PDA

View Full Version : Ukulele as Airplane Carry-On Luggage



Chronos
04-16-2008, 06:39 AM
I'll be be hopping on a plane next month for a short trip and the host has asked me to bring one of my ukuleles. I'll be bringing a tenor Lanikai in the standard case it comes with, but I don't know if it will fit as carry-on luggage.

Does anyone here have experience with bringing their instrument as carry-on luggage on a flight?

dnewton2
04-16-2008, 06:51 AM
I have brought a tenor on as a carry on alot. From a big 777 down to a small 9 passenger island hopper in Hawaii. You should have no problem. I see people carry on guitars alot, so you should not have any issues.

Chronos
04-16-2008, 07:02 AM
Wonderful, thanks dnewton2.

backdoc972
04-16-2008, 07:15 AM
I have had airline personnel try to make me check my guitar. I had to fight very hard to prevent it. Hopefully with a uke you won't have a problem, but be aware that they might try.

dnewton2
04-16-2008, 07:16 AM
Just glad I could help. You might want to try and be one of the first on the plane to make sure you get it in a overhead compartment, otherwise you might have some problems putting it under the seat in front of you. I have done that but it takes most of your leg room and only on a window seat.

Kanaka916
04-16-2008, 07:19 AM
My last two trips to the 50th, I had no problems carrying my tenor on board. Then again, I flew Hawaiian. Dunno if it makes a difference.

Chronos
04-16-2008, 07:21 AM
I have had airline personnel try to make me check my guitar. I had to fight very hard to prevent it. Hopefully with a uke you won't have a problem, but be aware that they might try.
Interesting... thanks backdoc. Maybe a tenor will be small enough for them to not care. =)

Ukulele_Junkie
04-16-2008, 07:35 AM
Victoria Vox did it and she actually played her ukulele on the plane while they were in the air. http://youtube.com/watch?v=CQNe9wMZGys
She used her fluke tho cuz its so compact and just fits in a little sling pack. If you go you should just use that fluke or flea that you won from that contest :D

uber_goober
04-16-2008, 07:40 AM
Chronos, a few thoughts:

1. I've flown with my tenor (a Lanikai) several times and have had no trouble doing carry on. Just make sure it's in the upper compartment (it doesn't even have to be over over your seat).

2. I fly with a Lanikai because if some did happen to it, I wouldn't be too upset.

3. There's also a trick, which I claim no credit for, I first heard about it from guys like Daniel Ho and James Hill (don't know them, just know they do this). If you run into gate personnel that tell you your case is too big and must be checked (it will always be at the gate for the plane, not security), don't fight with them. Just let them gate check the case. But first, take your ukulele out of the case, wrap it in your jacket, and carry it on. Just be a little more careful how you put it in an overhead compartment. :)

Have fun on your trip.

-John

menehunenyc
04-16-2008, 07:57 AM
3. There's also a trick, which I claim no credit for, I first heard about it from guys like Daniel Ho and James Hill (don't know them, just know they do this). If you run into gate personnel that tell you your case is too big and must be checked (it will always be at the gate for the plane, not security), don't fight with them. Just let them gate check the case. But first, take your ukulele out of the case, wrap it in your jacket, and carry it on. Just be a little more careful how you put it in an overhead compartment. :)

Have fun on your trip.

-John

Ooooo, sounds scary to me, but if James Hill does it, then it might be ok.

GX9901
04-16-2008, 08:22 AM
Haha... I'm flying to Minnesota. They might not even know what an ukulele is. ;)

Haha, you're right, not very many people know about ukes here.:confused:

I've flown between Minnesota to Hawaii (via Portland) and Las Vegas with ukes before with no problems on Northwest Airlines.

tad
04-16-2008, 08:49 AM
I've flown with a soprano in a case. Tenors are a bit bigger, though, so I dunno.

Nuke-ulele
04-16-2008, 08:51 AM
I just flew from Detroit to San Diego, from San Diego to Minneapolis, and Minn to Detroit again with no issues carrying my Kanile'aTenor in a ProPack case with a shoulder strap. To avoid any questions at all, I slung it over my back like a laptop or attache with teh instrument behind me...no one even batted a eye or anything. Just be nonchalant and wal right on like you own the plane. No one will care. I also flew Northwest.

Poi Dog
04-16-2008, 01:53 PM
Airlines differ on what they allow on board as "carry-on" luggage. It also depends on what kind of a day the Purser (Lead Flight Attendant) and CS (Customer Service) Agents are having. If they're on the "rag" so to speak - they might give you static.

