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frugalaudio
10-21-2014, 09:18 PM
I did take the time to search the forum, and it seems no one's had any real conflict flying on Southwest with a uke, but not many response were from within the last year or two. So I figured I'd ask again. :)

I'm flying Southwest to St. Louis via MDW in a bit more than a week. Will most likely take a tenor in budget, cloth covered hard case. Has anyone encountered any problems doing this recently? I'll have one other carry on with me, an overstuffed laptop bag. The rest of my luggage will be checked.

Phuufme
10-22-2014, 02:03 AM
I have flown SW several times with my tenor Cordoba uke. No issues. Two points --

1. I make sure I am early on the boarding list, as early as I can get, and usually try to board near the back end of the plane so there is no issue of putting my uke overhead with anything else in there and
2. I do have a soft case, not sure about a hard case. However if you are there first, you are there first.

You can put the laptop bag under the seat in front of you.

Good luck.

Steve

kegmcnabb
10-22-2014, 03:38 AM
I have flown SW many times with my uke, including a couple of times this year. Like Steve said above, I try to get on the boarding list as early as possible. In fact, I usually pay the $12.50 for automatic Early Bird Check In. I have never had an issue taking both the tenor in its hardshell and a carry-on bag.

In general, I have found SW to be the most instrument friendly of the airlines but YMMV.

Phuufme
10-22-2014, 03:55 AM
I have flown SW many times with my uke, including a couple of times this year. Like Steve said above, I try to get on the boarding list as early as possible. In fact, I usually pay the $12.50 for automatic Early Bird Check In. I have never had an issue taking both the tenor in its hardshell and a carry-on bag.

In general, I have found SW to be the most instrument friendly of the airlines but YMMV.

Yep, in fact, due to various other issues when we have flown the other airlines, we ONLY fly SW now.

frugalaudio
10-22-2014, 04:16 AM
Reassuring to hear. Thanks all. :)

PereBourik
10-22-2014, 06:06 AM
I have the same story, more or less. Never a question about my uke on SWA. Concerts in a strong gig bag (Access, Attitude, Mono, &c) fit the carry on size checker. Once I even did a concert and tenor with no hassles.

Southwest is the best airline there is for being treated like a human being.

Cornfield
10-22-2014, 06:29 AM
Ditto ditto and ditto. You can't beat SWA. Just get an early boarding pass.

Ukejungle
10-22-2014, 08:48 AM
Just flew out to San Fran on SW - Tenor with hard case. No problems.

King David
10-22-2014, 05:59 PM
On a similar topic(now that OP has good word for flying SW) anyone mind commenting on flying Frontier ? I'm flying Frontier soon with a tenor in a gigbag w/ backpack straps as a carry on - what's the word?

perep
10-22-2014, 06:26 PM
I ALWAYS fly SW for years & ALWAYS have one or DOUBLE bag with me, concert size. Have flown with tenors . No problem so far, yes be one of the first on plane, #60 or below to get the right space overhead. Have it on my back (soft gig bag-STEADY one). I also have my ukes insured as a rider on homeowners insurance for peace of mind. Hope this helps. Flying Alaska on Sat & cruise with my uke & wife. Always have one wherever I go.

Booli
10-23-2014, 12:37 AM
side topic - so how do you secure your uke for when you leave the hotel room?

do you leave it with the front desk?

lots of UU folks are traveling with them, and you cant ALWAYS carry it around... :(

makes me nervous to think of traveling with any uke of value over a certain amt.

PereBourik
10-23-2014, 04:08 AM
I did three weeks in Australia last year with a Flea jammed into my backpack carry-on. No trouble on airplanes but going through security screening 3 days from home a tuner snagged the side of the x-ray machine and broke off. FMM sent me a replacement tuner for free. My family was happy for the respite; my repertoire was pretty shallow then.

erinboy
10-24-2014, 07:20 PM
I have been flying SW and US Airways domestically and internationally for years with my Kamaka tenor in a hard foam travel case with fabric commonly available. I have never had an issue. I have not tried my baritone yet but will just stickmwith the tenor!

coolkayaker1
10-25-2014, 12:30 AM
I also have my ukes insured as a rider on homeowners insurance for peace of mind. Hope this helps.

Oddly, I asked my veteran Country Companies agent, six months ago, about insuring my ukuleles with a rider, mostly concerned about a house fire, and he said to document each beforehand, they are covered under the home contents part of the standard homeowners insurance policy (presumably reimbursable using that lousy rubric to devalue items that all insurance companies use, rider or no rider. Lol).

I was told that house contents are covered up to, I think it was $100k or more. Autos have their own policies, of course. He said that, while a rider could be purchased, for instance for expensive jewelry, it generally is for one-of-a-kind pieces and an appraisal is needed just to document and set the pricing, both for the policy annual premium, and the restitution in case of enacting the policy.

I'm not saying you're wrong to insure yours, perep, in any way. Just wondering how it can be so different in the fairly standardized insurance world. This gets to Booli's point too in case the uke was stolen from the hotel room, or just flying with it like frugalaudio. I dunno. Hmmm

wickedwahine11
10-25-2014, 02:20 AM
Oddly, I asked my veteran Country Companies agent, six months ago, about insuring my ukuleles with a rider, mostly concerned about a house fire, and he said to document each beforehand, they are covered under the home contents part of the standard homeowners insurance policy (presumably reimbursable using that lousy rubric to devalue items that all insurance companies use, rider or no rider. Lol).

