Jump to content

Dear guest,

Welcome to the biggest community for bass players in Europe. You'll find the site a great source of information and advice.

Why not sign up now and:

  • Say hello - tell us about your playing, your gear and where you're from.
  • Search the database for inspiration or to find out more about your instrument
  • Upload an avatar and profile picture
  • Buy one of the thousands of items in our marketplace
  • Safely sell your items to a community of proven enthusiasts
  • Upload pictures, audio and videos
  • Buy exclusive items at discount through our shop (coming soon!)

Go on, click the button and become part of it today!

Sign in to follow this  
Dan_Nailed

Flying with instruments - my guide

Recommended Posts

[quote name='WHUFC BASS' post='524856' date='Jun 26 2009, 02:05 PM']Them lovely [s]bastards[/s] people at RyanAir now want £60 to take a guitar on board.[/quote]

AFAICS, the scam is you have to buy an extra seat for it, but the extra seat does not have a baggage allowance so the guitar and case has to be counted in with your other luggage. The carry-on allowance is a miserly 10Kg. More at [url="http://www.ryanair.com/site/EN/conditions.php"]http://www.ryanair.com/site/EN/conditions.php[/url]

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
[quote name='woodster' post='524867' date='Jun 26 2009, 02:19 PM'][b]You can buy padlocks that customs can open but civilians can't[/b]. Customs see a locked case like a red rag to a bull....[/quote]
That's very interesting, and something that everone should be aware of...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Got a question if anybody feels able to answer.

I've bought a couple of basses from sellers in the US, and there's a chance that I'll be able to go across to pick them up early/mid August. Anything I should know about bringing them into the UK by air?

Any helpful hints would be much appreciated.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
[quote name='jakesbass' post='521068' date='Jun 22 2009, 07:45 PM']I think your thread is very good Dan. Except the point above.
If customs want to get into your case, [u]they will[/u]. So take heed of this story: Double bassist Steve Berry was travelling with his bass and had it stored inside a Stevenson fibre glass case, I've borrowed his case many times and it is enormous, it attracts attention wherever you go, from security especially... Steve put a lock on the case thinking he would be safe not letting anyone open it. Customes took a dim view of this and smashed a hole through the front of the case and inserted a camera to find that it did indeed carry only a double bass, luckily they missed the bass by milimetres but given that Steve has a gorgeous old instrument well in excess of 10K you can imagine his anguish when the case came out with a big hole in it..

My advice, don't lock your case...[/quote]

Just to add to this that while I took my bass in the cabin no problem - my suitcase was in the hold and for no other reason than peace of mind I had a small padlock keeping the zip shut - and yes they removed the padlock between me checking it in and receiving it at the destination - so I completely agree - don't lock your case.

M

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
[quote name='leftybassman392' post='539239' date='Jul 13 2009, 11:59 AM']Got a question if anybody feels able to answer.

I've bought a couple of basses from sellers in the US, and there's a chance that I'll be able to go across to pick them up early/mid August. Anything I should know about bringing them into the UK by air?

Any helpful hints would be much appreciated.[/quote]

Go over with some empty cases!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Seriously, if you do, you'll have alot less explaining to do at customs. Depending on which airline you go with you should be ok - invest in one of them double cases. How many basses are you brining back?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
[quote name='WHUFC BASS' post='542691' date='Jul 16 2009, 10:27 PM']Seriously, if you do, you'll have alot less explaining to do at customs. Depending on which airline you go with you should be ok - invest in one of them double cases. How many basses are you brining back?[/quote]

Two.

Double cases? Edited by leftybassman392

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Yes mate, something like this

[url="http://www.thomann.de/gb/ibanez_double_bag_trolley_ebass.htm"]http://www.thomann.de/gb/ibanez_double_bag_trolley_ebass.htm[/url]

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
[quote name='WHUFC BASS' post='543277' date='Jul 17 2009, 03:04 PM']Yes mate, something like this

[url="http://www.thomann.de/gb/ibanez_double_bag_trolley_ebass.htm"]http://www.thomann.de/gb/ibanez_double_bag_trolley_ebass.htm[/url][/quote]

Aha! Now there's a good idea!

Again, I do appreciate it. Thanks for the excellent advice.

Andy

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
[quote name='therealting' post='543864' date='Jul 18 2009, 11:17 AM']Fly with an inexpensive, easily replaced instrument that you wouldn't panic about losing / getting damaged.[/quote]
Thats fine when you are just taking an instrument for a bit of a blow but when you are working with a platinum selling artist you might feel a bit underserved by an OLP or some such other cheap gear, and you risk appearing unprofessional and therefore losing the gig.

(and before you ask, yes, the last gig I flew to was with a platinum selling artist) Edited by jakesbass

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Good thread,

Jake's right on the lock thing. If it's locked and they want to open they WILL break it. The other problem is if they do open it, they're usually not too careful about closing it properly again. Last year on tour in the States they had opened my double bass case. They looked behind the bass and then didn't bother doing up the straps again before closing it. Got to the gig and I had a few open seams and a detached fingerboard! Fortunately there was a great luthier 10mins up the road and he lent me a great bass for the gig, repaired mine over the weekend and than delivered it back to my hotel! Great guy.


