Modern Gretsch Guitars

More traveling questions… temp in the hold…

1

All right--I am planning to take my old M75T back with me. According to the BA regs, it's very possible they will make me put the guitar in the hold...

So... it's a long flight back to Europe...

You guys think the guitar will survive? It's in a hard case (not a heavy-duty case). I figure the smaller case will maybe get them to let me take it in the cabin (it will fit for sure). But if not... well?

What do you guys think? Ruined finish? Fried guitar, etc.?

K

2

Your concern needs to be crush, shock, mishap. Have a current value established. Do your best to pad the headstock/neck in the case, etc. If the outer appearance of the case is important, buy a cover for it.

If you can put it all in a corrogated guitar shipper box, stuffed with newspaper as necessary, all the better. Head to your closest guitar store and get a used box...check the airline for the overall dimensions allowed, trim as necessary if the box is too long.

3

Yikes!

That sounds scary!

Here's the thing--I'll be traveling with my wife and kid. All of us will have a small bag, when actually we are allowed two hand bags... I was hoping they would just look at the relatively small guitar case and allow me to carry it on (since we are not using all of our space).

What do you guys think? It's BA (but actually American on the way back).

K

4

Why yikes?

They may well let you carry on if the flight isn't overly full. But what if they ask you put it under?

At least get it prepped for that!

People fly with guitars all the time...

5

When I was 16 and never would have considered such things, I flew a 1940s Gibson L-7 round trip over the Atlantic in checked luggage. It was just fine. But Twangmeisternyc hits the nail on the head. Any time anybody but you is handling your guitar, there's risk of damage. If you're worried, get an appraisal or some way to establish value in the (extremely unlikely) event of damage.

6

I It's a small solid body, you might be able to get it in the overhead bins, or as the others said pack it well in it's case and then inside a box with more light packing stuff around it and it should be okay. Guitars are shipped from factories all the time. This summer I took a taylor GS mini with me to austria, hungary serbia bosnia, montengro and croatia, 4 airplanes, trains, ferries and a zillion buses. It was fine as carry on and no hassles anywhere.

7

Cushion the neck, add as much padding as you can. Your title mentions it could go in the hold. The hold can get quite cold. I'd slack the strings---just in case. Most large aircraft will have a closet up front near where you board. The crew always let me put my guitar in there---but that was almost 50 years ago. Your guitar will likely be fine, but, as always CYA---Be Prepared.

8

On The Guitar Wank Podcast, they say to gate check the guitar, if possible, if they will not let you take it on board. A gate check seems to be where someone will take your guitar just before you board and place it in the hold where they put the dogs.

They said some airlines are good at getting stuff in the cabin in the closet on the plane and some airlines, like New Zealand, absolutely will not.

They have recommended one or two brands of travel cases, if you're travelling a lot, I remember one is Calton. I think the Guitar Nerds podcast recommends another brand.

9

Thanks guys!!!

Anybody have any experience with American or British Airways?

Actually, I'm kind of rebonding with this guitar... It's one of those Guild D'Armond M75Ts that caught on briefly with blues guys around 2000.

K

10

Great guitar, Konrad! Safe travels!

11

I check my Phoenix in a Hiscox case regularly. Detune the strings a note, use socks, Ts, etc to get it snug in the case. With the TSA, getting through security to gate-check can be a pain, not to mention making tight connections. It ain't fun to check it, and there's always the "hmmm, what am I gonna find...?" feeling when I open the case at the destination, but so far so good. Last trip to U.K./EU was BA and I didn't have any problems.

12

I flew my Gibson ES-335 back from an overseas assignment, as checked in baggage. I constructed a box out of 1/4 inch plywood, using small L brackets inside of each corner and on the bottom panel. I spray painted it flat black. The box was just big enough to hold the guitar in its case, with a hinged lid, lock hasp and metal handle. I also used an abundance of foam, inside of the guitar case, to support the head stock. The entire project cost about $30, and made for a very secure and reusable shipping case.

13

What was the issue with the TSA?

Why wouldn't they let a guitar pass through?

K

14

My only experience with overseas flights has been Delta and Air France. I didn't have a guitar in tow but my experience has always been one of greater personal care and professionalism on overseas flights. Delta is great. The Delta app tells you where your bag is and when it goes on the plane. I can't speak to American.

That said, padding the neck and body, slacking the strings, etc are all great recommendations. Gate check is also recommended if they won't let it on the plane. I had a champagne sparkle M75T and still have an M75.... which is a great guitar. They're solidly built.

15

They would, it was just the hassle of having to unpack the socks/Ts/etc I use to snug the guitar in the case, take the guitar out, re-pack it, etc in the chaos of the security line/check. And having to argue with a misinformed/having a bad day TSA agent about whether it could even be gate-checked by the airline I was on.

16

I checked a guitar in once many years ago without any issue. Having said that I have since carried on everything sense with no issues. Never flew BA, usually Air France or Lufthansa. They never gave me problems. Lufthansa actually insisted I carry it on. One time I carried my Gretsch AND a Princeton amp on!

17

Failed to mention, if they insist on checking it in, do a gate check.

18

Guys--thanks a lot!

Tomorrow...

We'll see!

It's not that expensive a guitar, but it's got some mojo... I'm looking forward to jamming on it once I get back to Poland...

If it gets back to Poland!

K

19

Ugh--actually, it turns out that while I'm booked through BA, I'm really flying American.

Is that a bad thing? Guitar-wise, I mean?

K


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