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  #16  
Old 09-20-2021, 12:33 PM
Malcolm Kindnes Malcolm Kindnes is offline
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I have no experience with United but I have done a fair bit of international travel with a guitar. I have found that the best approach is to be nice to everyone and smile, if there is room most airlines will let you bring the guitar into the cabin.
However, you should be prepared to check it in as baggage because it may just come to that, I don't think there are any hard and fast rules. Good luck.
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  #17  
Old 09-20-2021, 01:10 PM
emtsteve emtsteve is offline
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Originally Posted by 619TF View Post
Generally it's not the flight crew who will give you a problem but rather the gate attendant. They always want to check my guitar. Some say the magic words "gate check" but some really want me to have it run with all the regular bags (ummm...no). "Waiving the regulations around" will possibly work with the gate attendant and, if not, with their Supervisor. The option to bring on a guitar is not up to the gate personnel, it's Federal Law. Yes, always be nice to the flight crew and yes, they'll often accommodate you if there's room in the crew closet.

The main thing is to stick to your guns (the government gave you this law for you to use) and yes, be polite but firm. Here's a recent example of airline people doing the wrong thing (contains link to the United Breaks Guitars" video - so a 2 for 1 here): https://liveandletsfly.com/flight-at...-violin-rules/
Good story, and Kudos to her for holding firm. If I were a professional musician carrying on a multi-thousand dollar violin I would most certainly have the pertinent regulations printed and ready. And I wasn't aware this was a federal law, so thanks for educating me on that.

As it is, my $400 GS Mini is perfect for my travel because it's durable, small so it fits in the bins of larger planes, and it's easily replaced if it gets damaged. And I've never had an issue (knock on wood) flying with it.
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  #18  
Old 09-20-2021, 01:35 PM
Graylocks Graylocks is offline
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Unless you're on a puddle jumper commuter flight it will fit in the overhead. Calling United was an exercise in futility - the people answering the phones don't know jack about the planes just the rules and even then this person told you wrong. Same is also true for outside of TSA ticket counter people. Do not talk to them at all; if you have other bags to check do it with the curbside people.

The gate agent checking boarding passes as the plane is boarding is the only real stop point. Don't ask for their permission just carry it like you do this all the time and you know it will fit. Most won't say anything but if they do be polite and say you'll gate check it with the flight attendant if it doesn't fit. The flight attendants know it will fit in the overhead and as long as you're boarding early (get a seat in the REAR of the plane) they really don't care.

Oh, and like others said, next time fly Southwest and avoid all this anxiety. Still board early, though.
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Last edited by Graylocks; 09-20-2021 at 07:36 PM.
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  #19  
Old 09-20-2021, 02:06 PM
619TF 619TF is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Graylocks View Post
Unless you're on a puddle jumper commuter flight it will fit in the overhead. Calling United was an excercise in utility - the people answering the phones don't know jack about the planes just the rules and even then this person told you wrong. Same is also true for outside of TSA ticket counter people. Do not talk to them at all; if you have other bags to check do it with the curbside people.
Based upon what followed I think the word you were looking for was futility. Utility would have meant it was helpful and clearly that's not the case here.
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  #20  
Old 09-20-2021, 04:46 PM
frankmcr frankmcr is offline
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Originally Posted by emtsteve View Post
Good story, and Kudos to her for holding firm. If I were a professional musician carrying on a multi-thousand dollar violin I would most certainly have the pertinent regulations printed and ready. And I wasn't aware this was a federal law, so thanks for educating me on that.

.
What the heck kind of airplane would not have room for a violin case?????
I honestly don't see how that's possible.
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Last edited by frankmcr; 09-20-2021 at 07:15 PM.
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  #21  
Old 09-20-2021, 06:59 PM
colins colins is offline
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I have flown United since their United Breaks Guitars day. Their care with my guitar on that flight was unbelievably good. Just about the nicest people I’ve dealt with on dozens of flights with guitars.

And it usually boils down to the people involved. Glad to see you favour the polite approach; it usually works for me with the many airlines I use, whereas quoting the rulebook is just a great way to make a harassed person want to fight back.

In addition to the overhead there are the coat lockers and it doesn’t hurt to smile and ask if the guitar can go there. And as others have said, paying extra for priority boarding can be a good move.

If you do have to gate check, don’t let them take it without giving you a receipt. I had a baggage guy try that once and I stood my ground, because if the guitar goes missing and you don’t have a receipt you can’t prove they even had it.

If it goes into the hold as a special item (like strollers, surf boards etc), find out where it will come out at your destination as it may be some distance from the normal baggage carousel.

