travelling with guitar

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travelling with guitar

Postby Wiz » Tue Jul 21, 2015 9:47 am

I am off to LA - Nashville - Houston - Dallas - Nashville- LA soon.

I am perplexed about travelling with a guitar.

I would like to take my Maton Messiah with me, it has its factory supplied Hiscox flight case.

I have been reading online, and it seems that on the internal flights in the USA I might be able to carry it on, and stow it as the lockers are bigger and they still allow that sort of thing.

But the QANTAS flights to and from LA from Brisbane, its a no go.

Anyone done this recently...?

I was thinking, I could probably box the Hiscox case in cardboard, like it would come via courier for example, and cut a hole for me to put my hand through and carry it and then toss that when I get to LA and do the same thing on the return journey...

What happens with the standard key locks on the his cox, non TSA . Do you lock em..? Leave em unlocked...

trying to find this shit out online now with QANTAS is a f(*&Cing nightmare, so I thought I would see if anyone has done this recently.

cheers

Wiz
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Re: travelling with guitar

Postby Chris H » Tue Jul 21, 2015 10:28 am

you probably already know etc but just ' in case' slacken the strings off before the flight as string tension varies a lot during flight. :ar!
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Re: travelling with guitar

Postby Djembe » Tue Jul 21, 2015 10:36 am

I managed to take my acoustic dreadnought in a hard case as carry-on all the way from NY to San Fransisco to Auckland to Sydney, but it really depends on the size of the plane, how crowded it is, airline policy, and how sympathetic the crew are.
I think it's worth taking it with you to the gate a bit early, then you have time if they want to check it in. Also be one of the first to board as many airlines let you take it on board as long as there is available space in the overhead locker. I asked Air NZ when I got to the gate and the person took it on board to see if it would fit in the overhead locker. It didn't, but she put it in the business class suit cupboard and all was sweet.
US airlines seem to be more lax than here.
Re. cardboard: I have a theory about packing things too much so baggage handlers can't actually see what it is. If they see it's a guitar, hopefully they would be more careful.

Here is one airline's policy, I would check yours.
http://www.usairways.com/en-US/traveltools/baggage/specialitems.html
Last edited by Djembe on Tue Jul 21, 2015 1:37 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: travelling with guitar

Postby Chris H » Tue Jul 21, 2015 10:39 am

.........join this forum, there are a few people from quantas on it........have a chat to one and ask for a bit of help.
http://www.airliners.net/aviation-forums/tech_ops/
this is a search of the threads about guitars :D

http://www.airliners.net/aviation-forum ... =&ss=0j0j1
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Re: travelling with guitar

Postby Gian » Tue Jul 21, 2015 11:17 am

Find the policy online, print it out and take it with you as hard copy.
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Re: travelling with guitar

Postby ether » Tue Jul 21, 2015 11:27 am

Depending on where you're travelling, a LOT of internal US flights are jammed, and a total shit fight for overhead storage space. Lots of people take big carry-ons, and sometimes it can be a struggle to find a spot for anything if you're one of the last to board.

I've not tried to carry a guitar on in recent years, but I wouldn't be keen on trying it. Some of the airlines are better than others in terms of helpfulness and service, so I'd try and find the policy for the specific airlines you plan on using if you know.

If you have travel time, you could look at going by train between Houston and Dallas, one less flight to stress over. Big fan of trains.

Ultimately though, I'd strongly recommend specific music gear insurance, if you don't have it already.
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Re: travelling with guitar

Postby Paul Maybury » Tue Jul 21, 2015 12:46 pm

The only time I've had a guitar broken by an airline is when it was in a flight case. Before that I travelled with the very same guitar for years, in a gig bag. Never a mark on it. I guess it was so light and flimsy that it was always gently loaded on top of everything else . The big aluminium flight case however, was probably thrown in aircraft holds and put on the bottom of a stack of heavy items.
Don't lock the case. Customs will want to open it. If they can't unlock it, they will most likely just break the locks in order to inspect the contents.
On my next trip O.S., I plan to buy a guitar when I get there. Nothing fancy, just something serviceable and re sellable.
Cheers, Paul
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Re: travelling with guitar

Postby Wiz » Tue Jul 21, 2015 6:14 pm

thanks everyone for the advice and tips.


I keep going back and forth on taking it...

I would be heartbroken if something happened to it, and its my main money maker, so I guess thats my answer right there...

cheers

Wiz
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Re: travelling with guitar

Postby Djembe » Tue Jul 21, 2015 6:41 pm

You could think about getting a travel guitar. I have a Baby Taylor, it's exactly 3/4 the size of a normal guitar. I put a pickup in it, it plays nicely and it easily fits in the overhead locker.
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Re: travelling with guitar

Postby ether » Tue Jul 21, 2015 6:45 pm

I've got a Baby Taylor too, and I remember one time QANTAS wouldn't let me take it on board. It was a few years back, and they made me check it, but they did handle it as a "special fragile item" or something, and it made it through AOK.

