Has anyone had any experience going overseas with their guitar?

I'm stuck in a predicament, bought an acoustic guitar here in Malaysia since it equates to about $118 AUD, compared to the same guitar costing $199 AUD back in aus.

Anyway the problem is now all i have is the box it comes in. I'm not sure if you can carry it onto the aeroplanes these days as hand luggage, doubt it right?Especially my flights on the way back are budget aircrafts, so anyone had any experiences trying to hand carry one on?

If i have to check it in, does anyone have any knowledge what they do with baggage labelled fragile? Do they still stack suitcases on top of it/the usual, just being a little more careful with moving it around? Or do they put it seperate to all the heavy suitcases that stack on top of each other?

Basically if i cant hand carry it i'll have to pack into my box like mass bubble wrap and some thick foam stucck around/under the guitar etc. But i doubt that would protect it from one 15kg suitcase on top, or even 3, probably 10 from the looks of those pplz wheeling luggage to and from the hold with those movers.

I've been advised to get a hard case, but the guitar cost $348 local dollars, a hard case costs a good 200 + all the music stores have told me. Basically i might as well have had bought the guitar back in aus if im to buy one. Anyway i know my stupid fault.

But yeah any advice on guitars and air flying is appreciated, cheers!
try to send it via mail.

i was once at some place in italy and took my guitar with me, but i forgot that i was going back via plane(came there by train).
so i just figured that the cheapest way to get it back home would be the mail.
They're called "throwers" for a reason. It's what they do. You can try, is all I can say.
Quote by Chad48309
They're called "throwers" for a reason. It's what they do. You can try, is all I can say.

+ the cargo of an airplane always has extreme heat with temperatures over 100 degrees at all times. even if they do take care of your package the wood on your guitar will be damaged
since everyone else is...

martin d 15
gibson j 150
fender 52 tele
gibson sg standard

orange tiny terror w/ cab

effects(from ebay)
boss ds1 :
digi whammy
boss cs3
boss ch1
boss dd20
dunlop wah
tube screamer
Its not nearly as bad as these guys make it out to be. Think about how many guitars get sent over Ebay! I'd recommend getting a hardcase OR a softcase that has at least 1" foam in it, pad it up with styrofoam or whatever, >>>>>>>>>>>>>LOOSEN THE STRINGS<<<<<<<<<<<<<< and you should be fine.


Whenever I've had guitars shipped to me, they always pack the guitar's original cardboard box with foam, then they stick that box into an even bigger box thats filled w/ bags of air. Then they tape the crap outta it.
hmm throwing i aint so worried, i mean im gonna be padding this thing inside the original box with at least some bubble wrap, foam, and newspaper, throwing it is really my last of my worries.

Stacking weight on top is however, some foam and bubble wrap goes a bit of a way in deflecting blows from throwing, but doesnt relaly do much against constant heavy weight applied on top. Does anyone know if the fragile label on checked in items means that the item is put separate to the suitcases, eg no luggage stacked on top?

Whats with this temperature thing in the hold? I mean countless people check in their guitar , while those ar ein hard cases im sure they feel the temperature just as much, surely the temperature cant be that bad? Hav eheard some exp guitars going through an aeroplane hold, havent herad anything about temperature before though spoiling wood?

As for loosening the strings i heard about that already, is that cos of the pressure at the high altitude? Regardless im gonna be loosening the strings, any advice in helping to rpeven tthe actual acoustic body from caving in(if they put weight on top of the guitar?)

All i haev atm is my original idea of the original box padded with bubble wrap around the guitar + foamy like thick sheets with some newspaper? Mum suggests tshirts but osmehow i dont like the idea.
this thread disappointed me...i thought it was going to be about you literally FLYING with your guitar.

Quote by nt1440
thats true, i hate kids who go "oh noess limewire is soo bad, viruses everywhere crashed my computer, had to buy a new one" well mayb thatll teach u that the a song isnt 112 kb and named cute_teen_has_orgasm_on_webcam_xxx
Well, which airline are you going to be flying with?

One of the biggest in the US, Delta Airlines, has recently changed its laws to allow a person to bring musical instruments onboard the plane (as a carryon).

Here is the extended story:


Other than that, your best option would be too put the guitar in a very durable case, preferably in one that was designed for such a use, with extensive padding. If you follow this path, I would not worry so much about the physical security of the instrument, as I would worry more about whether or not they would lost the instruments. I've heard a few "horror" stories about musicians, famous and unknown, who have lost entire caravans of instruments through an airline malfunction.

