#1
So we have just been given the opportunity to play a gig in america, can't say where yet but lets just say it's a once in a lifetime opportunity and a pretty big deal for us

All we need to take are our guitars and pedals, I might take my kemper aswell.

We will be flying from the UK to the USA and need to take 4 guitars and a bass. We wont need much else as it is only for 5 days. There will be 8 of us travelling.

None of us have flown with guitars before so could do with some serious advice!

No one owns a flight case. I have the original hard case for my ESP LTD MH 1000, it is pretty sturdy but I'm not sure if it's good enough to chuck in the cargo hold... anyone flown with a case like this before?

Obviously we will be insured but we dont want to arrive with any broken guitars. We don't have enough cash to buy SKB flight cases for all the guitars.

Anyone got any experience taking a whole bands set of guitars on the same plane? I doubt we will manage to take them all in the cabin with us so does anyone know of a bomb proof flight case that won't cost us hundreds?

Sorry about the long post and thanks in advance for your help!
#2
... Why do people insist on taking jobs they are unprepared for?
R.I.P. My Signature. Lost to us in the great Signature Massacre of 2014.

Quote by Master Foo
“A man who mistakes secrets for knowledge is like a man who, seeking light, hugs a candle so closely that he smothers it and burns his hand.”


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#3
Really push to let the airline take them on the plane with you, dont give them an inch. If they refuse to allow you to take them as carry on's, be sure to let them know they could owe you many thousands of dollars if anything happens to the instruments.

I would try an acoustic hard case (if the guitar fits) and load it up with foam, air cusions, etc.
#4
Yeh we could be better prepared but cant miss this opportunity so if we have to buy 5 flight cases so be it.
#5
Quote by frelshay
Yeh we could be better prepared but cant miss this opportunity so if we have to buy 5 flight cases so be it.


Either do that or buy one of those rack cases that holds multiple guitars.

Do not half-ass this.

Edit: one of these: http://www.thomann.de/gb/rockcase_chest_case_5_multi_flightcase.htm Probably more economical than buying 5 independent cases.
R.I.P. My Signature. Lost to us in the great Signature Massacre of 2014.

Quote by Master Foo
“A man who mistakes secrets for knowledge is like a man who, seeking light, hugs a candle so closely that he smothers it and burns his hand.”


Album.
Legion.
Last edited by Zaphod_Beeblebr at Jan 8, 2014,
#6
Quote by frelshay
Yeh we could be better prepared but cant miss this opportunity so if we have to buy 5 flight cases so be it.

that's your best option. plane and simple.
Quote by JGM258
Really push to let the airline take them on the plane with you, dont give them an inch. If they refuse to allow you to take them as carry on's, be sure to let them know they could owe you many thousands of dollars if anything happens to the instruments.



this is great comedy shit right here.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5YGc4zOqozo
#7
The thomann looks cool but it might be expensive to put on a plane, will see what the other guys think.
#8
Quote by gregs1020
that's your best option. plane and simple.



this is great comedy shit right here.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5YGc4zOqozo


lol I remember when that was a headline a few years ago, Taylor gave the guy two new guitars since they got a sales boost from that youtube video.
#9
Quote by frelshay
The thomann looks cool but it might be expensive to put on a plane, will see what the other guys think.


A gig's worth of gear is never going to be cheap to transport
R.I.P. My Signature. Lost to us in the great Signature Massacre of 2014.

Quote by Master Foo
“A man who mistakes secrets for knowledge is like a man who, seeking light, hugs a candle so closely that he smothers it and burns his hand.”


Album.
Legion.
#10
Someone of my acquaintance travels worldwide with his guitars.

He uses heavy duty gig bags or HSCs...and buys an extra ticket: his guitar flies in the cabin next to him.

Cheaper than replacing a $1000+ guitar.
Sturgeon's 2nd Law, a.k.a. Sturgeon's Revelation: “Ninety percent of everything is crap.”

Why, yes, I am a lawyer- thanks for asking!

Log off and play yer guitar!

Strap on, tune up, rock out!
#11
Just buy first class tickets for all of you and all of your guitars.

You'll look cool, and hawt at the same time.
Flight attendant's dig both of those.
Just another Sheep in the design of the Almighty Machine.


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#12
It sounds like you have accepted a gig which you are not in the slighest prepared for. I would really consider if it's worth it. If the gig doesn't cover the travel expenses, then it is going to be one expensive oppurtunity for you.
"Your signature can not be longer than 250 characters."

How you know you have too many guitars...

Apparently once also known as PonyFan #834553.
#13
If it helps, even if it doesn't cover those expenses, consider it part of your group's advetising/promotions budget. Make sure it gets recorded...and you get a copy you can use.
Sturgeon's 2nd Law, a.k.a. Sturgeon's Revelation: “Ninety percent of everything is crap.”

Why, yes, I am a lawyer- thanks for asking!

Log off and play yer guitar!

