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View Full Version : Any Issues traveling with ukes from mainland to the islands on Hawaiian Airlines?



Howie1947
10-15-2010, 04:24 AM
After reading Aldrine's post regarding Hawaiian Airlines "cracking down" on the carry-on items,I'm a little concerned. As a frequent traveler from San Diego to and from Honolulu, I have never had any probs with my ukes. But now, I'm getting a little worried. Any first hand accounts and or traveling experiences on Hawaiian, good or bad. Respond here.....thanks, Howie

wickedwahine11
10-15-2010, 04:34 AM
I probably should go read Aldrine's post before replying but I have never had a problem bringing a tenor uke inboard a Hawaiian Air flight. The last time I did so was in July. I will be flying them on Tuesday so I will report back after with my experience. I did, however, have a hard time taking my 21" rolling suitcase. They said I had to check it in. So now I just bring the uke and a backpack or small shoulder carryon - I don't even complicate matters with my purse.

Howie1947
10-15-2010, 04:39 AM
I'm anxious to hear your report. We are due to go over on the 10th of Nov. Would hate to get to the boarding area and have them tell me I can't take my uke aboard. I'm packing a 6-string Kamaka ! Howie ( have a great trip) ! Don't know whay I posted this topic here instead of uke talk, my apologies.

molokinirum
10-15-2010, 05:47 AM
I have traveled on Hawaiian Air carrying a Kamaka Tenor in a hard case with no problems at all! It was United Air going to the Mainland that gave me a hard time. I too am waiting for wickedwahine's report as I am heading to Hawaii next year!!

salukulady
10-15-2010, 05:52 AM
Maybe someone could post a link to what Aldrine said so we can all read it.....?

salukulady
10-15-2010, 06:03 AM
http://www.ukuleleunderground.com/forum/showthread.php?26771-Airline-rules-and-the-ukulele

On this thread on page two post number 17 is a PDF of a letter from the FAA explaining exactly what you are allowed regarding carrying musical instruments on board. I carry a copy of this letter when in my uke case when traveling. I have not had any problem in the continental US.

spruce
10-15-2010, 06:04 AM
I'd be really surprised if you had any problems....

wickedwahine11
10-15-2010, 10:11 AM
I'm anxious to hear your report. We are due to go over on the 10th of Nov. Would hate to get to the boarding area and have them tell me I can't take my uke aboard. I'm packing a 6-string Kamaka ! Howie ( have a great trip) ! Don't know whay I posted this topic here instead of uke talk, my apologies.

No worries, I just moved it over to the Uke Talk section of the forum. For those who wanted to see what Aldrine said, check out this thread. http://www.ukuleleunderground.com/forum/showthread.php?36946-Aldrine-quot-s-live-lesson-yesterday-quot-stopped-quot-at-about-42mn-into-it

I saw where you listed your measurements in the original thread to Aldrine. My case is about the same - 31" tall, 11" across and about 5" high. It definitely is over the 45" in linear measurements. I figure I'm going to do a number of things: 1) have my spouse hold my uke far away from the baggage counter while I go check in our luggage. That way, I get past the first stop easily. If you are traveling with someone else you may wish to do the same thing. 2) When I sit at the gate for my flight, I probably will sit away from the gate agent so that they don't see the uke either. I do have a tendency to play it while I'm waiting for my flight, and the less attention I draw to me the better. 3) I have a strap attached to my case (I'm wondering if that is how they grabbed Aldrine?) and so I always put it on my back on the shoulder away from the gate agent as I hand them my ticket and head to the jetway. That usually gets me past them as well. 4) Finally, the last check is the flight attendants for the flight. At this point, it is going to be obvious I have a uke, so I'm arming myself with a couple of things...the TSA/FAA regulations that salukalady pointed to, and a printout of their Hawaiian luggage policy. I figure unless they have a measuring tape handy, I can fudge that my dimensions are actually 30x10x5. It is a white lie, but one that will keep me securely attached to my Kamaka.

I've usually engaged in all that, and never once had a problem...on Hawaiian, Southwest, Delta or United. I do know the Hawaiian gate agents can be kind of stingy about carryons but usually that is from people avoiding paying baggage fees. I'm really surprised they hassled Aldrine over his uke.

