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cMejilla
05-21-2008, 07:00 PM
Hey everybody

I'm wondering if anyone has encountered any problems with bringing an 'ukulele onto an airplane while traveling. More specifically, traveling internationally. I've looked up some information about carrying on instruments in general and its usually not allowed or I'd have to ... check in the uke in a case :eek:. I'm studying abroad for a year and I wouldn't want my uke destroyed without mercy in the depths of a plane and I especially wouldn't survive an entire year without playing the uke.:(

Any insights would be greatly appreciated

GX9901
05-21-2008, 07:11 PM
I just made a trip to Taiwan with my Kanile'a super soprano (http://gx9901ukes.blogspot.com/2008/05/traveling-ukulele.html) two weeks ago. I have a wheeled small suitcase/bag and the uke as a carry on. I took a Northwest flight to LA and a EVA Air flight to Taiwan. The only time anyone from either airline commented on the uke either direction was at the EVA Air checkin counter at LA heading toward Taiwan, where the lady said the gate agent might ask me to check the instrument. But she added that it wasn't likely and no one ended up even looked at my uke case. Just don't bring any attention to it and you should be fine. Worst case scenario ask them to put it in the coat closet for you.

During the trip I noticed several people walking around at the airport with a guitar case on their backs. I don't think they'd let anyone check it at the gate.

MGM
05-21-2008, 07:16 PM
All I know is be ready for problems to begin,, I fly frequently on American Northwest delta and Hawaiian and have never ever had a problem carrying on a uke. That said...with all the airlines now operating at losses with fuel rising and the cuts to one free bag per customer checkin .( tryting to lower fight aircraft weight for fuel efficency)...caryon is starting to be a high premium and more are trying to carry on what once was there second bag check in. Compound this now with (i won't say who but when one does it the rest generally follow) an airline starting to CHARGE for even the first check in bag $15.00 that everyone will be trying to bring a large carry ons causing the restrictions which were previously lax to become enforced and well Not to many concert and tenor cases pass the length requirement for carry ons.. It was good while it lasted oh well

cMejilla
05-21-2008, 07:36 PM
Not to many concert and tenor cases pass the length requirement for carry ons.. It was good while it lasted oh well

Thanks for the speedy input MGM. Always a big help.


I just made a trip to Taiwan with my Kanile'a super soprano (http://gx9901ukes.blogspot.com/2008/05/traveling-ukulele.html) two weeks ago. I have a wheeled small suitcase/bag and the uke as a carry on. I took a Northwest flight to LA and a EVA Air flight to Taiwan. The only time anyone from either airline commented on the uke either direction was at the EVA Air checkin counter at LA heading toward Taiwan, where the lady said the gate agent might ask me to check the instrument. But she added that it wasn't likely and no one ended up even looked at my uke case. Just don't bring any attention to it and you should be fine. Worst case scenario ask them to put it in the coat closet for you.


I guess I'll have to mull it over since a super soprano doesn't exactly measure up to a tenor size. Btw, I saw your YT video for your kanile'a super soprano and it was an great review to put into perspective the quality of kanile'a. I think it may be time for me to invest in a quality soprano so I have an easier carry on.

Ukulele_Junkie
05-21-2008, 07:50 PM
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v417/EasT_StaR/ukesonaplane.jpg

best bet would be yeah a soprano, or a fluke or flea. Victoria Vox brought hers on a plane in a little string backpack thing and she actually was requested to play it on there.

http://youtube.com/watch?v=CQNe9wMZGys
Good Luck!

Jack33@
05-21-2008, 10:13 PM
There have been just such discussions over on the Ukulele Cosmos board, there have been many people posting in but no one with any refusals to be allowed on a plane.

Most airlines have a policy towards musicians, check with who you are flying with to find out thier attitude. On the whole as long as your case fits into the overhead locker(and as long as there is only one of them in adition to your hand luggage) you should be fine.

The British Musicians' union have organised an official policy on this for all BAA airports, it might be good to see if the American union has a similar deal with local handlers.

My advice from previous experience is always to check first, especially if you value your instrument. 9 times out of 10 you should be fine.

Jack33

dnewton2
05-22-2008, 01:26 AM
I fly pretty often for my job and always bring a uke with me. I have been on little 9 passenger crop dusters up to big 777 with my Tenor and case. I have yet to have any issues. With the size of some of the carry ons people are bringing on planes now adays it would be wise to try and get on the plane earlier rather than later, so there is a place to put it.

Plainsong
05-22-2008, 01:50 AM
But MGM is right. Times are getting worse for in-flight luxuries, not better. If you didn't have a problem 6 months to a year ago, doesn't make it valid now. And I'd agree, I bet it is 9 out of 10 times you'll be trouble-free. But that 10th time is usually on long haul flights.

I'd say try to keep it with you as long as you can, and don't attract attention to it. Shoulder it away from their eyes with your body. If they refuse it at the gate, only then check it in. My theory, and I don't know if it's right, is that if it's the last in, then it goes on top of cargo and not on the bottom. Then it's first out as well.

uber_goober
05-22-2008, 02:14 AM
Hey Folks,

My theory on this is to never fly with an instrument that I'm not prepared to loose. My travel companion has always been my Lanikai tenor. I've previously never had any problems flying with it...but we'll see. If I had to gate check it unexpectedly and it was damaged, I'd be rather annoyed. (Especially since I couldn't play it on vacation). But annoyed sure beats crying in my beer if the same thing happened to my KoAloha.

