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Flying internationally with Guitar. Advice needed.


SlashPerryBurst

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Ok. Firstly, I'd like to apologize if there are already numerous threads on this. Each one of my attempts to use the search function resulted in a list of the latest posts.

 

So just a little back story, I will be flying out to Japan in a few weeks where I will be living for a few years. I want to take my Les Paul with me, but I am terrified about all the horror stories I have heard. I will be flying with Emirates from the UK to Dubai then on to Narita international airport. My fiancee flew out ahead of me a few weeks ago and I'm looking forward to joining her there.

 

I will be taking my prized possession with me, which is my Les Paul Standard. I've had it for many years and as some of you may know, have stated that I would not part with it for all the money in the world.

 

Now, Emirates' cabin baggage policy states that

Sports equipment and musical instruments are subject to the same size and weight restrictions as other forms of cabin baggage. However' date=' it is possible to transport these items on a separate, paid-for seat in the cabin.

Please note that certain conditions and limitations may apply when transporting musical instruments. To review these conditions or if you have any questions regarding musical instrument transport, please contact your local Emirates office.[/quote']

 

Has anyone ever flew with a les paul in a normal case and checked it in with their baggage? Money is a bit of an object right now, so I can't really afford to pay for another seat for my guitar. If I have to check the guitar, I was considering wrapping the guitar in bubble wrap/tshirts and sheets then covering the case in duct tape to help prevent it opening.

 

Emirate's cabin baggage rules also state that

Exemptions may be granted for oversized cabin baggage containing a valuable or fragile item or items too large to fit within the permitted bag size.

However, I have just noticed that this does not apply to flights leaving dubai.

 

I have also read that a flight case is a wise investment, however I also found one guy online who said that despite having a flight case from a reputable brand, his guitar was smashed to pieces. Shipping is an option, but it is my last option as it can take several months.

 

Ideas/opinions would be much appreciated.

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When I flied to London last year I had to check it in on the way there, but they let me bring it on board on the way back.

 

If it's in a gig bag they have to let you bring it on board. If it's in a hardcase it helps to be a little more assertive about keeping it with you, most will comply.

 

It's really less about the airline's policies and more about whether the person working at the counter is a total d.ick or not.

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+1

I thought about bringing it to the airport in a gig bag. In the mean time, my friend would stand outside with a guitar case and if they wouldn't let me take it onboard, then I would go outside and collect my guitar case.

 

I worry because I have a stopover in Dubai and it states on their website that there will be no carry on baggage above the stated dimensions at Dubai. If I check it in a gig bag, it will get destroyed.

 

Lastly, my fiancee has two cats, and I don't want them scratching at my guitar.

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I personally wouldn't risk it. I'd buy one of the many nice Japan exclusive authorised LP copies out there (used) and then either sell it when you come back or risk transporting it back with you (well packaged of course.)

 

I do plan on buying a Japanese made Tokai LP copy at some point. But I'm not coming back to the UK. If all goes to plan, then I'll be going to canada after Japan.

 

I'm thinking of taking my guitar in a shipping box that I can pickup at a local guitar store. The box will have polystyrene packaging and then my case will sit inside with the guitar well packed inside.

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I do plan on buying a Japanese made Tokai LP copy at some point. But I'm not coming back to the UK. If all goes to plan, then I'll be going to canada after Japan.

 

I'm thinking of taking my guitar in a shipping box that I can pickup at a local guitar store. The box will have polystyrene packaging and then my case will sit inside with the guitar well packed inside.

 

 

I'd actually be more worried about the case. The area around the headstock and bottom few frets sits very tightly in there and any impact shock can very easily transfer to that area. Even if the strings are loose it's a big risk. If you're going to be moving again as well, you might be better off investing in a proper hardened flight case and then packing that inside a larger box full of polystyrene chips or large bubble padding.

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Not an expert, but an idea (and maybe those who actually travel may comment on).

 

What about having it shipped UPS or a shipping company? The idea being, you can insure it for a acceptable amount and actually have some sort of realistic expectation of a recourse IF something were to happen.

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The question about the sturdiness of Gibson guitar cases should be qualified.

 

The older ones like the Les Paul cases with the plushy purple lining are top notch, and you can probably stand on these things all day long.

 

The newer cases like Canadian-made black ones with the white lining look nice but are nowhere near as robust, and a bigger risk for air travel.

