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salukulady
02-18-2010, 03:26 AM
Many of us will be flying with our ukes to UWC this June. I was curious what the rules are about taking my uke on board. This is what is posted on the United Airlines website.

Carry-on baggage policies for all United travel
For worldwide travel on any United flight, you may carry on one bag and one personal item such as a purse, briefcase or laptop computer. Your carry-on bag...
must fit under your seat or in the overhead bin;
must not be more than 9 x 14 x 22 inches (23 x 35 x 56 cm) or 45 linear inches* (114 linear cm); and
may be required to travel as checked baggage if the bag cannot be safely stowed on your flight.
The following personal items are not counted toward your one bag and one personal item limit:

Assistive devices (canes, crutches, etc.)
Child safety seats for ticketed children
Infant restraint devices (infant seat with or without stroller, front pouch or back carrier)
Outer garments (coats, hats, etc.)
Reading material (a reasonable amount)
Umbrellas (one per passenger)
Food and beverages to be consumed onboard
Please note that all items must be stowed in the overhead bin or under the seat in front of you. They may not be stowed in the seat back pocket.

And I found this from TSA.

Transporting Musical Instruments
You may bring musical instruments as carry-on or as checked baggage. To help passengers who are traveling with instruments, we partnered with musical organizations around the country to understand the challenges of transporting musical instruments, and we recommend the following.

Check with your airline prior to your flight to ensure your instrument meets the size requirements for their aircraft.

Pack brass instruments in your checked baggage.

Bring your stringed instruments, within carrier size limitations, as carry-on items.

If you have an instrument in your checked baggage, include short written instructions, where a security officer will notice them, for handling and repacking your instrument. Make sure these instructions are very clear and understandable to someone with no musical background.

Carrying Instruments Through Screening Checkpoints

You may carry one (1) musical instrument in addition to 1 carry-on and 1 personal item through the screening checkpoint. This is a TSA Screening Policy. Airlines may or may not allow the additional carry-on item on their aircraft. Please check with your airline before you arrive at the airport.

Security officers must x-ray or physically screen your instrument before it can be transported on an aircraft.

Security officers will handle musical instruments very carefully and will allow you to be as involved as possible in any physical screening.

If security officers cannot clear the instrument through the security checkpoint as a carry-on item, you should transport the instrument and checked baggage instead.

So it looks like from both authorities, I am allowed to have my uke as a carry on provided it does not exceed 9 X 14 X 22 inches (united airlines parameters). My question is, the hard case I just bought for my soprano is 23 inches long. Now I know many of you travel with concerts and tenors in cases, how are you doing this? I refuse to check my uke, am I going to be able to take it on board?

hoosierhiver
02-18-2010, 03:42 AM
I've never had any problem with taking a uke (or two) on a plane. They fit well in the overhead compartments and the staff typically seems sympathetic and sometimes curious about them.

Howie1947
02-18-2010, 03:43 AM
I have flown Hawaiian Airlines many times from San Diego to Honolulu. I remember the wife and I had 3 ukes on a trip coming back. We have never encountered any probs. Not sure how stateside airlines compare. Hawaiian has always been very gracious. We usually put our ukes in the overhead bins onboard. I would never check my ukulele !

dnewton2
02-18-2010, 04:20 AM
I have flown with United 20+ time over the past year or so, and I almost always carry on a messenger bag or backpack and a ukulele (Soprano, Concert or Tenor) in its case. I have yet to have anyone give me problems about its size or carrying it on. I see people carry on guitars pretty often. If the flight attendent is cool they might let you keep it in the closet thing they put jackets and such in.

I wouldn't worry that much about the size, a lot of people seem to carry on suitcases that are bigger then any of my uke cases.

happyslappysoong
02-18-2010, 04:30 AM
Note the cabin humidity in a regular plane is less than 25% which is prob not good for your uke unless you got a humidifier. Then again its only a flight. Im not sure how long til the wood starts cracking...

paraclete
02-18-2010, 04:54 AM
I don't think that will be a huge problem... particularly if you have a humidifier in a hard case. Leave the uke in the case tightly closed up. I haven't flown for a long time, but I'm guessing that other passengers don't want to listen to uke playing during the flight. And then it's only for a few hours.

bbycrts
02-18-2010, 04:58 AM
On our trip to Vegas a couple weeks ago I carried my soprano in its hard case aboard. It actually fit satisfactorily under the seat in front of me. We were flying Alaska, and their website specifically exempts "small musical instruments" from their carry on limits - which I THINK means I could've had a carry on, a personal item, AND my uke.

Ronnie Aloha
02-18-2010, 05:50 AM
Brought a tenor back from Hawaii in a Koolau case and didn't have problems on Hawaiian. However, it is at the discretion of the airlines whether you can bring it on or not. The worse that could happen would be that they gate check it. At least you wont' have to pay for the checked luggage that way. Of course you still have the chance of damage. Also, the cargo holds for planes may not be fully heated so you could have very cold temps in the hold. So I feel that there is a catch 22 situation: you want a hard case in the event you have to check it but you want a gig bag to make it compact so that you can carry it on. What to do?