Strap on, tune up, rock out!
#14
where will you be playing? maybe some of your UG bretheren can come support you guys!
Quote by BlackVoid
Every guitar and bass forum I've visited has some people chasing some magical tone that will shoot jizzing unicorns riding on a rainbow out of their amp.
#15
That Thomann case will cost a fortune to ship. Unless you absolutely have to have 2 guitars, take only one.

Really with the cost of buying a flight/ATA case and then the extra shipping you could buy a decent guitar used in the USA when you get here. Depending on the City you fly into you may even be able to rent your Guitars for the tour or there will be some good shops you can find a used axe
2002 PRS CE22
2013 G&L ASAT Deluxe
2009 Epiphone G-400 (SH-4)
Marshall JCM2000 DSL100
Krank 1980 Jr 20watt
Krank Rev 4x12 (eminence V12)
GFS Greenie/Digitech Bad Monkey
Morley Bad Horsie 2
MXR Smart Gate
#16
Hard plastic cases with TSA locks are the least you must do. A bank vault-like flight case from Anvil or some similar case would be better, but they are expensive, heavy and very large. Any airline is going to charge you big time for "excess" or "unusually large" checked luggage. It is good for the peace of mind, but it is going to be expensive. Hard plastic cases from SKB are a great choice. They aren't too expensive, either. They have TSA locks, and these are a MUST HAVE if you are heading to the U.S.A. Rectangular guitar and bass cases look exactly like rifle cases, and if your case does not have TSA locks (which enable the TSA people to open the locks with a special key), they will destroy the case in order to open it. And you cannot sue them for the damage. Make sure you get TSA locks on your hard plastic cases.

FAA regulations state that you can take one (1) musical instrument such as a guitar or bass as carry-on baggage, but a lot of airlines refuse to honor this. They claim that if it will not fit in a box they keep at the check-in counter, then it must be checked baggage. Getting into a pissing contest with them is futile. You are not going to win, and they could choose to boot you off of the flight just for spite.

Do NOT check instruments in gig bags. It is a recipe for pure disaster.

Good luck with your tour!
"Maybe this world is another planet's hell?" - Aldous Huxley
#17
I have no useful advice for the flight part. However, you can look in advance for some music stores close to your gig. You'll never no what happens during the flight and it might be good to have some back-up in the USA. In a bad scenario you can try to borrow some guitars of them and give them some publicity. They might be interested if it's a big gig.
#18
Quote by JGM258

I would try an acoustic hard case (if the guitar fits) and load it up with foam, air cusions, etc.


This might actually be your best bet -- your guitars need support, vibration reduction and impact reduction -- be sure to surround the headstock and pack the bodies in tight so that they can't move in any direction. I'd also put straps around the cases (especially through the handles and around the "waist" of the case) so that it can't fully open if the hinges or latches are broken. And then have some guitars on standby (friends, forum members, etc.) in the states in case some of yours don't make it. Plan for the worst eventuality (loss, etc.).

Si vis pacem, parabellum ("If you wish peace, prepare for war"). Be ready for the worst that can happen.
#19
http://www.thomann.de/gb/harley_bentonflight_case_alu_guitar.htm
What about this one? No TSA locks but does it really have to be locked? As long as it is strapped up well and the butterfly catches are held shut with something I think it would be ok.

Wow thanks for all the advice guys! I actually spoke to US Airways today which we will most likely be flying with and the very helpful lady on the phone told me its absolutely fine for all 5 guitars to be taken into the cabin. No extra charge Even if we have to put them in the cargo hold they will be gate checked. So it sounds like we avoid the normal baggage processing anyway.
#20
It'd be safer and cheaper to ship your guitars via Fed Ex... You can ship to the hotel your staying at. Ship them back the same way...

Edit: or take them on the plane...

Peace...
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Some don't
I don't care
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Last edited by Papabear505 at Jan 8, 2014,
#21
You will almost certainly not get all five guitars and basses into the same cabin; guitars just take up too much space in the overhead bins. The staff on the plane will most likely make you check some instruments at the gate. Do whatever it takes to get flight cases, because baggage handler job are unionized and those guys can’t be fired for breaking your shit. If you can’t afford flight cases then get the best hard cases you can afford and strap them shut with luggage straps. Also be aware that traveling with instruments will probably result in extra luggage charges.

You might want to just rent guitars in the USA.
#22
Quote by JGM258
Really push to let the airline take them on the plane with you, dont give them an inch. If they refuse to allow you to take them as carry on's, be sure to let them know they could owe you many thousands of dollars if anything happens to the instruments.

I would try an acoustic hard case (if the guitar fits) and load it up with foam, air cusions, etc.

agree
#23
I have travelled with guitars before. Once,I only had one hard case with two guitars. So I got a guitar box. You know the ones where they ship guitars to stores in. And I loaded my guitar into a gig bag with bubble wrap and then put it in the box with styrofoam both guitars went in the cargo hold. Both came out fine. The hard case was a gator case that cost me around 70 dollars if I'm not mistaken. That's how i did it. Good luck on your tour,though.