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The question about the sturdiness of Gibson guitar cases should be qualified.

 

The older ones like the Les Paul cases with the plushy purple lining are top notch, and you can probably stand on these things all day long.

 

The newer cases like Canadian-made black ones with the white lining look nice but are nowhere near as robust, and a bigger risk for air travel.

 

Sure. However, it's not necessarily just a question of how the case itself stands up to a blow but how the case protects the headstock from even the most minor of impacts.

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The question about the sturdiness of Gibson guitar cases should be qualified.

 

The older ones like the Les Paul cases with the plushy purple lining are top notch, and you can probably stand on these things all day long.

 

The newer cases like Canadian-made black ones with the white lining look nice but are nowhere near as robust, and a bigger risk for air travel.

 

I have the case that came with the guitar. I bought it new seven years ago. The case is one of the black exterior, black interior with the black silk like cover if that's any help.

 

Having had many Gibsons in different cases (brown w/ pink interior, Black w/ White interior), I realized that I should have stated that in my first post.

 

The case itself has held up well, despite having been knocked about a bit. Other than a few spots where you can see through to the wood, it's pretty much as good as new.

 

I may end up buying a flightcase, but as I carry my guitar a lot, I love the Gibson case. It does the job, has a good handle and isn't too heavy. Years ago, I had a Gretsch that had a very similar case to the Gibson. The interior was a nice dark red, but it had a little plastic handle.

 

Very uncomfortable to carry around for long periods of time. Money is kind of a factor here. I'm going round to the other side of the world to get married, and I won't be able to work for about 4 months so I need to be careful with my money.

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Don't know if anyone already said this but your best bet is to call the airline and ask them. No matter what we Internet forum guys say they are the ones who make the rules.

 

That said, last time I went to the US (which has the most strict flight requirements) the airline let me take the guitar into the plane but once they realized it wouldn't fit the overhead compartment they just put it in a closet that's for the pilot an attendants. No problem, I got it before getting down from the plane.

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Only if you are allowed to count it as a carry-on.

 

All carriers differ, so pick your carrier wisely.

 

Avoid United. I hear "United Breaks Guitars."

 

 

Guitars as carry-on baggage has been discussed here many, many times before. I don't have time to repeat it again. Search for it.

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Guitars as carry-on baggage has been discussed here many, many times before. I don't have time to repeat it again. Search for it.

I actually did search for it. Despite numerous attempts, using the search function, I only got a list of the most recent posts. And recently, others have commented on how broken the search function is.

 

If your gonna get lippy, it would be nice if you at least read my post first.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Thought I'd update everyone on this. I went to the airport on Wednesday morning with a friend. My friend was there to take my guitar back in the event that they wouldn't let me carry onboard.

 

We arrived an hour before the check in desk opened and headed to the customer service desk. The guy there was friendly enough (although not friendly enough to answer the phone whenever I called. He said it would be classed as extra baggage. I asked him about the possibility of carrying it on the plane and he said it would be okay... Quite funny. They'll charge me an extra 100 pounds to have my guitar smashed up, but had no problem with me carrying it on.

 

Long story short, I was able to carry it on both flights. Only one person questioned me, so I mentioned the guy at the service desk's name and said he told me it was okay. Confidence helps too.

 

Hope this can be helpful to others. Now I am in Tokyo with my Fiancee and my Les Paul is fine. [thumbup]

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I've traveled many times with guitars from the states to Europe... Never had a problem. 95% of the time I was able to bring the guitar with me on the plane. One time I had to take a very small plane as a connecter flight and there was obviously no where for the guitar. It had to be put below with the luggage. I wasn't happy and I was worried. Good thing it was in the Gibson hard shell case because when I got the guitar back the case had some pretty nasty new scratches on it... [scared] I opened the case right then and there in front of them to check the guitar which was ok... I complained about the scratches and obvious mistreatment but I had no time to make a complaint...

 

In most cases they will let you carry the guitar with you... A Gibson in a Gibson hard shell case will fit in the overhead, done it many times... One time it wouldn't they put the guitar in a closet in business class.

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On the second flight, they had to put it in some closet near the front as it wouldn't fit in the overhead. The second flight was on a 747-400, so if someone is looking to fly with a guitar and finds this thread, if you're going to be on a 747-400, get to the gate nice and early so you don't have to fight over the closet.

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