I picked up a Kala Soprano thinline for this reason alone.

cMejilla
02-18-2010, 06:01 AM
I've flown domestically and internationally with a tenor uke with a hard case. Even though it was just above the dimension restriction, the airlines didn't notice or give me any problems (US Airways, Delta, Southwest). They'll really only address the size issue if the case is considerably larger than their maximum allowed size.

russ_buss
02-18-2010, 06:01 AM
i recently flew to portland with a backpack and a baritone case (33" long). the case fit fine in the overhead compartment on the flight up which was a medium size plane, and on the flight back which was a much smaller plane. your soprano should be fine.

Lori
02-18-2010, 06:28 AM
We flew from Maui to Los Angeles on Alaska/ American Airlines with a super concert uke. There was an employee from the airlines walking around the gate area, checking out the hand luggage. Didn't even give he uke a second look. Our flight was not crowded, so there was plenty of room in the overhead compartment. I don't think it would have fit under the seats though. So, try and board early, and get a spot in the overhead compartment. And if you have a black case, maybe put a fragile sign on the handle so people don't shove their luggage into yours.

–Lori

csibona
02-18-2010, 07:05 AM
In January 2010 we flew with a tenor packed in a hard case on United Airlines without issue.

wickedwahine11
02-18-2010, 07:08 AM
I have successfully flown with a tenor hard case on a number of airlines without a problem. One thing I have noted is if you have a strap on your case you look less conspicuous since it is less visible to the gate agent that way.

molokinirum
02-18-2010, 07:15 AM
Bought a uke in Hawaii in September 2009. Flew home 1st on Hawaiian Air..no problem. Next I flew on United and some problem at the gates. The agent tried to tell me that it was a guitar and too big. After some discussion she let me on the plane. Funny though, there was never any problem with the passengers dragging two over stuffed carry on suit cases on board each that weighed at least 35lbs.
That famous letter does no good, it is strickly up to the airlines and more specificaly the gate agents. Good luck and spread some of that Aloha Spirit, it really works!!!

DogBisquit
02-18-2010, 07:56 AM
That famous letter does no good, it is strickly up to the airlines and more specificaly the gate agents. Good luck and spread some of that Aloha Spirit, it really works!!!
I've flown numerous times (in the western US) and never been questioned. Never anything larger than a concert, but it was in a hard case. And as far as Hawaiian Airlines is concerned, I think they would go out of business if they didn't allow it! I'm never the only one on board carrying an ukulele. I have even been involved in some impromptu jam sessions in the boarding area.

Famous letter = Thomas R. Blank of the TSA to Mr. Thomas Lee, president of the American Federation of Musicians. Again, never needed it, but I still carry it in the case.

salukulady
02-18-2010, 08:00 AM
I've flown numerous times (in the western US) and never been questioned. Never anything larger than a concert, but it was in a hard case. And as far as Hawaiian Airlines is concerned, I think they would go out of business if they didn't allow it! I'm never the only one on board carrying an ukulele. I have even been involved in some impromptu jam sessions in the boarding area.

Famous letter = Thomas R. Blank of the TSA to Mr. Thomas Lee, president of the American Federation of Musicians. Again, never needed it, but I still carry it in the case.And where might a person find a copy of this letter?

DogBisquit
02-18-2010, 08:12 AM
And where might a person find a copy of this letter?
Wouldn't work as an attachment. Lemme find a link for you.

EDIT: Here it is... (http://www.yeodoug.com/resources/faq/faq_images/TSALetter.pdf)

pingraham
02-18-2010, 08:17 AM
There is more than the letter. There is the law. The Aviation and Transportation Security Act PL 107-71 Promulgated after 9-11. Section 135 on page 41 (my pdf page 41) says that the airlines must make every effort to allow you to take your instrument with you in the cabin. That said, I have seen tons of violins on planes and they are about the same size as most ukulele cases. United has not been shown to be particularly instrument friendly in the past (see youtube "united breaks guitars") but often that is the zealous act of someone trying to limit the amount of carry-on baggage in the cabin. Watch out for the folks with the huge bags who think it will fit if they get it going 35 miles an hour into the overhead bin....if your ukulele is there it could be tragic. I know folks who will not get on a plane if they are forced to check their instrument. Best is to be polite, get a pdf copy of the law, and let them read it. The specific text is below.

SEC. 135. SENSE OF THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES.
It is the sense of the House of Representatives that—
(1) the Under Secretary of Transportation for Security
should develop security procedures to allow passengers transporting
a musical instrument on a flight of an air carrier
to transport the instrument in the passenger cabin of the
aircraft, notwithstanding any size or other restriction on carryon
baggage but subject to such other reasonable security procedures,
terms, and conditions as may be established by the
Under Secretary or the air carrier, including imposing additional
charges by the air carrier; and
(2) an air carrier that transports mail under a contract
with the United States Postal Service should transport any
animal that the Postal Service allows to be shipped through
the mail.

Skitzic
02-19-2010, 03:08 AM
I would not get on a plane if I was made to check an instrument. An ex of mine had his very expensive Gibson guitar SMASHED when he checked it. There was no saving the thing.