In the terror inducing event they actually make me check it, by skipping bringing it to the baggage counter agent's attention, at least you won't have to pay for it. If they valet it at the plane, I think that they will do as they do with strollers and so forth...it should be there when you get off at the jetway. In the awful event they actually take it to cargo (in which case I may actually have a panic attack onboard, just ask Ronnie Aloha if I'm obsessed with my Kamaka!) I am going to take it in my Ameritage case. My Kamaka case is a tad bit smaller but it has absolutely no protection. The Ameritage is a tank. At least then it will hopefully not end like the guy from the United flight. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5YGc4zOqozo

salukulady
10-15-2010, 10:16 AM
The letter clearly states that dimensions are not an issue and you are allowed a carry-on and an instrument, the instrument not being counted as a carry on or personal item.

molokinirum
10-15-2010, 10:19 AM
The letter clearly states that dimensions are not an issue and you are allowed a carry-on and an instrument, the instrument not being counted as a carry on or personal item.

This is correct but I believe that the airlines have the final say and it probably states that on the letter. It is the airlines that set the size limit at 45 linear inches. They want MORE money from you, it has nothing to do with the size or what you are carrying on board!!!!!!

salukulady
10-15-2010, 10:34 AM
This is correct but I believe that the airlines have the final say and it probably states that on the letter.It doesn't state that in the letter. It just states that a musical instrument may be carried on board and will not be counted as a carry on or a personal item and if you have any problems at the gate to ask for a supervisor. I carry the letter with me and have yet had to use it. I recently traveled on four different planes. Three friends, two from out of state and one from Canada just traveled to my house each with a tenor hard case. No one had any problems. I would never check in my uke.....never.

70sSanO
10-15-2010, 10:35 AM
I have carried my tenor on with me on a number of flights, although not to Hawaii, without any problems.

I used to just carry it on and not make a big deal.

The last few times I have taken the ukulele with me up to the counter and specifically asked if there is any problem carrying the ukulele on board. Of course I'll state that I have flown various airlines without a problem, but I just wanted to make sure. The kicker is that if they say no, you have to be willing to hand it off to someone to take back home. And we have been able to have our son drive us to the airport. If I get asked when boarding, I'm hoping I can just give the agent's name who said it could be carried on.

I don't think under any circumstances would I check an instrument on a plane as baggage. If it were valuable there is no guarantee it would ever arrive and if it did... in how many pieces. However, this subject has gotten me thinking about a concert size for travelling.

John

salukulady
10-15-2010, 10:50 AM
I have carried my tenor on with me on a number of flights, although not to Hawaii, without any problems.

I used to just carry it on and not make a big deal.

The last few times I have taken the ukulele with me up to the counter and specifically asked if there is any problem carrying the ukulele on board. Of course I'll state that I have flown various airlines without a problem, but I just wanted to make sure. The kicker is that if they say no, you have to be willing to hand it off to someone to take back home. And we have been able to have our son drive us to the airport. If I get asked when boarding, I'm hoping I can just give the agent's name who said it could be carried on.

I don't think under any circumstances would I check an instrument on a plane as baggage. If it were valuable there is no guarantee it would ever arrive and if it did... in how many pieces. However, this subject has gotten me thinking about a concert size for travelling.

JohnMy soprano case is even an inch too big.

Howie1947
10-15-2010, 01:21 PM
So how do I print out this letter regarding carry-on musical instruments, in the event I get questioned?? Thanks, Howie

Harold O.
10-15-2010, 01:47 PM
I understand that any given time you will encounter any given jerk while trying to just get by. Most folks will let things go and there won't be any problems. This thread is pointing out the airline's role. What we need to keep in mind is how many jerks in general show up and expect the world to accommodate them. Think of how many times you've seen someone pushing the limit and then wondering aloud why they are being given a hard time by "the man".

In so many words, make sure you are not playing the role of jerk and most folks will be happy to help you out.

uluapoundr
10-15-2010, 01:54 PM
My parents just visited me from Kauai, I live on the Big Island. Hawaiian Airlines weighed their carry-on, and made sure it did not exceed the size limit. They then tagged the carry-on, as being approved for carry on. They did not have an ukulele, so not sure how that would of gone, however, it is evident that the rules on baggage is getting much, much stricter, even on interisland flights. If I can't carry on my uke, it aint going on the trip...simple as that. One would think that Hawaii, if any state, would allow the carry on of an ukulele. "No ukulele???? No aloha!" Hey, I'm gonna make that shirt!