However, it is generally much safer than one would assume and, if you are indeed going to go ahead and check your guitar as luggage, just make sure that you it is very well protected incase of excessive bumpage and droppage
My God, it's full of stars!
WEll im flying both air asia and tiger airways(air asia for a quick flight to singapore, then tiger back to perth, aus) , hmm i know budgets >.<"

thats good news that delta changed, not quite sure how the asian airlines are though, doubt you can still bring one on since it hink tiger or air asia's websites has a faq section for musical instruments, but most of the listed acceptable instruments are small, and they dont mention the guitar anywhere in that list for being able to be carried onto the aeroplane. They did say you could buy an extra seat for your guitar... which i think ill pass since the fare would probably cost m ore than the guitar >.<"

so i assume ill haveta check it in at the moment, the problem is i think even if its allowed on as carry on ive already got a small carry on luggage bag, so i assume that im over the quantity limit anyway? airlines count the instrument as the one carry on luggage right?

but yeah no one has any clue on the most important q: are fragile stickered items separated from the suitcases/placing heavy items on top? if so i can breathe a better sigh of relief at least.

Oh and to the disappointed party, i'll let you know when i literally fly with my guitar
Here's a thought, and you can take it with a grain of salt and apply it or not. Why not stuff the inside of the guitar with bubble wrap as well? Just fill it up inside too. It will help with the compression should the thing be placed with other items on top of it. With the strings all loose, you should be able to shove a lot of it inside. Then the only other thing I can suggest is that you label the crap outta the box. Put "Fragile" everywhere. "Musical Instrument" everywhere. "Acoustic Guitar" everywhere. That way, hopefully, the throwers will read, understand, and take care of it. Oh, and make it bright, stand out colors too.
As to the temps in the hold, I think it will go the other way. The holds normally are not heated like the cabin or animal transport holds are, so once up to cruise altitude, it'll get cold inside, not blazing hot. Cold is no good for acoustics either, but the glues won't melt at least. I could be wrong tho, and have been in the past...lol.
Good luck to you either way. Let us all know how it went after the trip!
one of the biggest issues i see is the fact that the cargo hold is not pressurized and is likely to get very VERY cold. temp does not spoil wood as you put it beforehand. but it does cause the wood to contract and expand. You may end up with your bridge snapped of because the glue could not hold up with the movement of the wood. It could cause problems with the neck. It could crack the soundboard etc etc. There are quite a few potential problems. It could also be fine.

Its a lot easier to protect against the guitar being thrown around. But its pretty much impossible to keep the guitar at a relatively stable temp, even in a hardshell, air tight case. it may help stop the changes from being as sudden, helping the guitar aclimatize, but it will get as cold as the outside environment.
Sure Dave, will let you know how things go once i get back home on sun night, praying that things go all to plan. I actually packed the guitar befor ei finally got onto the net here so unfortunately i didnt get to pack the guitar sound hole full of bubble wrap. we put about one or two layers of bubble wrap around the guitar, some styrofoam under the next, some newspaper here and there, mainly against bumps. we basically agreed it wasnt packed to withstand weight so hopefully it can withstand bumps/abit of throwing.

We wrote fragile her eand there , so all thats left is a dozen or so fragile stickers to be placed everywhere haha. Hopefully customs isnt so tight as we transit via singapore back to australia, if i have to open the box to show its contents ill be in hot water indeed. So lets all pray

The temperature is a bit of a concern true, but irregardless of box or hard case temperature wont really be affected so i guess ill haveta take the chance. Lets see what these yamaha guitars are made of i mean pplz have to have checked in their guitar always so tempertaure wasnt a problem for them? hopefully not for me?

The strings i loosened them enough to pluck them up a few cm at the soundhole, they didnt need to be completely let loose right? Anyway its all packed up now, so yeap, pray I shall, less the guitar which i purposely bought overseas for its lower price will cost me more when i have to buy the same one back home(for even more as well =( )
Just to update and let everyone know:

the acoustic made it back around the 22nd july haha yeaps it made it one piece, from what my un-musically trained ears can tell the sound seems ..w ell nothing too whack. Physically wise it looks as good as i can remember.

It was a prety scary trip though, stopped by singapore to take a 2nd flight to leave and collecting the box(cos we had to re-check in again) it had a dent going OUTWARDS (from inside to out)... needless to say common sense pointed to me that my guitar was therefore probably in half and pushing outwards for a dent to appear going out of the box... not to mention the strong string/plastic like string that they use a name for(in malaysia: ruffian string) had been demolished that was holding the box together + providing a handle. The masking tape that was the next safeguard under the ruffian string was also lifting up :S

somehow it made it back to aus, still in the box... and i got through customs phew.

so yeapss its all good for those who wanted to know, but i think if i ever plan to buy a guitar overseas ill plan to get a hardcase at the same time.
Glad to hear your guitar made it through! You obviously took the needed precautions and packaged it up really well. Good Job! Bet it's a nice feeling to have her back in your hands again eh?