I've never tried to fly with an instrument, but if they told me to check it I would walk away and get a flight with a different company.

molokinirum
02-19-2010, 03:20 AM
SEC. 135. SENSE OF THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES.
It is the sense of the House of Representatives that—
(1) the Under Secretary of Transportation for Security
should develop security procedures to allow passengers transporting
a musical instrument on a flight of an air carrier
to transport the instrument in the passenger cabin of the
aircraft, notwithstanding any size or other restriction on carryon
baggage but subject to such other reasonable security procedures,
terms, and conditions as may be established by the
Under Secretary or the air carrier, including imposing additional
charges by the air carrier; ........

Folks, this is what I am saying, it is up to the airlines and the airlines can set their own conditions. If United says the limit is 45 linear inches, then if your uke in the case is over that limit, they can make you check the uke in!!

MoreUke
02-19-2010, 10:06 AM
If there is a problem just start singing the song found here:

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

It apparently made quite an impact on the airline industry. Take note of the number of views.

Have a Great Day,
Jim

SailQwest
02-19-2010, 10:49 AM
Just a thought based on a conversation with a guest who is a flight attendant...

Get a note from your doctor saying that your ukulele is a "medical necessity" for your condition. Our guest said that if you use that magic phrase they will pretty much let it go. :D

molokinirum
02-19-2010, 11:43 AM
....Get a note from your doctor saying that your ukulele is a "medical necessity" for your condition. Our guest said that if you use that magic phrase they will pretty much let it go. :D

Isn't UAS a disease???? :agree:

koa
02-20-2010, 06:36 AM
TSA regs allow you pass security with one carry on, one personal item and an instrument. Problems arise in other countries regarding getting through security (the UK at Heathrow use to be or still has severe limits). One time out of five security at CCS (Venezuela) prevented me from passing through with the uke. Understand the restrictions of every airport and airline you will be using an be prepared just in case.

salukulady
02-28-2010, 09:14 PM
Thank you all for your input. I have the letter in my case and information in my brain. I will not check in my uke and it is going on the plane with me.

sukie
03-01-2010, 03:41 AM
Sally, I didn't have a problem at all when I went out to CA. I had a carry-on suitcase and put my other stuff -- including ukulele -- in a large carry-on bag.

Chris Tarman
03-01-2010, 07:00 AM
This is all good and useful info, since I am going to Chicago in May and was wanting to bring a uke in addition to my other items. I didn't know it didn't count towards your one carry-on! Sweet!

phanzo
03-01-2010, 07:19 AM
never had a problem with any of my ukes. I've flown united with my concert a couple times. if they were to say something, just say that delta has no problem with it and you would be more than happy to go fly with them.

all of this build up will probably amount to nothing. no one has ever said anything to me about it except, "oh is that a violin?" When you say "no, it's a ukulele" they are so enchanted that they wont bother to tell you to do anything with it except stick it in the overhead. no probs there. we should all be fine for our UWC ventures :D

phanzo
03-01-2010, 07:23 AM
If there is a problem just start singing the song found here:

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

It apparently made quite an impact on the airline industry. Take note of the number of views.

:agree: after this video (as well as some others) there is no way United will make you check your instrument, especially one as small as the uke.

worst case scenario, just tell them that it is the love of your life and you love it more than your first born :D they may think you're crazy, but you'll have a safe flyin' uke!!

danged
11-29-2010, 10:01 AM
I have hand carried numerous 'ukulele from Hawaii, as long as you are flying on Hawaiian Airlines there is never an issue with hand carrying ukulele's, I've hand carried up to 3 tenor's in hard cases. I will NEVER fly on United due to their lack of Aloha Spirit, and bad experiences with extra bags and additional fees.

mkatz
11-29-2010, 10:56 AM
I have flown numerous times in the last year with different ukuleles and never had any problems. I prefer to carry a gig bag which I place under the seat in front of me until everybody is seated and then I put it in the overhead bin on top of everything else.

Mitch

austin1
11-29-2010, 12:47 PM
I carry my tenor with me and put it under my seat, I haven't had a problem yet!

experimentjon
11-29-2010, 02:30 PM
I flew with my Concert in a relatively larger ProTech Case. It was bigger than the allowed by the Hong Kong airport, and the security told me I had to check it unless the airline gave me permission explicit permission. I was not about to check it, but Japan Airlines was great about it, and they let security know to let me through. It fit just fine in their overhead bins.

Just made sure I detuned it and had a humidifier in the case.

pithaya9
11-29-2010, 03:16 PM
I flew with my Concert in a relatively larger ProTech Case. It was bigger than the allowed by the Hong Kong airport, and the security told me I had to check it unless the airline gave me permission explicit permission. I was not about to check it, but Japan Airlines was great about it, and they let security know to let me through. It fit just fine in their overhead bins.

Just made sure I detuned it and had a humidifier in the case.

Hi Jon,
What humidifier do you use that will go through airport security?

