Should I bring my guitar? (Full Version)

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Goldwinghai -> Should I bring my guitar? (Jul. 24 2018 21:37:28)

I know air travel with a guitar has been discussed many times before on this forum. In September I will be going to Seville for 2+ weeks of lessons and the trip will involve 3 flights on 3 different planes. The first flight is from Washington to London Heathrow on Virgin Atlantic. From London I will fly on British Airways to Seville with one connection in Madrid. The first leg from London is on Airbus 320 operated by Iberia. The second leg is on Air Nostrum operated for Iberia. I have looked at the airline luggage regulations, my guitar will have to be checked in due to small cabin space, especially on flights from London to Seville. So should I bring my own guitar? I can pack my guitar in the Gator case and hope for the best. In my 2 pevious trips to Seville, I rented a guitar but it was not good at all. Anyone knows of a place I can rent good guitar in Seville? My other option is to look for a decent used guitar and buy for several hundred euros. BTW, I will take the return flight from Granada with several days of stopover in London. Many thanks for your suggestions or recommendations.

mrstwinkle -> RE: Should I bring my guitar? (Jul. 24 2018 21:48:47)

My experience with BA / Iberia at Madrid airport is pretty much nothing but bad. I now won't use them and use Easyjet instead and go direct Lonmdon to Seville. There is a long trip between the terminals at Madrid and a long passport queue. In any transfer under two hours your luggage is unlikely to end up with you.

tele -> RE: Should I bring my guitar? (Jul. 24 2018 21:49:18)

In my experience the only time I could not put my guitar in the overhead luggage space was when the plane was small. Usually I don't even ask when checking in and just bring my guitar, never had a problem. And if they ask something, one tip is to say that the guitar is worth 4000 euros and you can't risk it. And just say "I always bring my guitar on board".

If you have the chance and could use an extra guitar, it's a good idea to buy in spain, but you'll face the same problem on return flight.

Another tip is not to use chunky guitar cases, some cases like one I had for ovation guitar, it had to be put in the jacket compartment of the plane it was so big.

And actually the guitar always fits even in a fully booked flight into the overhead luggage space.

PS. companies like ryanair and norwegian might ask you to buy a seat for your guitar, so it's best to avoid chunky cases especially on cheap airlines flights, or in general, never bring a guitar that's expensive to a cheap airline flight, unless you're willing to buy a seat for it

Dudnote -> RE: Should I bring my guitar? (Jul. 25 2018 4:58:00)

I took my basher to new Zealand this year. On the smaller planes we got it checked in as "fragile" - it got covered with fragile stickers and went via the oversized baggage drop off points. On one of the flights an Asian airline even put it in a metal flight case - although normally that requires pre booking so we were lucky.

Goldwinghai -> RE: Should I bring my guitar? (Jul. 25 2018 13:49:09)

There is no direct flight from London Heathrow to Seville. From London Gatwick, yes. Long wait at Madrid Immigration concerns me. I don’t know if we have to pick up the luggage, exit, then have to go through security again for the flight to Seville. Will have to call the airline for the exact border procedures are.

Goldwinghai -> RE: Should I bring my guitar? (Jul. 25 2018 14:11:42)

Several years ago I did buy a guitar and brought it on the plane with me. The flight from Barcelona was fully booked, so I was told to board last and with the approval of the cabin crew. The second flight to Washington was empty but my small Cibeles guitar case was too long for the overhead compartment. The flight attendant smiled when seeing me trying to figure a way to make it fit. She led me to the front and let me secure the case in the closet. These were Air France planes. But this time, smaller planes and two border crossings, the guitar may not get to Seville at the same time with me.

joselito_fletan -> RE: Should I bring my guitar? (Jul. 25 2018 14:36:17)

I Just got back last night from seasonal trip to Costa Rica. I always travel with my beater guitar. I use and old vinyl soft case purchased years ago at "El Carbonero" in Jerez for a guitar purchased at his old shop, uffffff must have been 1992 or so. Have never had a problem with it as a carry on, you can even see the sticker. I usually just travel between Canada-Spain-Costa Rica year round with Air Canada, Iberia and KLM, they seem quite forgiving when it comes to this.

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sartorius -> RE: Should I bring my guitar? (Jul. 29 2018 12:50:31)

Never got any problems with Iberia. Very understanding both checking in and in the plane. With Ryanair I had to buy an extra seat to bring the Pedregosa back from Valencia airport.

Goldwinghai -> RE: Should I bring my guitar? (Jul. 29 2018 18:19:50)

Good to hear about Iberia. How about Air Nostrum? One teacher has promised to rent me a guitar but I have not got any details on this. I may just check the guitar in all the way to Seville and see what happens.[sm=Smiley Guitar.gif]

Flamingrae -> RE: Should I bring my guitar? (Aug. 1 2018 12:18:10)

A few years back, I was going through the same conundrum. I had lessons in Jerez. Flew in with no guitar and a soft case. Up next day and bought a cheap guitar from a shop in town and some decent strings. Replaced the saddle for a bone one, checked the action, adjusted - fit for purpose. At the end of the week, I bagged the guitar up and took a chance. It survived no problem, did the job, got a souvenir of the trip and worked out marginally more than if I had brought a guitar from home. In general, if you want to take an instrument, have insurance, speak to people and have a tough (fibreglass/carbon) case. That is how I do it now if I am carrying.

Goldwinghai -> RE: Should I bring my guitar? (Nov. 21 2018 11:20:49)

I just want to update on my recent trip to Seville. I bought a Hiscox Liteflite case and was prepared to check in my guitar all the way from Washington Dulles to Seville. Later, upon reviewing the Lufthansa check-in baggage requirements for size and weight, my guitar case would fall in the special musical instrument category because its total L+W+H exceeds their allowed maximum, and the cost would be 400USD each way. So my guitar stayed home and I rented a guitar from Taller Flamenco. On the flight back from Seville to Munich, I saw 2 men carrying 3 large guitar size cases boarding the same plane. I thought these guys must be flying first class. During the flight, I did have a short conversation with both of them. They were professional musicians returning to Munich after a weekend concert in Seville. They flew economy class, had to buy 2 extra tickets for their instruments. The instruments had the window seats. A side note: One day before class I played my favorite Farruca to warmup, my teacher later told me that guitar never sounded so good. That gave me a little smile. That teacher knows how to motivate students.

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