That being said, I might have to look into a soprano for flying; just to be absolutely safe (I hate confrontation). And it's an excuse to buy another ukulele. :) But who needs an excuse?

-John

UKISOCIETY
05-22-2008, 03:01 AM
Also, the smaller the instrument, the better. I was able to stuff my Ohana sopranino (Thanks, MGM!) in my carry-on with my shoes, socks and undies. So it was part of my one carry-on and not an extra item.

SailQwest
05-22-2008, 04:16 AM
Check your airline for their baggage restrictions. Besides checked luggage, most will allow you one carry-on (45" length+width+height) and one personal item (36" l+w+h).

When we travel Rich has his tenor as his carry-on, plus our backpack as his personal item.

I have my concert as my personal item, and our cat (in her carrier) is my carry-on.

Here's a link to TSA's policy: http://www.tsa.gov/travelers/airtravel/assistant/editorial_1235.shtm

Kim

davoomac
05-22-2008, 04:32 AM
I've traveled with an ukulele in hand EVERYTIME I've flown for the past several years. I even fly internationally from stateside to guam. My route goes through either hawaii or japan. No big hangups from anyone. Plus, I traveled many times with my cheap hilo not in a case or anything.

Last time I flew I had 1 big carry on, 1 backpack, 1 small sports bag, 1 guitar in a gator hardcase, and 1 ukulele in its case. I made it through with only 1 lady in japan telling me off. That made for a grand total of 5 carry-ons! It seems like those carry-on rules are more like guidelines. BTW, they had no problem sticking my guitar hardcase in the cabin closet. My tenor uke that I bought from MGM fit either in the overhead compartment or on the floor near my feet.

It seems like as long as you are the one carrying all the stuff and you don't need help, they seem to leave you alone. Of course, they still have to go through all the normal measures like xrays and opening em up if something looks suspicious.

I wouldn't be too worried about having your ukulele in hand on the plane.

deach
05-22-2008, 04:41 AM
... I was able to stuff my Ohana sopranino (Thanks, MGM!) in my carry-on with my shoes, socks and undies...

That's a great tactic. No matter how nice a ukulele was, I wouldn't go near it if it were surrounded by a man's undies.

hoosierhiver
05-22-2008, 07:11 AM
I've never had a problem bringing a uke on a plane and i've flown to asia often.

Ebonyks
05-22-2008, 09:10 AM
I've flown from the states to the caribbean multiple times with my concert sized uke, and have never once had a problem. It has always fit in overhead bins, even on smaller planes.

You should have no problems if you have a smaller ukulele.

cMejilla
05-22-2008, 10:50 AM
I think I feel more comforted now knowing that so many of you have already traveled with it.

tad
05-22-2008, 11:34 AM
I flew with my soprano (in its case) on a budget airline (Airtran) with no problem a few months ago...

Big Bob
05-22-2008, 02:38 PM
Well I went from
Honolulu ,Vancouver,Toronto and finally to Moncton last month with my tenor and my backpack as carry on .Nobody said anything except at the security check one worker asked if this was a good ukulele and asked permission to see it ,So I said sure go ahead.His expression was pricelless when he saw my Kanilea.I Assume he was a uke player.Oh and that was 3 different airlines.

nikolo727
05-22-2008, 04:17 PM
i wouldnt be allowed to have an ukulele on a plane because i would openly tell the stewardiss that if she doesnt get me a drink NOW, i will take off the strings, put em around her neck and drag her up and down the isle.


:)


im just saying this because THE DAMN STEWARD DUDE DIDNT GET MY FREAKIN DRINK THE LAST TIME I WAS ON A PLANE!

I WAS IN FIRST CLASS TOO!


if you would use your ukulele as a weapon you are my friend.

haha.

Phil Major
05-22-2008, 05:12 PM
i wouldnt be allowed to have an ukulele on a plane because i would openly tell the stewardiss that if she doesnt get me a drink NOW, i will take off the strings, put em around her neck and drag her up and down the isle.


:)


im just saying this because THE DAMN STEWARD DUDE DIDNT GET MY FREAKIN DRINK THE LAST TIME I WAS ON A PLANE!

I WAS IN FIRST CLASS TOO!


if you would use your ukulele as a weapon you are my friend.

haha.

Remind me not to cross nikolo if I see a Uke anywhere in the vacinity ;)

Poi Dog
05-23-2008, 03:26 AM
This has been previously discussed about... Click HERE. (http://www.ukuleleunderground.com/forum/showthread.php?t=1872)

nikolo727
05-23-2008, 09:26 AM
Remind me not to cross nikolo if I see a Uke anywhere in the vacinity ;)

you better believe it!

lol.

bsting
05-24-2008, 06:08 PM
you'll definitely be fine, i've traveled across the country a lot with my guitar and about half the time i have to gate check it, but it's much bigger than a uke...i've traveled internationally with a travel size guitar, and it's been fine in the overhead. no one ever asks questions or even opens the case. i think it helps to have a smaller carry-on bag, rather than a big roller-type bag. in a couple weeks i plan to travel with both my uke and my guitar...now that's going to be interesting!

but yeah, definitely take the instrument, if you don't and you love to play that's something i think you might regret! :)