Thanks
Jack

lancemanion
11-29-2010, 03:34 PM
As an Airline Pilot I couldn't resist adding my 2 cents. I bring my Kala travel uke with me EVERYWHERE. I often jumpseat on airlines other then my own so I have lots of experience in this area. Here is my advice:
1 - NEVER, EVER check or gate check your ukulele - NEVER
2- TSA - The rules state that you can carry on one instrument in addition to your carry on and personal item. They don't always know the rules, they are poorly trained and are performing an unskilled task for a meanial amount. Therefor you can surmise the level of employee they recruite. Arguing does no good, simply ask to speak to their supervisor and tell them to refer to TSA.gov website section pertaining to: Transporting Musical Instruments, then politly explain the rules.
3 - Kindness and niceness go along way, however the gate agent (the person who collects the tickets) is your biggest obstacle. If the gate agent attempts to make you gate check your uke tell her, "I carry it on all the time, if it doesn't fit I would be happy to gate check it", however don't forget rule one.
4 - Now that you have gotten past the gate agent there are two more obsticles. First, if you are carrying something bigger then a soprano there may be a lack of overhead bin space. The only way you have to combat this is to be ready to que up as soon as the gate agent calls ready to board. Boarding is usually done by seating sections, one first etc. (unless your flying on southwest) be the first in your section to board to ensure overhead bin space.
5 - If there is no overhead bin space this brings us the next obstacle, the flight attendant. If there is no more overhead space there are several options. There are always coat closets, even on the smallest planes. On some of the smaller planes the coat closet is reserved for the crew. Again kindness goes along way. The crew wants to get the plane out on time and not get blamed for a delay. Ask nicely if you can place it in the coat closet, if they tell you the closet is full or there is no closet ask if you can place it in the crew's closet. If they still refuse, tell them on the last flight the Captain placed the uke in his closet and ask if they will ask this captain if he will do the same. As a Captain I always accomodate instruments, even full size guitars. If you still don't have any luck, look for open seats on the plane. An instruments may be place in an empty seat as long as: 1)The case has some kind of handle to secure the instrument to the seat with the seat belt 2) The instrument is not placed in an exit row 3) The instrument is not so tall as to block any signs (no smoking, fasten seat belt etc.)
If after using all this information you still are being asked to check or gate check you uke, ask your self this question, is the health of my uke more important then the time it would take to wait for the next flight. If you value your uke ask to be put on the next flight, you will probably have a different gate agent and a different flight attendant. I hope this helps all you traveling musicians. If you have any more question feel free to send me a private message.

experimentjon
11-29-2010, 04:36 PM
Hi Jon,
What humidifier do you use that will go through airport security?

Thanks
Jack

That black herco plastic one with clay inside it. Did not have any problems with the humidifier, and didn't even think about it violating the liquids rule.

SuzukHammer
12-02-2010, 07:49 AM
Great input Lance.

I agree that you must pull out all the charm you can muster. You must have a love that shows for your instrument. That and hopefully a gold frequent flyer card. (which I use all the time to get my way).

I had 3 continuous flights recently. THe last one they almost made me gate check my uke; but I told them the uke fits nicely on the floor in front of my seat. I have never placed my uke on the floor ; however, I had to convince it this was normal.

All my bag checked ukes (12 on those 3 flights) survived ; however, I'd recommend double air sealing to protect against cold dry air on tarmacs if you change flights in northern climates. (bubble wrap with all the seams taped should work fine). Perhaps take a picture and make it clear to the TSA that insulation is the purpose of the bubble wrap.

pulelehua
12-02-2010, 09:06 AM
I've flown with my concert between Heathrow and San Francisco. Never any problems. The only time I've ever run into an instrument problem was when I brought my Martin D-18 Dreadnought on as a carry on. The only "problem" I encountered was some rolled eyes from the stewardess, who then found a secret compartment for it. Maybe I've been lucky. I just play nice and stupid, smile a lot, and NEVER hint at any other solution other than bringing the instrument onboard.

coolkayaker1
09-20-2011, 09:30 AM
That's what makes UU so potent...to have an eloquent answer from an experienced pilot and musician for the specific question of instruments on the plane, as provided by lancemanion. Priceless and appreciated.

ksiegel
09-20-2011, 02:24 PM
Just flew to and from California with my Sceptre - out in a polyfoam case, back in a hard case. No problems, as either case will fit in the overhead compartment on both the Boeing and Airbus aircraft, although neither would fit easily in one of the Bombadier commuters. (The Fluke hard case fits just fine, by the way.)

On the last leg from Chicago to Albany, the flight attendant asked if she could put the case in the front closet, as the flight was full. On the Denver to Chicago leg, the attendant saw me put the case in first, followed by a computer bag that really did fit under the seat in front of me - I said I was using it to protect the instrument, and she said she was going to suggest that, and congratulated me on having a hard shell case to protect my ukulele. (Unfortunately, we didn't have a chance to chat about the instrument, or ukes in general.)

Of course, I've just remembered that she was one of the group of airline employees who walked past me while I was playing in the gate area, so she may have seen/heard it.

The only issue I ran into while flying was in Albany, when the TSA agent was going to open the case and remove the Sceptre, and I asked if I could take it out myself. Before I finished talked, the supervisor was there, advising EVERYONE that when a passenger has an expensive instrument, they have the right to remove it and handle it themselves. She then told me that if there was ever a question, to ask for a supervisor IMMEDIATELY, and tell him/her that I was advised of this rule.