MGM
10-15-2010, 02:00 PM
I log in about 70 flights a year and NEVER had a problem with a tenor uke case. Firtst of all forget the letter and FAA If the airline wants to stop you they will letter or not secondly...do not relay on it not being a carryon Take one bag and your uke case preferably strapped on your shoulder. Lastly DONT ASK. just walk on like you know everything will pass...I have flown united delta virgin hawaiian continental american southwest and always got on no problem. By way way united is very strict on the roll on size so dont have a large roll on and flag yourself

salukulady
10-15-2010, 03:28 PM
I log in about 70 flights a year and NEVER had a problem with a tenor uke case. Firtst of all forget the letter and FAA If the airline wants to stop you they will letter or not secondly...do not relay on it not being a carryon Take one bag and your uke case preferably strapped on your shoulder. Lastly DONT ASK. just walk on like you know everything will pass...I have flown united delta virgin hawaiian continental american southwest and always got on no problem. By way way united is very strict on the roll on size so dont have a large roll on and flag yourselfGood advice from a man who'd know. My friend Colin was stopped once and the girl at the last gate said, you'll need to check that and handed him a ticket to drop it off right before boarding. He said sure, put the ticket in his pocket and walked right on the plane with uke in hand, no hassles, no questions. Just lie low, smile pretty and take the right documentation.

salukulady
10-15-2010, 03:31 PM
So how do I print out this letter regarding carry-on musical instruments, in the event I get questioned?? Thanks, HowieGo here.....it's a PDF file, go to the said post click on link and hit print.
http://www.ukuleleunderground.com/fo...nd-the-ukulele

On this thread on page two post number 17 is a PDF of a letter from the FAA explaining exactly what you are allowed regarding carrying musical instruments on board. I carry a copy of this letter when in my uke case when traveling. I have not had any problem in the continental US.

wickedwahine11
10-15-2010, 05:54 PM
So how do I print out this letter regarding carry-on musical instruments, in the event I get questioned?? Thanks, Howie

Here is the link to the TSA letter that was sent to the musician's union.
http://www.indie-music.com/downloads/AFM_carryon.pdf

wickedwahine11
10-22-2010, 05:36 PM
Howie, just wanted to give you an update...I have taken two flights now this week with no problems at all. A couple of things, I made sure never to walk up to the baggage counter with it, and I act as though there is no problem. Gate agents are like predators: they can smell fear. If you act nervous, you are more likely to get stopped. But so far so good. I also am carrying copies of Hawaiian's policies, including the one that says you may carry an instrument on board as long as it fits in the overhead compartment.http://help.hawaiianair.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/1714/kw/Ukulele

Pueo
10-22-2010, 09:49 PM
I just completed my fourth trip to Hawaii, and inter-island as well, traveling with a Tenor ukulele in case. I have also flown domestically with no issues. American, Hawaiian, Jet Blue, and US Air. Confidence and efficiency are key. I travel on the plane with a backpack and my ukulele, I have never been asked to check it.

Ingrate
10-23-2010, 05:53 AM
Just got back from Kaua'i via Hawai'ian Airlines. No prob w/the two hard-cased sopranos. I breathed a sigh of relief, as one contained my new KoAloha. Regardless of letters or law, the airline personnel will rule the day. "Security" issues give them carte blanche to make you check anything you bring other than certain health or safety related items. My inexpensive (but delightful) Kamoa pineapple will likely go on my next trip to Hawai'i, unless this situation changes. I'd check that in if I absolutely had to. I'd hate to see the KoAloha in the baggage hold.

bbycrts
10-24-2010, 09:00 PM
I have also carried my uke many times on planes (American, Alaska, and United) without any trouble. Be advised that the letter mentioned above is now somewhat outdated - the guidelines stated apply only to passing through TSA screening checkpoints. The airline MAY deny the additional baggage and MAY refuse based on their own policies. From the TSA's website:

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.


Here is the link to the full page on the TSA's site regarding musical instruments:

Linky (http://www.tsa.gov/travelers/airtravel/assistant/editorial_1235.shtm)

Like I said, I've had no trouble - but the letter no longer offers a blanket guarantee...