BUT - having said that... for the most part, MOST airlines don't have problems letting someone bring their ukulele on as carry-on (especially since it's considered fragile) and don't want the liability if it gets broken in the cargo pit.

BTW - our airline allows ukulele's on as "carry-on". Here's who I work for...
http://a270.ac-images.myspacecdn.com/images01/62/l_a5d741bad328f9a65d2150fde3d7111d.jpg

Ian Boys
04-16-2008, 03:54 PM
Just a random little thing... if you get a chance to look at the monitor while your uke is going through the x-ray at security... do so. It's a rather neat sight.

Plainsong
04-16-2008, 04:03 PM
There's also this theory that if you gate-check it, it's last to go in and first to come out. But I wager that the uke is safer in the cabin with no case than in the case in the cargo hold.

l0calb0y91
04-16-2008, 04:29 PM
yea, not to worry...i always carry on my ukulele to and from hawaii and nothing happens...just make sure no one takes it...

i would also recommend a hard case if you dont already have one.

SMillette92
04-16-2008, 04:38 PM
Hi.
The passengers on airlines have a code of rights that extends to instruments on airplanes.
Here is a link to teh TSA sight that covers instruments.

<http://www.tsa.gov/travelers/airtravel/assistant/editorial_1235.shtm>

MGM
04-16-2008, 05:03 PM
I travel alot with one or two cases of ukulele as carryon. Never had a problem...but i always if i can hold the uke away from the eyes of the gate personal so my body blocks it or if its a lanikai type case with straps strap it on and keep it behind my back so they really dont notice it. Cruise in as if you have no care in the world and NEVER ask if it is okay to carry on. The least they know the better.

Fred Miu
04-16-2008, 07:26 PM
I travel alot with one or two cases of ukulele as carryon. Never had a problem...but i always if i can hold the uke away from the eyes of the gate personal so my body blocks it or if its a lanikai type case with straps strap it on and keep it behind my back so they really dont notice it. Cruise in as if you have no care in the world and NEVER ask if it is okay to carry on. The least they know the better.

thats exactly what i did when i came back with my tenor last summer. they just smile.

Lanark
04-17-2008, 03:43 PM
Haha, you're right, not very many people know about ukes here.:confused:



Maybe more than you think. Don't forget Tiny Tim lived in like Eden Prairie or something for the last few years of his life. Willie of Willie's American Guitars is also a collector. Guy I work with played one on a few numbers with the Hot Head Swing Band a number of years back.
They're around...

Big Bob
04-20-2008, 02:10 PM
I just left honolulu with my new tenor kanilea and i had no problems.As long as you don't exceed the number of carry on luggage permited by the airline you are travelling with.

davoomac
04-20-2008, 05:09 PM
You should be totally fine. Last time I traveled i had 5 carry-ons. FIVE of em. I had a backpack, another bag, a small rolling carry on, my tenor ukulele in a hard case, and my guitar in a hardshell case. As long as you are carrying them all yourself they don't seem to mind. I gave my guitar to the stewardess and then they put it inside of the closet in front of the plane. The rest went in the overhead bins.

I only do this because the check in luggage went from 75lbs to 50lbs.. It's smart though but getting around to the next terminal is TIRING!

The only time i got talked to was in japan when the lady scolded me for carrying on too many stuff.

Vroom
04-20-2008, 06:46 PM
Airlines really don't care about most of that stuff. most stewardess/stewards mostly care about everything going smoothly... they would avoid a hassle.

Like, when I am in seat 12 and they are only boarding "33-41" or whatever, if you go up there and give them your ticket they aren't going to do anything. Also, I brought a carryon once that was double the size of the maximum carryon size, because i didn't want to risk mexico losing my luggage, and they kind of looked at me but i ignored them.

I wouldn't worry about it one bit.

GX9901
04-20-2008, 06:49 PM
Maybe more than you think. Don't forget Tiny Tim lived in like Eden Prairie or something for the last few years of his life. Willie of Willie's American Guitars is also a collector. Guy I work with played one on a few numbers with the Hot Head Swing Band a number of years back.
They're around...

I did not know Tiny Tim lived in Eden Prairie at one time. I lived there from the mid '80's to mid '90's but never heard of him (then again, there are a lot of people I've never heard of :p).

Yeah, I'm sure uke players are around here. I try to join the few guys who show up at StrumMN (http://strummn.blogspot.com/)whenever I can. But comparatively speaking, I don't think too many people in MN are into ukes yet. I was at Groth Music over the weekend and I think the same few Flukes & Lanikai ukes I saw from about a year ago are still hanging there.