So I'm passing it along to y'all. or All y'all, since I believe that is the plural. (g)

....-Kurt

salukulady
09-20-2011, 02:37 PM
Hey on one of my flights home from UWC I got to board early because I was carrying a musical instrument and they carefully put it in a closet for me up front. Never have had a problem at all.

dougn200
09-20-2011, 06:04 PM
I Have flown many times with my tenor banjo in a hardshell case with no issues. TSA usally wants me to play something jokingly never had to even open case

philpot
05-30-2012, 03:46 AM
Just wondering if anyone else has had any problems with carrying a uke on United in the past. I'll be flying out to Denver on UA in a week or so and I'd really like to take my ukulele. This is a group trip though, so if I run into trouble at the gate it would cause a huge problem for everyone and I don't want to be a bother. I would tend to think the ukulele falls under the "personal item" allowance, but who knows? Anyways, any tips?

Zenin
05-30-2012, 08:39 AM
SEC. 135. SENSE OF THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES.
It is the sense of the House of Representatives that—
(1) the Under Secretary of Transportation for Security
should develop security procedures to allow passengers transporting
a musical instrument on a flight of an air carrier
to transport the instrument in the passenger cabin of the
aircraft, notwithstanding any size or other restriction on carryon
baggage but subject to such other reasonable security procedures,
terms, and conditions as may be established by the
Under Secretary or the air carrier, including imposing additional
charges by the air carrier;........
Folks, this is what I am saying, it is up to the airlines and the airlines can set their own conditions. If United says the limit is 45 linear inches, then if your uke in the case is over that limit, they can make you check the uke in!!

IANAL, but just above the verbiage you highlighted reads:

notwithstanding any size or other restriction on carryon

Notwithstanding is an extremely powerful legal term. The wording deliberately and explicitly invalidates size restrictions. The later wording allows for special procedures, fees, etc, however that broad language is subordinate to the specific clauses outlined above it. It is not a blank check for an airline to reapply everything the law just explicitly exempted.

Personally I believe it's even more specific then that, as the law specifies, "procedures, terms, and conditions" very explicitly under the realm of "reasonable security". The airline would need to argue that items by mere virtue of being larger then 45" linear inches somehow pose a security risk not foreseen by the legislature when it crafted the law explicitly lifting size restrictions.

The law is really a lengthy way of saying, "Dude really? Stop being an jerk and let the man take his guitar on the plane."

ksiegel
05-30-2012, 09:20 AM
Just wondering if anyone else has had any problems with carrying a uke on United in the past. I'll be flying out to Denver on UA in a week or so and I'd really like to take my ukulele. This is a group trip though, so if I run into trouble at the gate it would cause a huge problem for everyone and I don't want to be a bother. I would tend to think the ukulele falls under the "personal item" allowance, but who knows? Anyways, any tips?

I just went to Madison, WI on United. While the initial Albany-Chicago leg was on a 737, everything else was on a CanadAir 700 commuter aircraft. I took my Fluke Tenor in the hard case. it fits perfectly even in the crappy overhead luggage bins, and had a moderate duffel bag with it Not a problem, and no one blinked an eye - TSA or airline staff.

The Chicago Gate agents (and one of the other passengers on the O'Hare-Madison leg) even complimented me on my playing while I was waiting for the flight.

So go ahead, and don't worry. The instrument would easily have fit under the seats in front of me, if it didn't fit in the overhead, BTW.


-Kurt

Sporin
05-30-2012, 09:35 AM
I carried my Kala Concert in a gig bag onto my Southwest flight, back and forth NH to FL without incident. One of my little co-travelers had a violen in a hardcase (about the same size) as well, neither one of us had any issues.

MutinousDoug
05-30-2012, 09:54 AM
Just wondering if anyone else has had any problems with carrying a uke on United in the past. I'll be flying out to Denver on UA in a week or so and I'd really like to take my ukulele. This is a group trip though, so if I run into trouble at the gate it would cause a huge problem for everyone and I don't want to be a bother. I would tend to think the ukulele falls under the "personal item" allowance, but who knows? Anyways, any tips?

I live outside Denver and fly United once or twice a year with my concert uke. Last Feb I flew to Orlando and back in packed 737s with the uke and an overnight bag under the seat w/o problems. Nobody gave it a second glance.

philpot
06-16-2012, 04:00 PM
United was great with the uke, got a couple compliments and not a single issue with carrying it on along with my duffel. I was glad to have it with me on the trip. I won't get preachy on the forums, but it was a sort of "mission" trip, so if anyone wants details from the work we did or about the church we assisted feel free to PM me. It was a truly life changing experience, and I was happy to have my lovely ukulele along :)

sukie
06-16-2012, 07:17 PM
I went to Denver a couple of weeks ago flying Delta. I was a total worrywart about bringing my concert case. No way will I check my ukulele. I had no problems. My pickup showed on the x-ray and I saw the TSA look hard at it, but neither Minneapolis nor Denver security had a problem.

ricdoug
06-16-2012, 07:57 PM
Aloha e Sukie.

You've come a long way with the ukulele and public perforrming over the past few years. I'm very proud of you. You plowed through the obstacles.

Back to the questions of the O.P., it depends on the airlines. There was a recent thread on Hawai'ian Airlines:

http://www.ukuleleunderground.com/forum/showthread.php?65294-New-Uke-Policy-on-Hawaiian-Airlines&highlight=airlines

The only problem I've ever had with my Ovation Applause acoustic/electric UAE20 is the case was mistaken for a gun case while changing flights on a stop over through Thailand.


