#1
I'm flying and I need to put my guitar into the checked-in baggage. What precautions should I take so that it doesn't get damaged?
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#2
wrap the headstock in a cloth and make sure the guitar cant move on the case
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#3
First: a decent hard case. You can also put some foam or other protective material inside to be even more sure.

You can also put some duckt tape around the case to prevent it from accidental opening. That put together would do the trick, I reckon

And yeah, make extra protection for the headstock.
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#4
What is a "good" hard case?
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#5
Put a guard dog inside of it; a guard dog holding a gun...with sunglasses.

I believe that there is a valuables section of storage where it should be safe (I took my amp on a Greyhound once and it was fine, although the way the storage was set up was ideal for cutting down the movement space it had. Planes are most likely a different story though, and once you consider I've never been on a plane before, my imput may become nonsense. I hope I helped out a little bit.

Seriously though, get a sunglasses wearing, gun yielding pooch, post haste!
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#6
Wrap the whole thing in those bubble paper things UPS an FEDEX use for shipping.

OR why don't you take the guitar with you on the plane thats what i did.
#7
Quote by crzywhiteboy
Wrap the whole thing in those bubble paper things UPS an FEDEX use for shipping.

OR why don't you take the guitar with you on the plane thats what i did.


I obviously would do this if I had the choice, but the airline that I'm flying on says that you can only check them in. And I can't cancel or anything.
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Don't ask me I have no idea how the hell it happened.




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#8
When you get on the plane, ask the flight attendants to put it in a coat closet or something. They usually will, as a guitar is sometimes too big for the overhead compartment.

Also, if there is room in the over head, make sure you stick the guitar at the very top of everyone else's luggage. That way, you won't have it being subject to the weight of x amount of suitcases, and when you get off the plane, make it to to your guitar before anyone can pull their bag from under your guitar, probably causing your guitar to fall.
#9
Quote by Psychedelico
I obviously would do this if I had the choice, but the airline that I'm flying on says that you can only check them in. And I can't cancel or anything.

This won't help now, but I'd have checked that before I bought the tickets.

Other people above me covered the proper precautions, I think.
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Just eat the headstock.

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#10
If you are forced into having the guitar checked into baggage ask for additional insurance. The average for each checked in item is around $100.00 which is obviously not enough for a guitar. You may have to pay a small fee for this but it will be worth it. If you can lock up your guitar case that would also be better to prevent accidental opening of the case. Another thing to know in winter months is guitar's finishes can be ruined if the guitar is allowed the reach sub-zero temperatures. The wood freezes under the finish and when thawed leaves visible lines that never go away.
Moving on.....
#11
You misunderstand me. I HAVE TO CHECK IT IN. Where you don't see it until it comes out of that thing that goes round and round at the airport where you land.

EDIT: that was to fireandflames
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I remember when I was really young, I had a wet dream in which i was being dragged along an urban countryside by a pickup truck.

Don't ask me I have no idea how the hell it happened.




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#12
Quote by KenG
If you are forced into having the guitar checked into baggage ask for additional insurance. The average for each checked in item is around $100.00 which is obviously not enough for a guitar. You may have to pay a small fee for this but it will be worth it. If you can lock up your guitar case that would also be better to prevent accidental opening of the case. Another thing to know in winter months is guitar's finishes can be ruined if the guitar is allowed the reach sub-zero temperatures. The wood freezes under the finish and when thawed leaves visible lines that never go away.


How do I prevent this?!?!
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I remember when I was really young, I had a wet dream in which i was being dragged along an urban countryside by a pickup truck.

Don't ask me I have no idea how the hell it happened.




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#13
Quote by Psychedelico
You misunderstand me. I HAVE TO CHECK IT IN. Where you don't see it until it comes out of that thing that goes round and round at the airport where you land.

EDIT: that was to fireandflames

Oh sorry. The best advice that I can give then is to invest in a good sturdy flight case with good locks on it.

Also, if you stick a bunch of stickers saying "FRAGILE!!" on the case, they don't care. They treat it like any other piece of luggage.
#14
New idea: dress your guitar up in a dress and claim it's your sick aunt.
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#15
Quote by Psychedelico
How do I prevent this?!?!


