Flight Case

ChiefbigeasyChiefbigeasy New Orleans, LA✭✭✭ Dupont MDC 50; The Loar LH6, AJL Silent Guitar

Feeling lucky to get to go to Django in June this year. Gifting myself a nice flight and accommodations. Now, mostly worried about guitar transport.

Not much talk about flight cases lately, and even though I've got a nonstop flight, I don't want to risk an irreplaceable Dupont in a soft case if I fail to talk Delta into letting my take it into the cabin. I noticed Michael's case stock is low, at the moment. Tentatively, I've got a loaner agreement with a local friend for me to use his flight case, but if a gig calls to him, I'm out of luck.

Looking at Hiscox and Crossrock, at the moment. Hiscox has a good reputation. The Crossrock is prettier. My budget for this is in the $400-$500 range.

Any good experiences lately?


  • ScoredogScoredog Santa Barbara, Ca✭✭✭✭
    Posts: 879

    Are you going to try and carry on board? I wouldn't trust anything to luggage except A Bam or Carlton

    the Altamira carbon case is a good one for the money.

  • Russell LetsonRussell Letson Prodigy
    edited April 19 Posts: 360

    My Delta experience has been good--I've always been allowed to gate-check my scary-looking flightworthy case. I now fly first class**, which certainly makes a difference, but even in my coach days Delta seemed guitar-friendly. A lot depends also on gate personnel, though I have never gotten anything other than a pink tag and a "good luck" from them, no matter what city I was flying out of--though one time nearly 20 years ago I did have to go the normal checked-baggage route into Pittsburgh and found my big beige case not on the carrousel but sitting unattended in the oversize rack where any opportunist could have walked off with it.

    Given the way planes are arranged and filled these days (right to the brim, mostly), do not expect to be offered closet space (which is often too small for a full-size case), and certainly don't expect to use an overhead, even in first class. Some older aircraft used to have overheads big enough for my SuperCase, but them days is gone. But again, Delta's gate-check process has been excellent every time I've used it--the guitar is hand-loaded and set in the jetway for pickup.

    ** I'm old and retired and only fly once a year, so I splurge. And by the time you pay for early boarding and the obligatory checked-luggage fee, you might as well go the rest of the way and just fly first--at least on the routes I fly. And it's nice to have everybody saying, "Can I help you with that, sir?"--though the gray hair might have something to do with that.

  • ChiefbigeasyChiefbigeasy New Orleans, LA✭✭✭ Dupont MDC 50; The Loar LH6, AJL Silent Guitar
    edited April 20 Posts: 341

    Mr. Letson,

    You and I are exactly the same page. I went through exactly all these thoughts and came to exactly the same conclusion, I don’t fly much, but when I do, because of my tall stature, I always pay for extra leg room. It was not a far cry for me then, as a treat, to pay for a first class ticket. I even chose a nonstop flight 2 hours from my final destination just so I wouldn’t have to play airline roulette with multiple planes.

    I’ll be paying a local musician to use his flight case and I expect I’ll have to gate check it, though it has a more svelt profile than what you describe as you “scary-looking” case. An aged Dupont MDC 50 is not something to risk, but I really want to take it with me. In the event of damage, however, I insure it through its own policy at home, just in case. Nonetheless, your experience has given me more confidence that my precautions will protect my investment.

    Thanks for taking the time to offer your thoughtful comments.

  • RochRoch New
    Posts: 5

    A carbon case is a good idea. I fly private most of the time but do end up on domestic flights 8-10x per year. Just fly first class and you will have no problems. Hang back at the counter, don't advertise or make yourself obvious. When it is time to board be in the front few with your guitar along the opposite side of the agent and along your leg (leg length wise). I have never had to check an instrument in 60-70 flights this way. If you are flying a small regional (like an embraer 175) then you will have to gate check it...No big deal. Just walk it down the jetway and hand it to the handler there (if you slip him $20 and tell him its your baby it doesn't hurt).. Grab it when you get off the plane. Enjoy DIJ!

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