All conventional tenor ukuleles I know of exceed at least one of the 9"x14"x22" restrictions. My soprano Ovation Applause UAE20 only fits all of those dimensions in the case shown in my travel photo.

Even the Federal Regulations:

state: “Bring your stringed instruments, within carrier size limitations, as carry-on items.”

If you are carrying an ukulele in a case that exceeds the 9"x14"x22" restrictions, it’s purely a gamble that you will be allowed to bring it as carry on.

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

G Hill
06-16-2012, 11:09 PM
Ryanair in Europe also are very strict with their carry-on rules.
I carry a soprano uke in a Kala Travel Uke gig bag inside my Rucksack (backpack)
that fits in with the dimensions stated in their rules of carriage.
If I were to carry the uke in a hardcase or semi-hard case I know for sure
that Ryanair would make me check it as hold baggage at a price of 40 GBP!!!
So, be very careful if you use Lo Cost carriers in Europe (especially Ryanair)
Cheers
Gary

philpot
06-17-2012, 02:04 AM
With United, you're allowed one checked bag, one carry-on, and one "personal item." Their regulations state a "small" musical instrument may be carried on as a personal item, and from what I gathered from the gate workers that I asked, if it'll fit under the seat or in the overhead, don't worry about it (one seemed irritated that I would even bother asking about something that would obviously fit!).

koa
06-18-2012, 10:59 AM
One leg of my return trip home was on Lufthansa out of Cairo. The check-in counter service rep was a stickler to dimensions and mass of your carry-on and personal item. Anything longer than the soprano would have required checking. Also, he was strictly enforcing their 8kg max weight for carry-on. The flight was only ~2/3 full in economy class. There would have been plenty of extra room for any size cased uke.

SailingUke
06-18-2012, 11:11 AM
We just came back from Hawaii, we each had two ukuleles.
We each took one on the trip and wound up buying two while there.
Delta gave us no issue. We had a checked bag and no other carry on, but the ukes.

Choirguy
12-24-2016, 05:38 PM
Reviving a thread...anyone travel on Spirit? I'm taking Spirit in three weeks to Tampa and have to figure out if I can bring my Outdoor Ukulele Tenor for the convention or if I have to ask a Tampa resident to borrow a ukulele for a presentation. I'm already limited to a single carry-on bag, but at the same time, it is $70 to travel round trip from MN to Tampa and back again.

derbyhat
12-25-2016, 03:26 AM
I've flown American a couple times this year with my laptop bag and soprano ukulele in a Crossrock 800. Both fit neatly under the seat in front of me. No issues at all. In fact, there's always been at least 1 TSA agent or airline employee who wants to strike up a conversation about the instrument.

joneo
12-25-2016, 07:20 AM
I just recently flew on Delta which allows you one carry-on and one smaller personal item. I use a giant backpack for my luggage which I can stuff in the overhead, and then my soprano Outdoor Ukulele goes under the seat, in it's own small gig bag. When off the plane, the gig bag gets clipped to the backpack with D rings.
✈🎸✈🎸✈
The thing with Spirit though is that you are only allowed one carry-on item. Anything after that they charge $$$ for. So for flying with them I have to somehow cram that soprano inside my backpack with the rest of my stuff, which usually means taking less stuff!

Tootler
12-25-2016, 08:46 AM
I've flown between the UK and Amsterdam on KLM and found them pretty relaxed. The let you take a small suitcase plus a personal bag as carry on. I had no problems adding my Flea to that. I put the case in the overhead locker and the uke and personal bag under the seat in front. No problems.

Booli
12-25-2016, 01:19 PM
I wonder what the pros do, like Jake, James Hill, Sarah Maisel, Victoria Vox, Li'l Rev, et al?

Do they get special privileges because they are pros? Maybe they fly First Class and there are different rule when you are paying $1000 for a ticket?

What do Tuba players do when they travel?

IF there is hassle involved, it almost seems better to ship a cheap uke to your destination rather than being forced to check it in the baggage hold and lose all control of it ala the video 'United Smashes Guitars'....

ksiegel
12-25-2016, 01:36 PM
I usually fly United, and carry on my Donaldson concert in an Ameritage hard shell case, along with a small duffel bag and a CPAP machine in a case. The CPAP, being a medical device, is free baggage. The Ameritage case has fit in the overhead on every apparatus I've been on, as long as there are not rolling bags in there first. My previous flight, there was no room in the overhead, and the seats had too much electronic crap built in, so nothing fit under the seat in front of me, but the flight attendant Okayed my putting the uke sideways between the seats.

Mxyzptik
12-25-2016, 04:53 PM
I've flown with my tenor in a hard case many times on several different airlines and have never once had a problem but I believe that's up to me not them and I've posted this before a couple of years ago. Do yourself a favour and use the following formula;
1) dress sharply ( sharply dressed people get what they want ! The best jobs, the best table in a restaurant , the best room at the hotel. Just ask ZZ Top , Every girls crazy 'bout a sharp dressed man !
2) do not have another carry on , I don't care if you think the rules say you can . I carry my Uke and a small man purse with just the essentials. If you do this you make it easy for them and thusly you get want you want , if you're lugging along an overstuffed carry-on along with your Uke , you will run into a grumpy Gus eventually and have an issue. Make it easy for them to give you what you want !
3) best manners ( you should always use these anyway but politeness goes along way.
4) be confident ( asking if you CAN take it might spur someone to measure it, instead use your best posture , stand straight and tall and walk with confidence, smile, hold the door for someone but above all ACT like you've been there before.