You just have to accept that it will go all wrong the odd time. Touring wouldn't be as fun if everthing works out perfectly all the time Edited by chrkelly

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I have travelled all over the world with my basses and my best advice to anyone is to get a fitted flightcase for your instrument. Best protection bar none, all wood and metal like. Expensive and heavy but worth it, a life time of protection on the road / in the air. Just pad it out a bit with nearest bubble wrap / rags if you're flying, just to make sure.

DON'T PADLOCK YOUR INSTRUMENT. I have had my basses opened multiple times by Customs (they usually leave a note in the case saying its been checked) And I wouldn't want to piss them off with the hassle of having to break your padlock.

If you have any catches or loose parts on the case make sure you go over them with gaffer tape, to create smooth edges that won't get caught on things. If you do a decent job it will also act as a deterrent to any sneaky baggage handlers that want a quick peak at your instrument too!

And of course make sure you give the instrument a decent downtune before flying to prevent any warping/neck breakages (though unlikely on well made instruments)

Example of last time I went flying with gear:


Jim

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Hey chaps - if any of you would like to read the full details of my bass flight horror story, you can check it here:


[url="http://s63821.gridserver.com/?p=457"]http://s63821.gridserver.com/?p=457[/url]



d

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
[quote name='Faithless' post='558520' date='Aug 2 2009, 02:44 PM']Am I missing somethin', or your gig was 'declined', Dave? :)[/quote]

Yeah.. the manager told me because I was late.. to get stuffed basically...

poo.


d

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I've flown all over the world with my bass. I've always taken my coffin case which is now so battered it's held together by gaffer tape and magic alone. Once, in Indonesia I saw my case coming along the conveyor belt with the side split and my bass half hanging out. That wasn't fun, but all was ok luckily. I swore then that I would never fly with that case again and would get a proper custom fit flight case, but due to the expense of them I haven't managed yet.

Normally I put my bass, pedals and leads in the case, wrapping a few T-shirts around things so they fit snuggly. I never lock my case as security have complained about this in the past, but I put one of those luggage straps around the case which stops it falling open if the catches get popped.

With more flying and touring on the cards next year I really do think that a proper flight case should be on my list, anyone know of any companies that offer endorsements/artist discount? :)

Thankfully I never have to take my amp-head.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
[quote name='The Goatreich' post='664889' date='Nov 25 2009, 11:45 AM']I've flown all over the world with my bass. I've always taken my coffin case which is now so battered it's held together by gaffer tape and magic alone. Once, in Indonesia I saw my case coming along the conveyor belt with the side split and my bass half hanging out. That wasn't fun, but all was ok luckily. I swore then that I would never fly with that case again and would get a proper custom fit flight case, but due to the expense of them I haven't managed yet.

Normally I put my bass, pedals and leads in the case, wrapping a few T-shirts around things so they fit snuggly. I never lock my case as security have complained about this in the past, but I put one of those luggage straps around the case which stops it falling open if the catches get popped.

With more flying and touring on the cards next year I really do think that a proper flight case should be on my list, anyone know of any companies that offer endorsements/artist discount? :lol:

Thankfully I never have to take my amp-head.[/quote]
I also would never lock my cases and always use luggage straps for extra safety but, frankly, I'm a little surprised that someone who has 'flown all over the world' with their bass (with more flying and touring on the cards) is not using a decent flight (or even semi-flight) case. Used ones do come up on ebay or check with companies like Flightcase Warehouse for old stock.
Hiscox lite-flite cases are also incredibly strong and retail new from around £70. One of mine was bought used from ebay for £40. (I've done the stand-on-it test, too, with my bass inside! :) )
Have fun and stay safe, wherever you go! :rolleyes:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Thats what i want for christmas.

[url="http://flightcasewarehouse.co.uk/music/listproducts.asp?modelid=3984"]http://flightcasewarehouse.co.uk/music/lis...sp?modelid=3984[/url]

Then a caring baggage handler to load it on ....... yeah exactly dream on :) but gotta do what you can cause at the end of the day there is no ammount of insurance that can replace a guitar that you are attatched to , there are 100s like the one you got but no two are the same, its yours an you wanna keep it that way
But thank you to all who have put up idears and sugestions in this thred, been a great read an helpful (just wish could say the same about airports :rolleyes: )

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I gotta give a HUGE +1 to the SKB Bass Safe mentioned at the beginning. I've done 200 plus flights - mostly Ryan Air and Sleazy Jet within Europe but have also flown into and out of Moscow a few times, the SKB was/is the mutts !!!

What they [b]also[/b][u][/u] offer is a lifetime insurance that if your instrument is damaged whilst in transit in one of these they will either replace or give you $1500 towards repairs. There are probably all sorts of horrible legal loopholes that they can employ to never actually pay out, but its a hell of a claim !!!

S

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I wish I'd read this before a 3 week stint in Warsaw - we flew via Munich, the instruments got left there when delays caused us to miss the scheduled connecting flight... Thankfully they arrived in one piece the next morning, but it was a stressful few hours!

Will take note of these tips next time. :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×