Flying with guitars

Marco Giampa

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I live in Australia, and im planning a big trip to the USA in the next few years, we dont have alot of high end Gibsons and theyre usually more expensive here than over in the states. Im contemplating saving some money to buy something when I go over there but not sure on the plane laws. I have seen that obama set a law that as long as there is space when you board the plane and it can be stored in an overhead compartment, you shouldnt be charged. But how would this be internationally? Has anyone had an experience flying overseas. I definitely dont want it going in the cargo hold though.
 

Slashperryburst

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I've done it once on a one way trip from Glasgow to Japan. I specifically took a friend with me to the airport incase they made me check the guitar. My friend would have taken the guitar back home with her and then arranged to ship it later. I checked that it was okay to carry it on at the desk and made sure to note the guy's name incase I had any trouble at the gate.

They have a storage closet at the front of the plane, but it's first come, first served. They'll also prioritise prams, so if you're not quick enough, or there are two many prams, you might find your guitar getting put in the hold by one of the cabin staff. They might let you put it in the overhead if the closet is full, but if it doesn't fit in the overhead, it might get put in the hold.

There's also the risk that you get taxed on the guitar when you return to Australia.

Basically, you'd be taking some risks and hoping that you don't get someone in the middle of a bad day. I managed to get my guitar all the way to Japan safely. I didn't travel at peak times, so that might have made things easier for me.
 

marksoundguitars

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It's not a law. :laugh2:

Airlines have rules regarding carry-ons. Check with your carrier before you buy your tickets.
 

Caretaker

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I`d buy it a seat if I had to, or ship it overnight, but they are not putting it in gen pop with everything else.
 

Daniel.S

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Wont’t you have to pay an import tax when you get it back here?
 

marksoundguitars

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I stand corrected.

BUT ...

‘‘§ 41724. Musical instruments
‘‘(a) IN GENERAL—
‘‘(1) SMALL INSTRUMENTS AS CARRY-ON BAGGAGE.—An air carrier providing air transportation shall permit a passenger to carry a violin, guitar, or other musical instrument in the aircraft cabin, without charging the passenger a fee in addition to any standard fee that carrier may require for comparable carry-on baggage, if—
‘‘(A) the instrument can be stowed safely in a suitable baggage compartment in the aircraft cabin or under a passenger seat, in accordance with the requirements for carriage of carry-on baggage or cargo established by the Administrator; and
‘‘(B) there is space for such stowage at the time the passenger boards the aircraft.

For instruments too large to fit in an overhead or under your seat, you can bring them aboard but you do have to buy another ticket:
‘‘(2) LARGER INSTRUMENTS AS CARRY-ON BAGGAGE
.—An air carrier providing air transportation shall permit a passenger to carry a musical instrument that is too large to meet the requirements of paragraph (1) in the aircraft cabin, without charging the passenger a fee in addition to the cost of the additional ticket described in subparagraph (E), if—
‘‘(A) the instrument is contained in a case or covered so as to avoid injury to other passengers;
‘‘(B) the weight of the instrument, including the case or covering, does not exceed 165 pounds or the applicable weight restrictions for the aircraft;
‘‘(C) the instrument can be stowed in accordance with the requirements for carriage of carry-on baggage or cargo established by the Administrator;
‘‘(D) neither the instrument nor the case contains any object not otherwise permitted to be carried in an aircraft cabin because of a law or regulation of the United States; and

‘‘(E) the passenger wishing to carry the instrument in the aircraft cabin has purchased an additional seat to accommodate the instrument.
Said law does not guarantee that you won't have to buy an additional ticket. ;)
 

anorton

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I stand corrected.

BUT ...


Said law does not guarantee that you won't have to buy an additional ticket. ;)
I wasn’t correcting you, just providing information.

To your point, a friend of mine travels with his guitar for gigs 2-3 times per month, and he would testify that getting to the gate early helps most of the time but guarantees nothing.
 




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