As I said I've flown with mine maybe 20 times. United, Air Canada, Alaska Airlines, Westjet, Delta and never had a problem.

Twibbly
12-25-2016, 04:57 PM
Reviving a thread...anyone travel on Spirit? I'm taking Spirit in three weeks to Tampa and have to figure out if I can bring my Outdoor Ukulele Tenor for the convention or if I have to ask a Tampa resident to borrow a ukulele for a presentation. I'm already limited to a single carry-on bag, but at the same time, it is $70 to travel round trip from MN to Tampa and back again.

My guess is that they would charge you for another bag...UNLESS you can fit it *mostly* into your carryon, and then it might be iffy. I carried my OU Tenor onto Southwest in my backpack. I wrapped a large shopping bag around it to protect the strings, then had it in my backpack with the neck sticking out of the top. I had a rolling suitcase with me as well (they allow a carryon and a "personal item" but are known to be rather liberal about it). I'd be prepared to have to pay extra, but hope not to.

strumsilly
12-26-2016, 03:20 AM
Seems like the consensus is that it is a non issue.I fly all the time with a tenor in a polyfoam case and a carry-on, never had a problem. They are probably glad I don't play a long scale bass.

Rllink
12-26-2016, 03:32 AM
Throw it in a suitcase with the rest of your stuff, and check it.

bunnyf
12-26-2016, 04:33 AM
I've flown Spirit to Fl and would not be comfortable trying to go with a tenor. They were fairly nit picky with the size of any carry on items. I've seen them measure or have you put your item in that sample cage and if it doesn't fit, it needs to be checked and that's a problem if you don't have a right proper baggage-safe hard case. This is why I would take my soprano, in a light gig bag, because even the soprano in a hard case was longer than they allow. I think nine times out of ten you'll get by but I'd hate to be at the airport with a bigger uke and get turned away. Spirit is the kind of airline that charges extra now for everything they can think of (checked bags, carry on items, seat assignment, food, etc) and some of their personnel can be less than accommodating, so I would not rely on being able to bring an item that was oversized onto the plane. I no longer fly Spirit. Their seats were way too close together and non-reclining, and that it is too uncomfortable for a long flight. As they cram you in, putting something under your seat becomes difficult and in the crowded overheads you need a very protective gig bag (and this will put you over the length limit) to prevent someone damaging your uke when they shove in their big heavy carry on.

The Pashmeister
02-26-2018, 01:37 AM
I'll be going to China in May this year and I was hoping to bring back a tenor uke. The price of AnueNue ukes if purchased in China is about half the price in the UK. Has anybody any experience of travelling from China with an ukulele that can give me some advice? I'll be travelling using Hainan airlines.

Thank you

Wombat3
02-26-2018, 04:41 AM
Here's a useful trick if you're worried about all the overhead-bin space filling up before you board: A collapsible cane, Maybe $15 at any drug store. Won't take up much space in your bag. Hobble up to the counter with it, tell them you can't walk very fast. You'll get to board ahead of everybody else. Because greedy airlines now gouge you for big checked-luggage fees, planes are now full of passengers carrying ridiculously large and heavy bags into the cabin. You need to do what you have to do, because the airlines consider you cattle. You're welcome.

salukulady
02-26-2018, 09:50 AM
Here's a useful trick if you're worried about all the overhead-bin space filling up before you board: A collapsible cane, Maybe $15 at any drug store. Won't take up much space in your bag. Hobble up to the counter with it, tell them you can't walk very fast. You'll get to board ahead of everybody else. Because greedy airlines now gouge you for big checked-luggage fees, planes are now full of passengers carrying ridiculously large and heavy bags into the cabin. You need to do what you have to do, because the airlines consider you cattle. You're welcome.

No. Not cool at all.

RafterGirl
02-26-2018, 01:05 PM
No. Not cool at all.

+1 on that. Please don't fake a disability in order to get special treatment.

The Pashmeister
02-28-2018, 01:43 AM
I don't think I'll go down that route. Anyway, I've been online and there's a "uke Boutique" in the city that we'll be staying in. They work online and offline so I'm thinking they might ship for me. If anyone's interested, the website is www.4uke.com. It looks very posh.

jackj
02-28-2018, 03:25 AM
You need to do what you have to do, because the airlines consider you cattle.

At the risk of piling on, think about the impact of this sort of fraud on individuals who have disabilities. Some airlines are now making it very difficult to travel with actual service dogs since so many travelers are fraudulently claiming their pets are service animals. Similarly, your cane trick will make it harder for those who need an accommodation for themselves, as opposed to their ukulele. Eventually, as we age, all of us will probably need more time and support. Even if you don't care about anyone else, think about how it might eventually affect you.

joshsimpson79
02-28-2018, 04:09 AM
I have successfully flown with a tenor hard case on a number of airlines without a problem. One thing I have noted is if you have a strap on your case you look less conspicuous since it is less visible to the gate agent that way.

This is a very good point. I usually wear it like a backpack and it seems to get even less attention... well, that's my Taylor GS Mini (3/4 size guitar), so a uke should be even easier, in theory.

