Barely any situations are more distressing for guitarists than flying. As uncomfortable as flying usually is, adding an instrument to the blend can raise feelings of anxiety through the rooftop.
Many airlines are notorious for damaging or out and out devastating guitars in transit — and regardless of whether your instrument survives unharmed, you’ll despite everything feel staggeringly anxious until you know its fate without a doubt.
Fortunately, musicians fly with instruments all the time. Guitars are getting increasingly regular on planes constantly, and airlines today are better outfitted to deal with fragile instruments than ever previously.
In case you’re preparing for a flight and need to take your guitar with you, follow these tips to maximize your chances for a safe, uneventful excursion.
Carry-On or Check?
As you would instantly assume, carrying on your guitar is the easiest way to guarantee it stays safe all through your flight. Not exclusively does carrying your guitar onto the plane guarantee that you’re the main individual touching it — keeping it out of the hands of baggage loaders who may toss it around or improvise up — it also allows you to locate the most ideal spot to keep your instrument stable and secure while you’re in the air.
Prior to your flight, check with your airline to check whether they allow guitars as carry-on things. Many major carriers allow you to store reasonably measured guitars in the overhead compartment. Strong body axes and more slender empty bodies are generally fine.
Contingent upon the airline, you may also have the option to store a bulkier ax in the plane’s coat compartment. It generally requires some assistance from the airline stewards to pull off, however, it’s a great choice to guard your guitar if there isn’t space in the overhead compartment or your instrument won’t fit under your seat. Don’t forget to check out the Best Electric Guitars For Beginners.
The size of your guitar’s case may also impact your ability to carry it onto the plane. Gig bags are smaller and lighter, which could assist you with persuading skeptical airline stewards to let you carry the instrument on — however, in the event that they do compel you to check it at the gate, you should kiss your guitar farewell.
Hard cases give your guitar a superior chance of survival whether you wind up getting it onto the plane with you or wind up checking it. In case you’re planning to carry your axon, search for a hard case that’s not excessively thick or profound to assist you with fitting it in the overhead compartment.
Obviously, there’s always a guaranteed way to guarantee your guitar stays with you for the entire flight: purchasing a subsequent seat. On the off chance that you have the cash and want the peace of brain, this can be a great choice. However, the expense is frequently restrictive, and discovering two adjacent seats can be troublesome on popular flights.
Checking your guitar may appear to be a death sentence, however, gave you have the correct gear you ought to generally be fine. Strong body guitars will hold up obviously superior to semi-empty or completely empty body models; the easier development is more durable than the slim panels found on increasingly complex instruments and leaves fewer seams to break in transit.
As referenced above, a hard case is absolutely essential in the event that you plan on checking your guitar. In case you’re traveling with a costly empty body or acoustic, you may want to consider putting resources into a full flight case — they’re cumbersome and not cheap, however, they give the most ideal assurance to delicate instruments on long flights.
Packing Your Guitar
Packing your guitar appropriately can go far to get it off the plane in one piece. Taking even 10 minutes to adjust your guitar before locking up the case can make sure about it substantially more viably and help give you some valuable peace of psyche.
On the off chance that there’s any unfilled space in your guitar case, fill it with delicate material. Many hardshell cases have small cavities underneath the neck and headstock; occupy these spaces with supple things like socks and shirts to help insulate the guitar against any harsh treatment. In the event that you use garments you were going to take anyway, this can save you some genuine space in your other luggage!
Always slacken the strings on your guitar before sending it up in the sky. The massive strain that strings place on your guitar’s neck — regularly more than 300 lbs — can lead to genuine damage in the event that anything goes sideways during the flight.
Keep the strings slack to guarantee this doesn’t happen; adjust them back or put another arrangement of strings on when you arrive at your final destination to avoid causing long haul issues with the neck.
Regardless of whether you plan on checking your guitar, a humidifier for the case is also a smart thought. The unpressurized hold can wreak havoc on fragile tonewoods and dry out your guitar’s body and neck. Indeed, even in the pressurized cabin, the dry air can cause some negative reactions.
