Flying with a Guitar
Where can guitars be transported?
Most people will prefer their guitar to be transported in the carry-on luggage, as typically hold luggage items get are subject to more risk of damage. However, it depends on the rules of the airline you are travelling with. Some airlines will have policies in place for transporting musical instruments, or some will recommend you purchase an additional seat in the cabin. Guitars transported in the hold luggage must be packed in a hard-sided case.
Tips for packaging Guitars for flights:
Loosen the strings
If you’ve seen a water bottle mid flight that crushes during the pressure changes of your flight, then you’ll be aware that pressure can cause havoc with other objects. To minimise any damage to your guitar when flying, it’s best to loosen the strings so that strain to them is minimised.
Pack clothes in it
Guitars are fragile musical instruments because they are hollow. To minimise damage to them, pack some of your clothes such as t-shirts, socks and towels in it to pad it out, especially in the neck.
Invest in a sturdy case
Whether your guitar is being transported in carry-on or checked luggage, you should invest in a well-padded case. Bags can often get checked around and are subject to damage, so minimise this by getting a protective case for it.
Ask if you can store it elsewhere
There is often nothing wrong with asking flight attendants politely if they can store your guitar up front, away from the possibility of it being crushed in the overhead locker. However, this will be completely dependent on how much room they have, and the policies of the airline, so be prepared to be declined your request.
Book seats at the back of the plane
If you book at the back of the plane, there’s often more room in the overhead lockers. In addition, you can often board first meaning that you have time to put your guitar at the back of the locker so other passengers’ bags can go in after.
Check with the Guitar maker
Guitars vary between models, and this also applies to how well they deal with changes in pressure and temperatures. Check with the manufacture to see what they recommend about flying with your specific model and make of guitar.