Kakalina
02-28-2018, 09:30 AM
Not to be a drag, but any airline at any time can stop you from taking anything on board.
I ended up buying a Makala waterman soprano, which will go in my carry on. They are very serious about that 22 inch long rule. The Makala has a nice sound, btw.

We have brought ukes home from Hawaii, packing them in hard cases, then in the big suitcase (which was checked). This time if we get one on Oahu, we are having it shipped. It is pretty nervewracking.

Rllink
02-28-2018, 11:10 AM
Not to be a drag, but any airline at any time can stop you from taking anything on board.
I ended up buying a Makala waterman soprano, which will go in my carry on. They are very serious about that 22 inch long rule. The Makala has a nice sound, btw.

We have brought ukes home from Hawaii, packing them in hard cases, then in the big suitcase (which was checked). This time if we get one on Oahu, we are having it shipped. It is pretty nervewracking.I always stick mine in a hardcase and pack it in my checked luggage. That is why I play a ukulele and not a guitar. I think that it is safer there than dragging it through the airport and shoving it in the overhead or under the seat. But I know that a lot of people can't bring themselves to do that.

Graham Greenbag
02-28-2018, 01:13 PM
Because greedy airlines now gouge you for big checked-luggage fees, planes are now full of passengers carrying ridiculously large and heavy bags into the cabin. You need to do what you have to do, because the airlines consider you cattle. You're welcome.

Airlines cirtainly have a few questions to answer about the way they treat their customers, but customers all want to pay a minimum price so how do you provide a service on that? These days I don’t use public transport much and will not fly anywhere except on business, passengers are treated like cattle - but some behave like they are too - and I think that that’s no way to live.

@Wombat3 I wouldn’t fell happy about using your suggested solution, but I rather think instead that no passenger should ever feel the need to resort to such things.

Booli
02-28-2018, 01:31 PM
I'm currently thinking that if I were to fly, with a soprano, it would be in a hard case to be a carry-on.

Anything bigger and I would budget in advance for it to go FedEx 2-day both to my destination, and also back home.

Sure, it's also likely going on an airplane, but the TSA and gate-check agents are overworked and frustrated, and there are ALWAYS other problems boarding the airplane. I dont have to add to the misery.

I just want a safe flight and a comfortable seat without babies screaming in my ear or a 5-yr old kicking the back of my seat the whole flight. Anything beyond that is a blessing. If FedEx delivers the uke damaged, then I can resolve that without dealing with the airline carrier. Just plan ahead so it gets to your hotel on time when you are there....

flailingfingers
03-01-2018, 12:43 PM
Never had a problem taking my tenor on in a hard case. Usually I get smiles and a passenger always asks if I'll serenade them in flight. My thought is that, when the engines fall off and we're going down, Happy Trails would be the choice.

Booli
03-01-2018, 12:57 PM
...My thought is that, when the engines fall off and were going down, Happy Trails would be the choice.

FWIW, I approve of this activity (and would love to join in at that moment), since I think that this would be quite appropriate. Roy Rogers tunes!!!!

plunker
03-02-2018, 02:30 AM
Last time I flew, the attendants thought the hard case was a violin. I wonder If a uke would have gotten the same respect?

greenie44
03-02-2018, 04:02 AM
Never had a problem taking my tenor on in a hard case. Usually I get smiles and a passenger always asks if I'll serenade them in flight. My thought is that, when the engines fall off and were going down, Happy Trails would be the choice.

Actually, flight attendants will not allow this. I was once stopped from even showing my uke to another passenger - I was told playing anything on board was forbidden. And I was in business class at the time.

BigJackBrass
03-02-2018, 04:12 AM
Actually, flight attendants will not allow this.

106996

Well, that's a disappointment!

flailingfingers
03-02-2018, 04:21 AM
Actually, flight attendants will not allow this. I was once stopped from even showing my uke to another passenger - I was told playing anything on board was forbidden. And I was in business class at the time.
Ok. Business Class. That explains it. The rabble in coach are always up for entertainment. If the attendants object to "Happy Trails" the perhaps "Over the Rainbow"?

plunker
03-02-2018, 09:08 AM
FWIW, I approve of this activity (and would love to join in at that moment), since I think that this would be quite appropriate. Roy Rogers tunes!!!!
What are they going to do? Kick you off, ban you from the airlines. Seems lie the punitiv measures are somewhat limited.

Booli
03-02-2018, 09:39 AM
What are they going to do? Kick you off, ban you from the airlines. Seems lie the punitiv measures are somewhat limited.

Yeah, like the airline staff threatening you with arrest if we all survive the crash.

That would motivate me to sing and play LOUDER!!! ha ha.

70sSanO
03-02-2018, 11:46 AM
Actually, flight attendants will not allow this. I was once stopped from even showing my uke to another passenger - I was told playing anything on board was forbidden. And I was in business class at the time.

May depend on the airline and destination. When I was leaving the airplane, one of the attendants said that if he had known I had a ukulele on board he would have had me play. Then again, this was Hawaiian Airlines.

I have taken my tenor multiple times to other destinations on other airlines without boarding issues. However, I wouldn't my favorite in case it had to be checked and then never seen again.

John