If you are referring to the "freezing" it shouldn't be a problem in the baggage compartment if it's pressurized. You can ask at the checkin and explain why you're concerned & it's also the time to get the extra insurance coverage from the airline. I had two instances where my guitar froze. One was in Thule Greenland when my Jackson/Charvel sat out (in it's case) on the tarmac with the other baggage waiting to be loaded on a Hercules in sub-zero temps and the other time was when I moved from Ontario to Alberta, my Strat was shipped with my household goods and the truck sat out overnight at -30 Deg C or so casuing the guitar to freeze. I just wanted you to be aware of potential problems when shipping instruments or travelling with them when you can't hand carry.
Moving on.....
#16
Ok thanks. I actually just remembered that my guitar has a million places where the paint has chipped anyway, so that doesn't matter much.

I've also been thinking, how expensive would it be to get my guitar shipped (internationally)? As I assume it would be less likely to get damaged in that situation.
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I remember when I was really young, I had a wet dream in which i was being dragged along an urban countryside by a pickup truck.

Don't ask me I have no idea how the hell it happened.




To Me:

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#17
Hey man,

I flew out to the west coast a couple of weeks ago and didn't bring my guitar because the airline said I couldn't carry it on and it would have cost $100 each way to check it so I left it home. Of course, once I get on the plane, I see another guy carry on a Martin (I'm assuming based on the Martin case). He just had the flight attendant put it in the back. My advice would be to pack it up as if you were going to check it, then try to get the people to let you carry it on, give them a hard time if necessary, they'll probably let you do it. If not, you can always just check it. Its worth a shot, no?
#19
They make specific cases to fly with that are made outta strong material with very good locks, look into those...although they're alittle on the pricey side.
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#20
Quote by Psychedelico
How do I prevent this?!?!


Don't fly in the winter months.

Just go ahead and take it on the plane with you, flight attendants are much nicer than the guys at baggage claim. Security probably won't stop you unless the only airline that flies out of the airport is the one you're on, which is not likely. In AZ, Southwest Airlines has a "one carry-on per person" rule, but just last month I flew to CA and the guy a few rows ahead of me had a carry-on bag and a guitar that the flight attendants just held for him. Rules are really only made so that the airline can't be sued. Seriously.
#21
Quote by l3p4rd
They make specific cases to fly with that are made outta strong material with very good locks, look into those...although they're alittle on the pricey side.


Yes they're called "road cases" and you could stand on one or throw it around a bit and not hurt the contents. Years ago they were over $200.00 and I couldn't imagine what they'd cost today. It might be cheapre in some instances to buy a travel guitar or perhaps a cheaper one that you use for travel (if it's just for practice) so it doesn't hurt as much if it gets damaged.
Moving on.....
#22
Ok. what else should i do to make sure the guitar doesn't get damaged? tune down a bit? it has a floyd rose, so should i do anything special?
Quote by SlinkyBlue
I remember when I was really young, I had a wet dream in which i was being dragged along an urban countryside by a pickup truck.

Don't ask me I have no idea how the hell it happened.




To Me:

Quote by Son.Of.TheViper

I love you
#23
Yes, tuning down a little to reduce string tension is a good practice for shipping! I would loosen off the locking nut beforehand as well. Maybe someone here can tell you whether it's a good idea or not to"block off" your FR as well.
Moving on.....
#24
Quote by FireandFlames
Oh sorry. The best advice that I can give then is to invest in a good sturdy flight case with good locks on it.

Also, if you stick a bunch of stickers saying "FRAGILE!!" on the case, they don't care. They treat it like any other piece of luggage.