Finally, enjoy your travels with your guitar! I’ve flown dozens of times with guitars on many different airlines (on board, gate-checked and in the hold as special baggage) and never had a significant issue.
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  #22  
Old 09-20-2021, 07:39 PM
Graylocks Graylocks is offline
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Originally Posted by 619TF View Post
Based upon what followed I think the word you were looking for was futility. Utility would have meant it was helpful and clearly that's not the case here.
Thank you! Corrected. That's what I get for not proof-reading before hitting Submit. also corrected the spelling of exercise. Can't figure out if I needed more or less coffee earlier.
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  #23  
Old 09-21-2021, 01:17 AM
AllThumbsBruce AllThumbsBruce is offline
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It is amazing to me to see how many guitar players feel entitled to hog precious overhead space. A guitar in an overhead prevents three unfortunate travelers from stowing their regular carry-on bags up there. Just because you can get away with it doesn't mean it's not selfish.
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  #24  
Old 09-21-2021, 02:38 AM
Malcolm Kindnes Malcolm Kindnes is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AllThumbsBruce View Post
It is amazing to me to see how many guitar players feel entitled to hog precious overhead space. A guitar in an overhead prevents three unfortunate travelers from stowing their regular carry-on bags up there. Just because you can get away with it doesn't mean it's not selfish.
This is very true.
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  #25  
Old 09-21-2021, 04:24 AM
Italuke Italuke is offline
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Originally Posted by The Bard Rocks View Post
Google "United Breaks Guitars". a true story and a blast - I assume this is no longer the case with United.
My first thought. We all know about United.

I had a United pilot friend who got me a bumper sticker, which I then had Dave Carroll autograph cuz we hang in Nova Scotia sometimes. Super nice guy.
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  #26  
Old 09-21-2021, 01:16 PM
Graylocks Graylocks is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AllThumbsBruce View Post
It is amazing to me to see how many guitar players feel entitled to hog precious overhead space. A guitar in an overhead prevents three unfortunate travelers from stowing their regular carry-on bags up there. Just because you can get away with it doesn't mean it's not selfish.
Get away?

You make it sound like someone is sneaking by. Carrying on instruments is allowed by rules/stipulations the FAA and the AFM negotiated. Sorry if it's bugs you. As much as I have flown I've seen many passengers who I would regard as selfish in hogging overhead space and none of them were packing instruments. What does bug me are the passengers that board early, stow their luggage in an overhead near the front, and then saunter to the rear where their assigned seat actually is. Now THAT'S selfish.

I board early. Don't get upset if someone puts something on top of my case and I wait until almost everyone has deplaned before I get my guitar down so I don't risk hitting someone in the head.
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  #27  
Old 09-21-2021, 01:27 PM
619TF 619TF is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Malcolm Kindnes View Post
This is very true.
No, no it's not. You paid for a seat and 2 carry ons just like everyone else. You're ENTITLED to the space IF you get there early enough. Bonus is preventing potential damage to an instrument worth more than what most people have in their carry ons. Selfish? Hardly.
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  #28  
Old 09-21-2021, 05:38 PM
phcorrigan phcorrigan is offline
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The last time I traveled with my guitar, a flight attendant asked if I'd mind of someone else put his guitar on top of mine. I said I didn't mind. In effect, I didn't "hog" the entire space.
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  #29  
Old 09-21-2021, 05:52 PM
TheGITM TheGITM is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 619TF View Post
No, no it's not. You paid for a seat and 2 carry ons just like everyone else. You're ENTITLED to the space IF you get there early enough. Bonus is preventing potential damage to an instrument worth more than what most people have in their carry ons. Selfish? Hardly.
Does your guitar 'carry on' fit in the cage that most airlines have to suggest that your carry on must fit here to carry onto the plane?

That answer is no. A guitar case is larger than any airline has to accept as a carry on. Any given airline 'may' allow it, but they do not have to. As for whether it takes up more space and may prevent other passengers with 'normal' sized carry ons from fitting? Yes, it might. If it does, I expect the crew will take care of it however they think is best.
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  #30  
Old 09-21-2021, 06:10 PM
Graylocks Graylocks is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheGITM View Post
Does your guitar 'carry on' fit in the cage that most airlines have to suggest that your carry on must fit here to carry onto the plane?

That answer is no. A guitar case is larger than any airline has to accept as a carry on. Any given airline 'may' allow it, but they do not have to. As for whether it takes up more space and may prevent other passengers with 'normal' sized carry ons from fitting? Yes, it might. If it does, I expect the crew will take care of it however they think is best.
The FAA has made an exception for instruments for fitting into that carry on cage. End of story whether you agree it was a good idea or not.

If you search the forum the link to the regulation has been posted a number of times.
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