I was forced to check in my PRS McCarty in a soft case on a flight...

Discussion in 'Standard Guitars' started by nightlight, Jun 16, 2021.

  1. nightlight

    nightlight SS.org Regular

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    Was on a repatriation flight from Singapore back home and had a guitar in a soft case to carry on with me and another in a hard case to check in.

    To my horror, due to the large number of people, I was informed there was no way I could carry on a guitar, even in a soft case. You should have seen the number of people with overflowing luggage trolleys.

    I begged, I pleaded, but they said no, but assured me the guitar (the PRS) would arrive unscathed.

    Heart sinking, I checked it in, fully expecting it to arrive in pieces, since it was a soft case. There were so many bags and people.

    But look at that. Such professionalism and great handling in extenuating circumstances. Thank you so much!
    20210611_155107.jpg

    I guess only United breaks guitars! A huge shutout to Air India Express. For a budget airline, they went above and beyond. This could have gone horribly wrong for me.
     
  2. akinari

    akinari SS.org Regular

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    Honestly so happy for you. Big sigh of relief!
     
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  3. Lorcan Ward

    Lorcan Ward 7slinger

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    Most stressful flight of your life! Good to see everything was ok in the end.

    Flying to and from England I would book an extra seat for my guitar since it was cheaper to do that over and back than it was to ship.
     
  4. Alex79

    Alex79 SS.org Regular

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    Traveling by plane with guitars is so stressful!
    I have taken soft cases as hand luggage as well before , but I kind of think it is safer to assume it will have to go in the hold and have a hard case for the guitar.
     
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  5. mlp187

    mlp187 Burrito Master Contributor

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    Holy shit man that title gave me anxiety. So glad it worked out!
    Gorgeous guitars you have there.
     
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  6. Dumple Stilzkin

    Dumple Stilzkin SS.org Regular

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    That’s a relief!!
     
  7. Chokey Chicken

    Chokey Chicken mouth breather

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    I've only ever taken bolt ons. I separate the body and neck and sandwich them in ample clothing. I wouldn't say it's impossible to break the neck, but when packed right, it'd take a lot to break it. I've not had issues to this point yet. With my particular luggage bag I could even manage to fit two guitars in one bag as well as all of my clothes.

    My favorite experience was the empty case I took home with me. They had me sign all sorts of crap saying there was no guitar so I couldn't sue them for theft or something. Funnily enough, despite that, when I got to my destination and months later decided to finally open the case, there was a tag inside saying they went poking around in my case. lol

    I did happen to see them putting my case on one of my connecting flights. They weren't exactly gentle. I'm glad OP's guitar was treated well, but I would never trust an airline to take good care of my valuables. Then again, up until recently I only ever flew united, so...
     
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  8. FitRocker33

    FitRocker33 My tone is tighter than my hamstrings

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    That is a very good story but….

    that OD Rhea tho:wag:
     
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  9. nightlight

    nightlight SS.org Regular

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    It's actually a Venus!
     
  10. Mendez

    Mendez SS.org Regular

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    So glad it worked out! I haven't had to take a guitar on a plane ride yet, but I am not looking forward to that day. That PRS is beautiful!
     
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  11. Ordacleaphobia

    Ordacleaphobia Shameless Contrarian

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    Bro you can't just toy with my emotions like that!!
    I came into this thread totally expecting a tragedy :scream:

    What a relief though. Given all of the horror stories out there of instruments being damaged in flight, even in proper cases, I am super glad to see your PRS made the journey intact.
    And might I say, even for a real-deal PRS that sucker is gorgeous :lol:
    Would have really been a shame.
     
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  12. Estilo

    Estilo SS.org Regular

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    You lucked out big time on this one. Last time I carried on a guitar as hand luggage was in 2012 when I returned home for good from Melbourne. They tried to have me check it in but I asked if they'll be responsible if anything happened to it, and the friendly Aussie lady let me pass.

    Just 2 years later my cousin tried to bring his SG back from Singapore (SG from SG hehe) and they wouldn't allow it despite the short duration. He had a Mono semi-soft case but half anticipated this, so he just took clothes out of his suitcase so the guitar sits tight and checked it in. This was a different airline from mine but both were non-budget, and his (Singapore Airlines) is much better reputed than what I took (Garuda).
     
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  13. Estilo

    Estilo SS.org Regular

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    Would you not require 2 passports to book 2 seats?
     
  14. Lorcan Ward

    Lorcan Ward 7slinger

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    I just put in my own details twice when needed and then called my guitar “Mr Extra Item Seat”. At the desk you scan both boarding passes before getting on the plane. You have to book a window seat for the guitar too or they will move it to one. A few times someone has tried to take my guitar and say it’s going in the hold or up into the cabin luggage above but I have the airline rules printed out on paper in case.
     
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  15. Ben Pinkus

    Ben Pinkus SS.org Regular

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    My heart sunk when I read the title, so glad it worked out for you this time!
     
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  16. Kwert

    Kwert SS.org Regular

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    Depends on the airline. I'm a cellist by trade and (pre-COVID) had to fly regularly-ish with my instrument. Of course, an extra seat always had to be purchased for the instrument. Airlines like Air Canada and Lufthansa require that you go through a special (pain in the ass) booking process that can only be done over the phone, especially if you're travelling internationally.

    The very first time I flew to the US with an instrument I made the mistake of buying two tickets myself online and putting in my own details twice (with Air Canada). I couldn't check in properly and had to get my tickets reprinted at the customer service desk, which resulted in me missing my flight, which then resulted in missing my train and then almost missing the audition I was travelling to. Not fun.
     
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  17. AdenM

    AdenM Illuminaughty

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    Oof, glad it arrived unscathed and the airline took good care of it!

    Flew cross country in the US with my Custom 24 in it's hard case during the height of the pandemic last year and was terrified of a flight attendant making me check it.
     
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  18. wheresthefbomb

    wheresthefbomb SS.org Regular

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    I traveled with an empty guitar case when I was in high school and they also had me sign papers but it was to say that it wasn't a gun. This was freshly post 9/11.

    My understanding is that Obama made it so that musicians can carry on their instruments on US flights (or, more accurately, expanded the list of those that could be), but only if there's room. I haven't put this to the test yet but it's a cool little piece of policy.

    Glad your guitar survived. I worry about my guitars even in cases, I'd be worried sick over one in a gig bag.
     
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  19. mastapimp

    mastapimp SS.org Regular

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    I think it's also an option for the extremely overweight passengers. I believe Kevin Smith (the director) reached rock bottom and finally committed to losing weight after the airline told him he'd have to purchase an adjacent seat as he was too large to fit in a single seat.
     
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  20. Lozek

    Lozek Desk Magnetic Contributor

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    In a non Covid year, I fly UK to Germany maybe 6-8 times a year to play. I used to use the budget airlines and check cased guitars as luggage, but their 'staff' at the desks are actually just airport staff in the airline's jacket, who don't abide by the airline's rules and do whatever they feel like, normally meaning you get hit with massive charges.

    I only fly with British Airways now because their Musical Instrument policy is super-clear and their weight limits are insane. I can check one luggage of 23kg (indestructible, cut to shape, foam-lined double guitar case with footboard storage I built from a keyboard case, literally comes to 30g under weight limit), carry on hand luggage of 23kg (4U shallow SKB case which will fit in the overhead, Kemper, Rack power, IEM unit, Guitar wireless and all cables) and a 'small bag' that can also be 23kg (clothes and electronics). That's an insane amount of weight, definitely more than I can carry, all for the price of one seat + one luggage. It probably only comes to £10-20 more than a budget airline seat by the time they've slapped all the hidden charges on.
     

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