It would be cooling to hold a Ukulele Underground gathering at Minneapolis/St. Paul someday.

wickedwahine11
01-04-2009, 06:48 AM
This is why I absolutely love this forum. I was planning on taking my Kanile'a tenor to San Francisco for the Nothern Cal ukulele festival in April, and to Hawaii in May to visit the Kanile'a factory. I was stressing about the size of it as a carryon (since Delta, Southwest and Hawaiian all have different rules) but I feel much more secure knowing you all have had such an easy time with it. I do plan on strapping it onto my back and walking on the plane like it is no big deal, and if forced, I will let them check the case and I'll just keep the Kanile'a with me.

Thanks again for all the replies to Chronos -- hey Chronos, did you manage okay with it?

MisoHappy
01-04-2009, 06:52 AM
I took mine as a carry on and the ticket dude asked me what size I play :D

UkuCouS
03-14-2009, 02:03 PM
No problem for carrying a uke in plane, in fact I refuse to let it go in the sut.

I got a fun story about it :

I took mine in a trip in Morrocco this summer, and the Morrocan customs officer asked me to open my case, what I did obviously.
His face illuminated, he said "oh a small guitar !!! " with a big smile on his face, he picked it and tried to play for a few seconds, while I was saying to him "you know it's not a small guitar ... it's a ukulele ... " He said to me Bon Voyage and let me go shook my hand with the big smile, what a pleasant moment ! Ukulele brings up joy, even to an airport customs officer, witch is not a fun work :D

Ahnko Honu
03-14-2009, 02:36 PM
I used to fly interisland all the time with my Standard Pineapple in a padded gig bag, no schweat. ;)

thejumpingflea
03-14-2009, 02:38 PM
I recently flew from Hawaii to Washington with my Kala Tenor in a gig bag.

catspec
08-25-2011, 06:26 AM
I am going to Minnesota...of all places, since that is mentioned in this thread! Taking my soprano in a hot pink case I am making....soft case - hoping it looks like a crazy-old-lady handbag! ;) BUT, the alternative is to order one online and have it delivered to my destination.....what to do? Anyone have a recent experience either way on Delta?

strumsilly
08-25-2011, 06:50 AM
I take my soprano in a gig bag packed in the middle of my carry on. that way I can bring another smaller bag and don't have to check anything. it's very safe packed in the middle of all those clothes. Flew on Delta recently and brought my concert in a hard case in addition to a carry on and they let it go, no problem. I'd be careful of putting it in the overhead in a soft bag, I've seen attendants really cram stuff in there to get them to close. ouch!

wickedwahine11
08-25-2011, 07:14 AM
I am going to Minnesota...of all places, since that is mentioned in this thread! Taking my soprano in a hot pink case I am making....soft case - hoping it looks like a crazy-old-lady handbag! ;) BUT, the alternative is to order one online and have it delivered to my destination.....what to do? Anyone have a recent experience either way on Delta?

I have flown Delta with a tenor sized uke hard case and haven't had a problem so a soprano should be just fine.

gyosh
08-25-2011, 11:05 AM
I bought two ukes in Kauai and flew inter-island twice before coming home with a Kamaka tenor in a hard case and a Kamoa soprano in a gig bag. I had the pilot offer to store the Kamaka in his closet for the flight back to CA. That's my only experience flying with an instrument(s).

PtJudeRI
09-26-2011, 07:49 AM
Seems things have gotten a bit better with carry ons over the past few years.... Just watch out for United! haha...


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5YGc4zOqozo

garywj
09-26-2011, 07:58 AM
Recently flew Southwest with a Soprano in a gig bag. I purposely bought an inexpensive uke for that purpose. Had no issues excecpt watching that someone didn't move my uke. On one leg of the flight the flight attendent moved my uke in the overhead. I asked him what he was going to do with it and he politely told me he'd move it nearby and be sure it was safe. No problems for me on that trip.

ricdoug
09-26-2011, 08:09 AM
This has been my flying combo:

http://www.hunt101.com/data/500/Ukulele530.jpg

The ukulele is an Ovation Applause UAE20 acoustic/electric soprano in a padded soft case. I always place it in the overhead storage.

The amp is a Vox DA5 that I'll replace with a Vox Mini3 for future travel. The Mini3 allows effects on the microphone channel, as well as the instrument channel. The DA5 allows no efects on the mic channel. Ric