Merge with Flying with a guitar or bass guitar

Do you guys think it’s safe for somebody to bring a guitar over (along with its hard case) while flying from LA to Taipei? Reason I ask is cause my mom’s friend is flying over here and said she could bring some of my junk over, but I think the guitar might be a bit too big and it’s rather heavy with the case. The only stuff I’ve ever brought on flights and sent through the baggage claim were things that I didn’t mind having jostled about.

Anybody with any experience subjecting semi-fragile stuff to airline handling?

I brought my acoustic guitar from London, to Boston, on to Atlanta, then Houston, to Taipei and then on to Kaohsiung. During the part of the trip from London to Seattle, they let me keep the guitar in the overhead compartment. It has a good-quality hardshell case, and it was fine. However, they made me put the guitar in the belly of the plane from Seattle on… last item in, and the first item out. I was uneasy, but it turned out fine in the end.

i recommend HAND carry of the guitar as i did mine from the USA to taiwan and another time from Taiwan to the US.

I wish that could be done, but the hard case is much too large for the overhead compartments unfortunately. My choices basically come down to the carousel or just buying a new guitar over on this side of the Pacific. The hard case is custom fit for this particular guitar though, which I take a bit of comfort in.

A hard case and a fragile sticker should be more than enough.


[quote=“Huang Guang Chen”]A hard case and a fragile sticker should be more than enough.


You forgot to bold the “should” there, HGC. :wink:

I’ve had the head snapped off one of my guitars (in a hard case, with about fifty million “fragile” stickers on it). No damage to the case at all. Go figure.

That said, I’ve checked in many guitars on planes without any problems. The most important thing it to pack it right. I’ll post a link to a great article if I can find it. In the meantime though, one of the most vital preparations is to slacken all the strings. That helps to relieve the tension on the neck (remember that the strings will tighten even more during the flight due to the shift in temperature).

EDIT: Here you go: … king1.html

Just out of interest, what sort of guitar is it?

Couple more things. Last time at the check-in desk I (politely) told the check-in girl that THEIR airline (not true) had broken the head off my guitar last time, and that I was therefore uneasy about checking it in. I suspect it may help to do stuff like this as the check-in girl might pass this sort of information on (of course she might not, but you’ve nothing to lose).

Secondly, just in case the guitar gets lost mid-flight, make sure to put a piece of paper inside the case with your contact details written on it. You’ll be so glad you did if it goes missing.


Thanks for the tips, stu especially (wowow at some of those things I would have easily overlooked). It’s a Jackson PS6T btw, like the one here: … dZViewItem

At this point, I’m leaning towards just buying a guitar over here. I wouldn’t be in LA to pack/prep the guitar personally, and I don’t know if my mom or brother could do it for me (especially with that particular tuning system).

I’d recommend that you look at how much indemnity is covered on baggage for musical instruments…

If your guitar is a bolt on neck (where the neck is attached to the body with screws), then remove the neck from the body, and wrap the neck and body in clothings or whatever and pack it along with your luggage. It won’t look as obvious and so people won’t try and steal it. Alternatively you can carry both item on and they have less trouble fitting in the overhead bin. You can tell if its bolt on neck by looking where the neck joins the body, if you see 4 large screws with a neck plate (or a ferrule) then it’s bolt on neck. Simply remove the screw to remove the neck. To re-attach the neck just screw them back in.

All Fender guitars (except Acoustic) and some Ibanez are bolt on neck, all gibsons have set neck (can’t be removed like with an acoustic) and have the 13 degree headstock that breaks easily. Fender necks are really hard to break unless they drive the jumbo jet right over the case. It took Hendrix forever to break his stratocaster on purpose.