#1
I will be moving to the UK later this year and I am taking my Les Paul with me. I have got a lot of different advice from multiple sources, none of which have answered my queries 100%, so I am looking for concrete advice on taking a guitar on a plane.

I know the best way to do it is to take the guitar on as hand luggage, but that might not be possible (I'll be flying with Ryanair if that changes anything) and I don't know if booking a seat for my guitar will be expensive or even possible.

So it looks like I will have to temporarily leave my babe with the clumsy ruffians who handle baggage. So if I get a top of the range flight case (suggestions on brand or model welcome), will that suffice to protect my guitar from damage? How effective are flight cases? Any general advice on packing it, if I have to de-tune the strings, extra measures I can take to make it safer etc, would be much appreciated. By the way I will be insuring it.

I read somewhere that if you leave the strings on, they can cause damage to the frets and humbuckers, so should I take the strings off completely? I thought maybe I could put some cloth or bubble rap between the strings and fretboard to protect it.

If there is anything I have missed that is important, could you please fill me in?

All other advice related to the whole process such as checking in would also be much appreciated.

Thank you very much in advance.
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Manuel, please try to understand before one of us DIES.

my gear:

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Last edited by chillrock at Jan 27, 2008,
#2
I THINK slackening the strings might help, but I am very unsure.

But what I am DEFINATELY sure about is this; BUY A HARDCASE TO SECURE YOUR GUITAR! Stop those 'ruffians' from pwning your guitar bad!
#3
when I bought my guitar from the US, I wasn't allowed to open it for a few days so it could get used to the humidity changes.
#4
Hardcase that fits the guitar snuggly - filled with bubble wrap to prevent damage, slacken the strings (or take off, I'm not sure if this is suggested though).

Protect her.
#5
contact the airline your flying with, they each have different ways of taking guitars and other delicate things on the plane. Some allow you to take it into the cabin with you, others will force you to put it in the belly of the plane. Either way get a hard case and line it with bubble wrap or some other protecter. The airliner i flew with had me loosen the strings for some unknown reason, maybe it causes vibrations that mess with something on the plane? who knows. good luck.
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#6
A hardcase is a must.

You shouldn't have to book an actual seat for your guitar. Just ask them kindly if it's possible for them to put it in the in-cabin closet. Many planes have a decently sized, closet compartment, usually located near the cockpit or flight attendant area.

If they still say it needs to go into the hold, try to get a flight case, they're sturdier than your regular hardcases, built to withstand the rigors of travel.
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#7
I doubt you'll be able to take it on as hand luggage, the best bet is to buy a seat for it.
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#8
Quote by steven seagull
I doubt you'll be able to take it on as hand luggage, the best bet is to buy a seat for it.

Ya a les paul is defintly worth its own plane seat. Im thinking packing peanuts and a hardshell case.
I know now what I knew then, but I didn't know then what I know now
#9
thanks a lot for your advice. first choice is to definitely buy an extra seat. im gonna buy a flight case anyway and kit it out with extra protection, so that if it has to get checked in it will be safe (touch wood).

thanks again!
Does anyone remember laughter?

Manuel, please try to understand before one of us DIES.

my gear:

Gibson LP Standard
Epiphone SG
Classical guitar
Peavey ValveKing 112
Marshall MG15
BOSS ME-50
#10
Quote by steven seagull
I doubt you'll be able to take it on as hand luggage, the best bet is to buy a seat for it.

when did you get to be a CC?
congrats


umm, i was allowed to take it on the plane as carry-on, i asked them at the counter if i could take my guitar with me and they were all like "sure, go ahead"
it was a trans-atlantic flight though

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#11
Depends entirely on the airline. Some will make you check it in as luggage some wont. I am going overseas for 6 weeks in a few days. I was wanting to take my epi LP with me. But decided I wouldnt be so upset if they lost or broke my squire as I would the other. And the squire I can take the neck off of and put inside of my hardsided suitcase padded on all sides by clothes and such. I would hate to think of what it would cost to buy an extra seat for a guitar. Last time I flew with a guitar I didnt do anything with the strings. And played it the day I got home with no problems.
#12
you should be able to buy it a seat, after all, the company still gets its money. besides, guitars are people too.
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#13
I have an SKB case thats fitted very well for my Les Paul. Very rugged case.
#14
Quote by Zigler9
Ya a les paul is defintly worth its own plane seat. Im thinking packing peanuts and a hardshell case.

You don't need to pack peanuts, they usually give you a free pack on the pla...oh, wait, you didn't mean that, did you
Actually called Mark!

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#15
i brought my strat from USA to UK on Delta, i phoned the airline the day before i travelled and they found a place for it in the galley during the flight.

i didn't do anything else like slacken the strings, it was fine. you shouldn't need to do anything like that for a short flight from germany.
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#16
With the bass, I had to leave it in the fragile cage. Flew with United Airlines, nothing wrong with it after the flight from Australia > US. For my guitar, they let me take it onboard (gig bag)
#17
i fly every now and then from the gold coast to melbourne or gold coast to cairns. both of which are around 2000km north and south of where i live. i take my acoustic guitar and have had no problems before. the only thing i ever do is loosen the strings 2 semitones down just to be on the safe side.