig bag as possiple in other words just the bass and strap,put your cables strings ect somewere else.3 very importent;BE NICE, no matter what they say BE NICE ask to talk to a superviser if who ever your talking to can't/isn't helping you but don't get mad,it won't get you what you want.i have been around the world playing bass so it can be done if you just use commen sense P.S i have never heard of some one having to buy a seat for a electric bass guitar,they used to sell half-fare seats for URB's and cellos but they have not done that for ten years or so
  5. I went on a two week tour in Europe with a big band. I had a double gig bag with two electrics in it.. Before we left, I called the airline and they said it would be OK to take it as a carry on. Well, I get to the airport and the airline says I cannot take it on the plane. I was FURIOUS. The only option I had was to put it in luggage. Thankfully, it wasnt damaged.

    Point is, I would try to find a flight case if possible. If you can do without taking it, thats your best option.

    On a side note, once we reached Amsterdam we got off of the plane. Where our gate was we could watch them unload the plane. So, anyway, here comes a tenor sax case, my amp case, a trombone, etc.. Then the bari sax. BAM Tossed right out of the plane on to the ground.. The case broke open. The sax rolled out and damaged the bell. It was quite shocking because no one was there to grab it as it was rolling out of the plane. As soon as it hit the ground, you heard all 30 of us in the big band groan in unison.
  6. stamman5


    Aug 10, 2004
  7. xyllion

    xyllion Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jan 14, 2003
    San Jose, CA, USA
    Owner, Looperlative Audio Products
    If you are flying with a small bass, then here is what I did. I took my Steinberger Spirit on vacation with us last year. I bought an SKB ATA keyboard case. I remove enough foam to make the bass fit and then I packed my clothes in the same case with the bass. The bass survived quite nicely.
  8. Timbo


    Jun 14, 2004
    I flew with my bass once, and they were great about it. My case was quite huge, full rectangular super hard case, on a 35 inch scale bass. Just put it in closet, np.
  9. Go out and but a hardshell case...what about shipping it ahead of you?
  10. willgroove2


    Aug 16, 2003
    chicago IL
    Endorsing Artist;Essential sound products,Dunlop, Ergo Instruments
    yep, really. I wasn't making it up ;) Maybe, I am just very unlucky or a real jerk (I don't think I am :confused: ) but I have found post 9/11 security to be very tight. Oh well, who knows.....[/QUOTE]it's not you im sure :) post 911 security IS tighter(as it should be)but i have had more problems with screeners wanting to know what is that in the case and what are the batterys for in the bass.once i was trying to exsplain active electronics and got lucky that one of the supervisers played and knew what i was talking about
  11. glnflwrs


    Jan 25, 2005
    Hesperia, CA
    Any local music store would probably give you a guitar shipping box free. Not an Anvil, but better than a gig bag.

    I've always had to check my guitar on airlines. Once, I loosened the strings, put it in the hard case inside the shipping box. When I got to my hotel and took it out, it was tuned and ready to play. Wonder who did that. I now use a padlock on the case.
  12. That was the guitar tech who flies in the cargo hold of most domestic airlines.

    I had a similar experience with a bass arriving in Open G tuning...(hahaha...just kidding).

    Word of advise...DON'T lock your case...if you do...the airlines could break into it to check the contents (pickups are somewhat suspicious things). Leave your case accessible.

    And by all means...stow it and get an ATA flight case.

    I've had two basses shipped from East Coast US to Australia using different shippers and different methods, they both made it just fine in hard cases.

    My acoustic guitar has made it from England to US > To Australia > To US > To Australia again NO PROBLEM in a TLK hard case...all in the cargo hold.
  13. JonTheBassGuy


    Dec 12, 2004
    They made me check mine but I said forget that so I had my ride take it back home with him.

    I would never trust those guys with those earmuffs and those little cars with my bass. I've seen too many bags fall off that little cart to trust them.

    If you absolutely need your bass and you have some money, I say get a flight approved case.

    Just my 2 cents.

  14. Sammy


    Aug 31, 2000
    Another note of wisdom

    Bring the bass to the gate and have them check it in there. This way, it will bypass most of the luggage monkeys, be the last piece on, and the first piece off.
  15. N*Joy


    Nov 30, 2002
    Birmingham, UK
    Depends on the airline - I've taken a large painting from UK-US and came back with a guitar in gigbag from the UK-UK. British airways will not bat an eyelid as carry on luggage - just remember that you can only take one item of luggage as a carry on (except for a handbag ;))
  16. Pickebass

    Pickebass Supporting Member

    Jul 12, 2004
    San Antonio, TX
    In the past few months I have taken mine on trips without a problem. Usually as a carry on. Ideally it should fit in the overhead. If not, they can make accomodations for you where the coats hang.

    If you can, get to the airport early and get a seat toward the back of the plane, so you can load in first and be guaranteed to get overhead space.
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    Primary TB Assistant

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