I was told that house contents are covered up to, I think it was $100k or more. Autos have their own policies, of course. He said that, while a rider could be purchased, for instance for expensive jewelry, it generally is for one-of-a-kind pieces and an appraisal is needed just to document and set the pricing, both for the policy annual premium, and the restitution in case of enacting the policy.

I'm not saying you're wrong to insure yours, perep, in any way. Just wondering how it can be so different in the fairly standardized insurance world. This gets to Booli's point too in case the uke was stolen from the hotel room, or just flying with it like frugalaudio. I dunno. Hmmm

I guess it depends on the insurer. I have USAA and they only charged me $12 a year to insure my MB for its full purchase price on a rider for loss, theft or damage. I didn't need an appraisal, I just had to send them the serial number, purchase receipt and photographs of it. It probably would have been included without the rider but for $12, it is well worth it to me.

As to the hotel question, admittedly I do leave it in hotel rooms sometimes. Usually I will put the case in a closet - or at least far from the door. I can't imagine a housekeeper would risk their job and lug it around in their cart. I am more concerned with a passerby swiping it from the room as they walk by.

And back to the OP, I never had a problem on Southwest. But I always made sure I had an A boarding pass to guarantee an overhead compartment.

coolkayaker1
10-25-2014, 03:46 AM
I guess it depends on the insurer. I have USAA and they only charged me $12 a year to insure my MB for its full purchase price on a rider for loss, theft or damage. I didn't need an appraisal, I just had to send them the serial number, purchase receipt and photographs of it. It probably would have been included without the rider but for $12, it is well worth it to me.

As to the hotel question, admittedly I do leave it in hotel rooms sometimes. Usually I will put the case in a closet - or at least far from the door. I can't imagine a housekeeper would risk their job and lug it around in their cart. I am more concerned with a passerby swiping it from the room as they walk by.

And back to the OP, I never had a problem on Southwest. But I always made sure I had an A boarding pass to guarantee an overhead compartment.. Thanks for all this great info, Staci. Thank you.

Phuufme
10-25-2014, 04:36 AM
And back to the OP, I never had a problem on Southwest. But I always made sure I had an A boarding pass to guarantee an overhead compartment.Exactly what I do. Flying tomorrow on SW to NJ with my uke and I have A 53

kegmcnabb
10-25-2014, 05:02 AM
Insurance -
Yes, many homeowner's policies will cover your equipment. Some automatically, some you have to request. Sometimes this is included in the premium and sometimes there is a small fee. However, you MUST check with your agent to know for sure. More importantly, your homeowner's coverage usually will not cover your gear if you are a professional using your gear professionally. This is very important. Again, you must check with your agent. Some companies will but most do not, requiring a more expensive (although often not unreasonable) fee to cover professional gear. If your existing policy can't or won't cover your pro gear, there are many other companies that will. These are usually pretty reasonable, some offering $10,000 in coverage for around $100 a year. Less than $10 a month for coverage? Yeah, it's worth it. If you are AFM or belong to ASCAP or BMI, just search their websites. If you are not, then search the web for "professional musical instrument insurance".

As far as securing your instruments in a hotel room, well, it's tough. I have used a bicycle cable wrapped around the instruments and secured to a bed frame but actual bed frames are seen less and less in hotels. Sometimes I have just strapped all instruments together with a cable figuring a mass of cases would be too awkward to carry out. You can try leaving it at the desk but most reasonably price hotel/motels don't seem too receptive and who knows where they store them? In the back room next to the furnace and water heater? At least ukes are small. You can take it with you most places. No good answer here.

kegmcnabb
10-25-2014, 05:08 AM
I never had a problem on Southwest. But I always made sure I had an A boarding pass to guarantee an overhead compartment.

How do you make sure you have an A pass? I pay for the "Early Bird" check in but even that has given me a B pass at times. Always good enough that I have never had a problem finding a seat or uke space but would love to know how to always get an "A".

Phuufme
10-25-2014, 05:15 AM
As for insurance, hijacking the thread, as a gigging musician homeowners (we also use USAA) will not cover any of our instruments. We cover all of our gear, several guitars, two ukes, two basses, two Bose sound systems, etc and the cost is less than $300 per year. Pretty inexpensive if you ask me.

timmit65
10-25-2014, 07:49 AM
I fly SW 3-5 times a year. I normally take a concert, Sop. or Guitalele (Tenor size), always in a hard shell case. I always stow in the overhead. I do pay the 12.50 to board early. Never had a problem! I tend to use the Uke Crazy hard shells, never had a scratch on any of the Ukes!

nkatsonis
10-27-2014, 04:38 AM
My daughter has a Martin 3/4 size guitar and has flown between Houston and DC several times in recent months. I do early check-in for her, usually getting her into group B, and we haven't yet had a problem carrying on the guitar.

Phuufme
10-27-2014, 08:19 AM
I just flew from San Antonio to NJ yesterday on SW. No issue on the first flight, on the second flight the only issue was that they needed more overhead space and some guy thought the space above me was empty, so he started to jam in his suitcase. I stopped him by telling him that a ukulele was there. He said, "Oh, I didn't see it" and moved on. A little bit later the flight attendent moved it around a bit so a soft bag could fit up there. I thought she was going to crush the neck when she closed the compartment, but it all worked out.