Actually, locking your case is a bad idea, as they will just break the locks. When I checked my guitar once though, it had to go through the oversize section, so I just had them inspect it first, and then I locked it.
#25
You can buy flight locks now. They come with the traveller symbol and they're a good idea. You can program any combination you want but they also have a key slot for Customs & Airport security. I recently used a set on my trip to Romania with no problem.
Moving on.....
#26
Well you can't really just check a guitar into an airplane if the guitar hasn't done anything to you. Unless he has the puck. But if not, wait until the guitar is up against the airplane and not looking. Then skate full speed toward him and CHECK THAT GUITAR INTO THE AIRPLANE!
Then get into a fight and pull the guitars shirt over it's head. Rib punches work best.
#27
Quote by Mecler
Well you can't really just check a guitar into an airplane if the guitar hasn't done anything to you. Unless he has the puck. But if not, wait until the guitar is up against the airplane and not looking. Then skate full speed toward him and CHECK THAT GUITAR INTO THE AIRPLANE!
Then get into a fight and pull the guitars shirt over it's head. Rib punches work best.


Meh... I think you tried too hard there...
#28
Quote by Mecler
Well you can't really just check a guitar into an airplane if the guitar hasn't done anything to you. Unless he has the puck. But if not, wait until the guitar is up against the airplane and not looking. Then skate full speed toward him and CHECK THAT GUITAR INTO THE AIRPLANE!
Then get into a fight and pull the guitars shirt over it's head. Rib punches work best.


hahaha i thought it was a good attempt.
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#29
Quote by KenG
Yes, tuning down a little to reduce string tension is a good practice for shipping! I would loosen off the locking nut beforehand as well. Maybe someone here can tell you whether it's a good idea or not to"block off" your FR as well.


Tuning down is recommended regardless of whether you have a flyod rose or not.

I only travelled with my guitar once from Singapore to the UK. I checked with the flight beforehand, and they said that due to the size of the flight case I couldn't bring it onboard, but they had one of their staff who played guitar to advice on he usually did.

He would detune all his strings to the point where there was a lot of slack, i.e. the string was completely loose. You'd lose your tension on your flyod rose, but a couple hours of readjustment beats the damage to your headstock. The locks should also be loosened.

Then he'd open up the flyod rose compartment and stuff the cavity full of cotton, not too much, but sufficient that if there were sudden changes in spring tension either way, it'd act as a buffer. The cotton would partially block the FR and buffer against the metal suddenly pressing against any wood.

He also recommended that I stuff cotton around the electronics, to absorb moisture and condensation when coming from a cold and dry locale to warm and topical one. According to him, if he had a bolt on, he would also losen the screws on the bolt, I'm not entirely sure if that helps or makes it more complex to transport the guitar. (At this point, I think he was going into extreme paranoid mode)

Apart from that, get yourself a moulded flight case, aluminum would be good. The edges and ends should have a reinforced covering/strut. The interior should ideally be moulded to fit your guitar snuggly with no room for it to move. If you can't get one with a 100% fit, the case needs to have very close contact with the body and most of the neck. Ideal if the case has velcro straps in two locations to tie the body of the guitar to the case. (I actually managed to find a case just like this one). Cases designed to transport guitars should state how much pressure the case can withstand on it.

That was what he recommended. At the end I turned at the airport and was about to check my case in when the attendant looked at me funny and asked if I would like to bring it on board instead. I finally did. This was about 4 days after 9/11, travelling from Singapore to London.
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#30
Oh yeah, in addition to what has already been said, there is something else to consider. My mate brought back his bass from America to the UK and being a Fender bass, was a bolt on. He just unbolted the neck and put the guitar into his hand luggage. No problems. You can also pack it in the middle of the normal luggage in this way and it's fine. But saying that, you can't beat a hardcase.
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#31
Quote by Kurapica
Oh yeah, in addition to what has already been said, there is something else to consider. My mate brought back his bass from America to the UK and being a Fender bass, was a bolt on. He just unbolted the neck and put the guitar into his hand luggage. No problems. You can also pack it in the middle of the normal luggage in this way and it's fine. But saying that, you can't beat a hardcase.

I think that'd work too, just buffer it with clothing.
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#32
I had to check it in once. And everyone knows how NYC airports are. What I just did was wrap the whole thing in bubble wrap and sealed the case with foam around the guitar. If it's a bent headstock pay close attention to put something under the headstock as well.

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#33
put it in an ATA Flight case. put bubble wrap or foam in all empty spaces inside the case. untune your strings like a lot. im not talking about 5 semitunes. i mean till it's almost unplayable. stick it in the case. lock it up well. duct tape around it. and you're good
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