When you’re planning to travel by air with your guitar, your first priority is to invest in a high-quality case. While you might use a gig bag for carrying your instrument around town, you need a robust case that will protect your guitar against the rigors of travel when you’ll be flying. A coffin-style case is one option — built so that the exterior of the case has the six-sided appearance of a coffin, this case will keep your instrument snug even if it bounces around during the trip. If you haven’t previously flown with your guitar and coffin case, here are some tips to keep in mind.
Secure The Case With A TSA-Approved Combination Lock
Just as TSA agents will look in your carry-on bag and backpack, they’ll also want to see inside your guitar case. If you’ve locked the case with a conventional padlock or combination lock, you can count on the lock being cut off — which will leave your instrument vulnerable for the rest of the trip. You can completely eliminate this issue by securing the case with a TSA-approved lock. The agent will be able to open the lock to confirm the contents of the case, but will then secure it upon finishing the inspection.
Make Sure You Don’t Have Anything Forbidden In Your Case
Many travelers will carefully go through their carry-on luggage to ensure they aren’t carrying anything on the TSA’s prohibited items list, but don’t forget to take the same vigilant approach to your guitar case. Sharp cutting tools, which you may use for cutting strings or working on various elements of your guitar rig, should be removed and placed in your checked luggage.
Research Your Airline’s Oversized Items Policy
Browse your airline’s website to learn about its policies concerning traveling with oversized items. You certainly aren’t the first guitar player to travel by airplane with his or her instrument, and many airlines clearly outline their policies regarding musical instrument cases. If have yet to actually book your flight, consider doing so with an airline that has musical instrument-friendly policies.
Try To Carry The Case Onto The Flight
While you have the option of checking the case, doing so can lead to an anxiety-ridden flight as you fret about the baggage handlers being rough with it or losing it altogether. Avoid this stress by trying to carry the case onto the flight. While it’s much larger than the carry-on bag size restriction, many flight attendants will grab the case from you and stow it at the front or rear of the plane — just remember to be exceedingly grateful if you get this courtesy.Read More