Top 4 Tips for Flying With Your Guitar

Written by Dr. Matt Warnock

Topics: Guitar Articles

These days we travel the world and we can be in a whole other country and culture within a matter of hours. Whether you are going on holiday or visiting family, you may want to take your guitar, so it is important to know about flying with your guitar.

These days though, travelling with a guitar isn’t as simple as it may have been in years gone by.

Airlines these days want to charge you for anything they can, and taking a Guitar on a plane may incur extra charges if you don’t do it properly, not to mention taking your Guitar with you and not preparing could result in damages to your most prized possession.

Below are five important things to remember when you are flying with a guitar:

 

GW Photo 5 Turnaround Article

 

 

1 – Know which airlines allow guitars as ‘Hand – Luggage’

 

Some airlines do have exceptions when it comes to what you can take on board as hand-luggage and some of those exceptions include musical instruments.

Below is a table of UK based Airlines and the maximum size hand-baggage they allow you to have when it comes to musical instruments

 

Airline Do they allow Guitars in the cabin as hand luggage? (using 110cm as a ‘standard’ Guitar size)
easyJet Yes. Maximum of 117cm
Loganair Yes.
British Airways Maybe – Maximum of 56cm but you may be allowed outside of these dimensions
Eastern Airways Maybe – Maximum of 56cm but you may be allowed outside of these dimensions
Jet2.com Maybe – Maximum of 56cm but you may be allowed outside of these dimensions
BMI Maybe – Maximum of 55cm but you may be allowed outside of these dimensions
Flybe Maybe – Maximum of 50cm but you may be allowed outside of these dimensions
Monarch Airlines No. Max 56cm
Virgin Atlantic No. Max 56cm
Thomas Cook Airlines No. Max 55cm
Thomson No. Max 55cm

*source:  http://www.ism.org/news/article/instruments_on_planes

 

 

As you can see, there aren’t too many airlines that will 100% let you take your Guitar on board. So if you aren’t flying with them, be sure to pay attention to the following tips.

 

2 – Buy yourself a high quality guitar case!

 

If you travel with your guitar fairly regularly this is a must!

Even if you just travel with it in the car or on the bus, investing in a proper guitar case will save you a lot of potential mishaps and trouble!

There are a huge range of different guitar cases that are perfect for a range of different situations:

 

Flight Cases

Naturally, if you are flying regularly, a flight case is probably a good way to go in terms of buying yourself a high quality guitar case. Flight cases are extremely sturdy pieces of kit.

Places like www.adrenalineflightcases.com can create high quality custom made or pre-made flight cases that will be the perfect fit for your guitar.

The combination of metal, heavy duty plastic and durable travel foam make them a perfect fortress to house your Guitar in when you are flying.

Prices for flight cases range from £150 to upwards of £200 if you are looking into custom made pieces.

 

Gig Bags

Gig bags are probably better if you are travelling a lot on the road and your guitar is always close.

The heavy duty nylon is very durable and can be good at protecting your Guitar, but these probably aren’t durable enough when it comes to heavy handed baggage handlers!

You can find a whole range of Gig bags here.

 

3 – Loosen the strings on your guitar

 

With the change in temperatures and high pressure up in the clouds your guitar can feel the strain and has potential to snap the neck of your guitar if you don’t loosen your strings.

Naturally guitar strings have a lot of tension in them and if the pressure starts to work against the pressure, you may be opening your case to your guitar in two parts.

 

4 – Stuff your case!

Even if you have a great foam case like the ones from Adrenaline Flight Cases, you still want to take as many precautions as you can.

Your best bet is to give your guitar more cushioning by stuffing clothes or anything soft you are taking with you, into your guitar case. T

his extra bit of comfort for your guitar will put your mind at ease and may be the difference between a broken and working guitar!

 

Flying with your guitar can be a stressful time in any musician’s life. But, with the proper background knowledge and preparation, you can make sure that your guitar is safe and you have a relaxed and enjoyable trip.

 

Do you have any tips on flying with your guitar? Share them in the comments section below.

1 Comment Comments For This Post I'd Love to Hear Yours!

  1. Mike says:

    Buy a Steinberger?

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