The Unwound Third > Gitfiddles, Harps, Washboards & Kazoos

Carry-on guitars

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I know this is an old topic that we discussed a long time ago in pre-Weenie website days, and I always immediately tuned out.  But this is the first time that I won't be hopping in my car and doing the 2-hour drive to Port Townsend from Seattle, so I need some basic advice about how friendly airlines are these days with carry-on guitar cases.  I'd really druther not buy a super whiz-bang case with locks and all just so I can check it in as baggage for one round-trip excursion.  I'd be bringing my metal body guitar, which shouldn't make any difference at all as far as the security checkpoint goes, but these are strange times.  I'm flying Continental.

If you choose to tune out of this thread, don't blame ya.


Hey Lindy,
Well, first of all, USAir. They are very guitar friendly. And their Airbus jets have large overheads. I've gotten a dred into one, no sweat. I've also taken a brass Style O thru security checks, without a hitch, several times. I always see other guitarists carrying on, so the word is out. But I think I've heard good things about Continental over on the IGS Forum (also in Seattle). BTW, I always board when they ask for people with special boarding needs, and I've never been questioned. I'd just tell them that I need to be sure to get my vintage baby in the compartment over my seat if asked. Also, there is a new, relatively inexpensive ($160) flight case called The Clam. Looks very cool, I'm thinking of getting one so's I can take two guitars on my frequent trips back east (Really miss my 12 string). And finally, it's now verboten to lock checked luggage. If they question anything after x-raying, they will bust the lock.
Lookin' forward to seein' you again.
All for now.
John C.



Well, can't be any more simple than that.  Don't know why I thought it'd be more complicated, guess I heard 1 or 2 stories of bad experiences that stuck in the back of my brain.  Much obliged for the info.

Gonna spend the weekend in Avalon, tell y'all about it next week.


Right, The John Hurt Memorial. Neil Harpe had a conflict and couldn't make it this year. Sounds like a lot of fun people show up and most everybody gets to play if they want to. Take your guitar.
One other thing about flying: It seems, in spite of my attempts to avoid the news media, that "security levels" are being raised recently, which may cause you some trouble. Don't carry anything else in your guitar case, especially strings (garrote?), and I'm always prepared to tell them I'll take the strings off and leave them behind if need be. Probably around PT time the security focus will be more on the Olympics, but as the election draws near you can expect the powers that be to create as much feeling of insecurity as possible. Saw a great cartoon, probably in the New Yorker (I just read the cartoons): two hillbillies sittin' on the porch of a cabin on a hill top surrounded by huge cement barriers. One says to the other, "Well, looks like them anti- terrorist devises are workin'."
All for now.
John C.

Lindy, you might want to bring a guitar for Steve Cheseborough when you see him there.  Someone swiped his Beltona from his Greenwood domicile last Saturday night, and he's scouring pawn shops Delta-wide in an effort to get someone to contact him when (and if) they receive it.

My flying experience has been checkered as to where the guitar has gone (up or down), but good on safety (tho' one case did give its life protecting my "hand-carried" M3 a couple of years ago).

I'm very fond of insurance, as the airlines don't cover your guitar.  I've heard bad stories too, but I've been lucky so far.

John, did that huge guitar have a hard case when you threw it up there?  There seems to be plenty of room aloft for small/medium guitars - this would include a normal National hard case.

Taking strings off - boy!  Looks like I'll wait until Pre-Soak to restring.



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