View Full Version : Airport Hassles?

02-23-2011, 09:23 AM
For the first time, I will be traveling with a ukulele in a hard case.
What does the TSA think about such things?
Anybody run into problems?
Hopefully they treat it like a lady's purse as second carry on item.
I certainly don't want to check it.


02-23-2011, 09:27 AM
For the first time, I will be traveling with a ukulele in a hard case.
What does the TSA think about such things?
Anybody run into problems?
Hopefully they treat it like a lady's purse as second carry on item.
I certainly don't want to check it.

I think it may depend on the airline, but regardless it shouldn't be a problem as long as you don't exceed the carry-on limit. Based on my own experience, Hawaiian Airlines was fine with it - I just travelled with a large backpack, a small purse, and a concert uke as my carry-ons and nobody questioned it.

02-23-2011, 09:39 AM
Never had a problem taking a uke on the plane. Even my bari fits in the overhead.


02-23-2011, 10:04 AM
My ukulele always goes in the overhead.
It is the only thing I carry just to make sure I am not over my limit.
When the flight attendent is really nice I have had them offer their closet for my uke.

Ken Middleton
02-23-2011, 11:00 AM
I fly a lot, in Europe and the US. I often carry lots of ukes. Even with one there can be problems. It often comes down to what sort of mood the checkin person is in. My uke has travelled in the hold many times. No harm has ever come to it.

02-23-2011, 11:16 AM
I carry a soprano with me and it is usually the only thing I carry on with me other than my Ipad. I have never had a problem. I only travel domestically so Ken is a better source for international travel.

02-23-2011, 05:32 PM
I really pushed the limit last time I travelled. I had two ukes with me - a concert and tenor. Decided that my best bet was to look like I owned the place - and by golly it worked. I was fine to chat up the staff about "what was in the bag" and generally just decided that if I was okay, they'd be okay. Enjoy, and if pressed, be prepared to offer up a little riff :)

02-23-2011, 08:26 PM
A search turned up these similar threads, they can probably answer your question:






In addition, if you do a google search for TSA and instruments, you get their policy page, which is also helpful:


The general consensus seems to be that it is not an issue. I personally have carried my uke with me on planes both domestically and internationally, and have never had a problem.

02-24-2011, 05:53 AM
Thanks all for the replies.
I hope my flea doesn't get too embarrassed by the full body scan, or heaven forbid, an invasive pat down.
Things seem to change daily when it comes to airport security.
I hope I don't come back with a horror story.


02-24-2011, 06:25 AM
The reason I started playing uke to begin with was so that I would have an instrument that I could carry on the plane. I was going to a songwriter's conference, but the last time I traveled with a guitar they made me check it. It came through the ordeal fine, but I was stressed the whole flight. So, when I was going to be flying again I thought, "Hmm, what's a small instrument that I could bring along to play and that's small enough to carry on?" and immediately the idea of a ukulele occured to me. I wanted something inexpensive but quality and after a little research I settled on a flea. Now I take it with me almost everywhere I go, let alone plane trips.

02-24-2011, 03:42 PM
I've taken my guitar carry on with no problems. I can't fathom anybody having a problem with a uke! (unless you have more than 2 carry-ons i spose) ukes are smaller than most suitcases

02-24-2011, 05:03 PM
I fly from school in Florida to home in New York and back (with connecting flights between) with my ukulele every school break, and they've never had a problem with it. I even bring a big backpack as my carry-on, and then have my uke as a 'personal item', and no one's ever called me out on it =)
I'm just nervous about it getting crushed in the over-stuffed overhead compartment - instead, I just stow it under the seat in front of me so I can keep an eye on it the whole time. -tad paranoid-