Recently, I've had a moment to discuss traveling with a guitar with a student who is entering a music competition and who has concerns about air travel with a guitar.
While thinking through what my many years of international and domestic experiences traveling with guitars of all sizes, good and bad have taught me, I came up with a list of to-dos and not-to-dos to pass on to my student.
Not to waste this experience in one conversation, I decided that perhaps readers of my blog might find these suggestions useful as well.
So, here goes....
So, here goes....
I have a few suggestions regarding travel with guitar.
I ALWAYS do my best to get my guitar on the plane. I strongly suggest taking the guitar onboard, especially in this weather.
I ALWAYS investigate the size of the overheads BEFORE purchasing a ticket...to increase the chances of getting the guitar onboard.
Try to be the first on so as to get an overhead.
I walk on past everyone as if it is the normal thing to do, never drawing attention to the guitar.
Speaking pleasantly and innocently with flight crew about storage (coat locker, etc.)….should they stop you… is always a good thing.
IF all efforts to get the guitar on fail, then be sure to get a valet tag; take the guitar to the flight deck and leave it with the strollers. It will be hand carried to the luggage hold. It will be the last on (on top of luggage) and first off (once you arrive).
ALWAYS HAVE A GOOD, STRONG GUITAR CASE!
ALWAYS PACK BUBBLE WRAP OR THICK TOWEL AROUND THE HEAD OF THE GUITAR IN THE CASE!
Even guitars in flight cases experience breakage around the headstock, because of being dropped or shaken.
It is a good idea to place a cushion of towel or foam over the bridge area (the second most vulnerable area – after the headstock).
REMOVE ALL HUMIDIFIERS or empty them of all water. (TSA will only take it out, and perhaps away, or at the very least, run it through an analyzer - slowing down your progress).
REMOVE ALL METAL (files, etc.)
Attached is link to the latest FAA policy on musical instruments READ AND KEEP IN YOUR CASE:
Best Wishes and Safe Travels,