A humidifier is doubly important in case you’re traveling with an acoustic guitar. Keeping your guitar case regulated for temperature and stickiness will make sure your instrument is ready to play as soon as you escape the airport.
Additional Tips To Consider
Regardless of whether you don’t have the cash to purchase an extra seat for your guitar, there are a couple of things you can do whenever booking your trip to increase your chances of getting the guitar in the main cabin. Jumping on need boarding, for example, will guarantee there’s more space in the overhead canisters for you to place your guitar.
Another strategy is picking a seat at the back of the plane, which generally boards first. While this regularly makes for a long wait when it’s a great opportunity to get off the plane, sitting towards the back allows you to jump on the plane before all of the overhead compartments have topped off.
Certain tips for the day of your flight can also assist you with navigating the airport safely with your guitar. Most importantly, you ought to avoid checking your guitar at the transport line at all expenses.
Regardless of whether you plan to check the instrument anyway, take it to the gate first — this will save it in your hands for more and save it from unpleasant treatment on the transport line with other processed luggage. Before you do this, make sure there’s nothing in your case that security may confiscate.
In the event that you want to carry your instrument on, attempt to make it appear as unnoticeable as conceivable. The smaller and lighter your guitar looks to airline staff, the more uncertain they are to pull you aside and ask that you handle it with other luggage.
When you make it on the plane, you can graciously ask an airline steward on the off chance that you can leave your instrument in the storage room space at the front of the aircraft. That is usually space saved for the utilization of the group, so it’s essential to ask pleasantly and keep your cool. Leaving your guitar forthright guarantees you don’t have to battle for space in the overhead containers or attempt to stuff your guitar into an unstable situation to keep it in the cabin.
If an airline steward requires you to check the instrument, a touch of respectfulness goes far. Keeping your cool and explaining your situation to the team (especially if it’s a particularly valuable or delicate model) can assist you with changing their brains and get your guitar in the cabin anyway.
Regardless of whether an attendant tags your guitar to be gate-checked, a few players will conceal the tag under their hand and attempt to carry the instrument on the plane anyway. It is, clearly, a strategy you attempt at your own hazard — yet playing idiotic and taking the chance may pay off and allow you to save your guitar in your control for the duration of the flight.
On the off chance that you would prefer not to hazard damaging your main guitar in a flight-related mishap, you can always pick an alternative strategy instead.
For momentary vacation or excursions for work where you won’t play gigs with your guitar, a traveler’s guitar can be a great way to keep your musical cleaves up without the hassle and worry of traveling with a full-size instrument.
Regardless of whether you pick a 3/4 size apprentice’s guitar that you wouldn’t fret damaging or go for a much increasingly compact travel guitar that you can carry in a backpack, flying with a backup model keeps your main model out of harm’s way. Look at our rundown of the best travel guitars for a lot of choices.
In the event that you do require your main guitar on your excursion, you can always send it via administrations like FedEx or UPS. While this may sound similar as scary as flying with your instrument, shipping administrations have considerably more experience handling guitars than airline laborers do, and ground travel are frequently less unpleasant on your ax itself than welcoming it on a plane.
Delivery your guitar also gives you a greater chance to package it and guarantee it will arrive at its final destination safe and sound. While this may cost more than checking it on a plane and will take longer to arrive, the peace of psyche is easily worth the extra cash in many scenarios.
Flying is upsetting enough for regular travelers; for guitarists, it’s one of the most anxiety-actuating situations imaginable. Unfortunately, there’s still no real way to totally guarantee your guitar winds up untouched when flying — the nature of traveling includes certain dangers, particularly for delicate musical instruments.
Following a couple of basic hints to safely package your ax and strategize your seat determination to get your guitar on the plane with you, however, can save you a significant part of the headache flying with a guitar would normally cause.
While it may be a scary encounter, flying with instruments is just a part of life for many touring musicians. At the day’s end, the most important thing is to relax and attempt to remain as calm as you can all through the experience.