A friend who has one as well actually unbolts the neck and packs it in his suitcase. Just two hex screws so nice and easy.
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Re: travelling with guitar

Postby Djembe » Tue Jul 21, 2015 8:24 pm

I've only been stopped once with mine by Garuda check-in in Denpassar, but I stood my ground and insisted it was only a small guitar and they let me on. I usually just sling it over my back and nobody even notices.
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Re: travelling with guitar

Postby ftdrummer » Wed Jul 22, 2015 8:02 am

I'm travelling the U.S. At the moment with a dreadnought in a Hiscox. Flew Virgin Melb to LA and put it under as checked baggage just with loosened strings and some packing tape around the case incase the latches came open. I didn't lock it. Once in LA, I noticed a couple of cracks in the case, but I'm not actually sure if that was due to travel or not. The case is 20yrs old. I would leave the case unlocked and just tape a bit of cardboard around the headstock and body edges of the case.
LA - Nashville I carried on, but was made to leave at the gate to put underneath. At least this way it gets put in last and comes out first, but it gets icy cold, so slacken the strings.
Nashville to Denver I carried on and stowed in overhead, so it really depends how much room there is and on the airline. It is law tin the U.S. that they allow instrument carry-on or gate drop off.
If you prepay for carry-on, that might help too.

When carrying on, make sure you take out pliers and cutters etc.
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Re: travelling with guitar

Postby reddirt » Thu Jul 23, 2015 11:15 pm

Hey Wiz, can you do a travel guitar? - The Messiah is too good to trust to airlines I reckon -
definitely slacken off string tension whatever you do.
Cheers, Ross

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Re: travelling with guitar

Postby Wiz » Fri Jul 24, 2015 12:13 pm

reddirt wrote:Hey Wiz, can you do a travel guitar? - The Messiah is too good to trust to airlines I reckon -
definitely slacken off string tension whatever you do.
Cheers, Ross

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Hey Ross

I am between a rock and a hard place on this.

I do have one gig lined up over there, but I can borrow a guitar to do that... as its near LA.

But my biggest problem is I will be doing some recording in Nashville, just acoustic guitar and voice, and I would love to take the messiah. But, I couldnt bear to lose it or have it damaged...to much of a personal connection.

I do have a Taylor Mahogany mini, that records great, believe it or not 8), and I could take that... But I would have to buy a hardcase for it... so a decent case might cost half as much as buying a Mahogany mini in the US when I am there... 8)

I did find a place in Nashville (there are a few actually) that rent guitars, and its about 60 USD for the 1st day and 30 USD for each subsequent day, and this is for a Gibson Acoustic ... a J200 I think thats been on tours such as Brooks and Dunn.. Just mentioning that, in the sense of for a couple of hundred I could hire a guitar over there to do the session that won't break the bank or my heart, assuming I can find a guitar I like, surely that shouldn't be too hard. 8)

thanks everyone for the advice

I am still umm-ing and aah-ing abot this 8)

cheers

Wiz
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Re: travelling with guitar

Postby Gian » Fri Jul 24, 2015 2:42 pm

I took a Taylor GS mini in the provided soft/hardish case that it came with.
I took it when I travelled to Italy, via Korean Air, stopping over in Korea, then into Italy. I put it on my back like a back pack, I did have to get a label for it for carry on luggage and no one asked me about it.

If you have a guitar available to use for gigs, then just check that you can borrow one for recording.
I wouldnt take a full sized guitar, and for your recording, you might as well borrow one from the studio (if they have one) - I'd check you can use one of theirs; and save yourself the hassle of taking something else bulky.
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Re: travelling with guitar

Postby ether » Fri Jul 24, 2015 6:31 pm

I'm my next life I'm going to be the singer or the harmonica player. :ymparty:
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Re: travelling with guitar

Postby Djembe » Sat Jul 25, 2015 10:45 am

The advantage of a travel guitar in a padded bag is that you just sling it on your back.
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Re: travelling with guitar

Postby Wiz » Sat Jul 25, 2015 12:36 pm

Djembe wrote:The advantage of a travel guitar in a padded bag is that you just sling it on your back.


The problem is Qantas.

They will no longer take anything bigger than a violin in the cabin.

So, its got to go in the hold..

cheers

Wiz
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Re: travelling with guitar

Postby lonearranger » Sun Jul 26, 2015 12:30 pm

I would leave the messiah at home and go the rental option - especially if you can find somewhere where you can try a few out. If you are going to record in nashville - I reckon you should use an american guitar - the older the better.
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Re: travelling with guitar

Postby gigpiglet » Sun Jul 26, 2015 1:49 pm

sorry its taken me so long to reply to this
given i travel the world with many guitars for a living...

it wont go in the cabin on qantas
and you dont want to put it underneath in a hiscox

options are
1 - rent over there. there will be awesome options especially in nashville. you should try SIR and you can tell them gigpiglet sent you.
2 - rent or buy a PROPER case for it. as in- a road case. 19mm ply, aluminiun extrusion, etc. heavy - but will last you a life time.
3 - if you want a gibson over there get in touch with me on the email and i can sort you out (endorsee and they have a massive selection of loaners in the nashville office)
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