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View Full Version : Check my uke? What case do you recommend



billten
08-21-2014, 04:46 PM
I travel a lot of international flights and recently i have been having a lot of problems with my uke as carry-on, specifically with Asian airlines like EVA, PAL and Korean Air. They are saying that they have new safety rules that preclude the carry on of any stringed instruments as the strings may be used as a weapon while in flight (uhmmm WTH!!!) Anyhow, the last two times i have managed to talk my way on with a ton of hassles and by showing that the strings are all nylon and not steel, apparently this is important, but i'm almost sure that my luck will run out some time.

Anyways, long story short, i am looking for a bomb proof hard case recommendation for my Kinnard tenor, i'll start with trying it as a carry on but want to know that if they force me to check my uke it will get there in one piece. Don't care how heavy, ugly or whatever the case is, just that it can handle some idiot dropping a heavy suitcase onto it and my Kinnard will make it home safe and sound regardless.

Thanks... Bill

UkerDanno
08-21-2014, 04:54 PM
travel with a makala dolphin...they're not that bad.

billten
08-21-2014, 05:02 PM
If you spent as much time as i do sitting in a hotel room on a business trip, i promise you, you'd carry your favorite uke too. I have a Fluke SB that i can use if i am forced to but since i got the Kinnard, that's all i want to play...

rockyl
08-21-2014, 05:16 PM
If you spent as much time as i do sitting in a hotel room on a business trip, i promise you, you'd carry your favorite uke too. I have a Fluke SB that i can use if i am forced to but since i got the Kinnard, that's all i want to play...

Back in the day, I was a sky marshal and flew all over Europe and Asia. In the years since then baggage handling has not changed or improved. The only case that might survive are the aluminum ones and don't shout "musical instrument-steal me". The case might survive, not the ukulele. I'm with UkerDanno on this. Buy a nice, but not expensive uke to travel with. Buy from HMS (or one of the other dealers that do good setup). A checked uke is asking for hours of anxiety.

ScooterD35
08-21-2014, 05:21 PM
Before you head to the airport, remove the strings and put them in your suitcase. If they give you a hard time, just open the case and show them your stringless instrument.


Scooter

greenie44
08-21-2014, 05:23 PM
When I can't carry a uke (like when I can get away on a trip with a smaller bag I don't have to check), I throw my Risa stick tenor in my suitcase. I have a Line6 Pocket Pod and some headphones, and it scratches the itch nicely. Could probably get the setup for not much more than a premium case.

wickedwahine11
08-21-2014, 05:34 PM
I actually traveled without a uke for the first time in years when I went to Korea and Japan this summer, because I was terrified of having to check my uke. I only have fiberglass cases, which I would never check. If I had to get a case that could be checked, I would probably get an Ameritage. But I would still be a nervous wreck.

Doc_J
08-21-2014, 05:51 PM
I actually traveled without a uke for the first time in years when I went to Korea and Japan this summer, because I was terrified of having to check my uke. I only have fiberglass cases, which I would never check. If I had to get a case that could be checked, I would probably get an Ameritage. But I would still be a nervous wreck.

Yep, I agree. Ameritage probably provides the best protection. But they're not cheap, and they are HEAVY.

Steveperrywriter
08-21-2014, 07:40 PM
Hoffee cases. Spendy, but bulletproof ...

http://www.carbonfibercases.com/ukelele.html

billten
08-21-2014, 09:04 PM
Wow, they are nice, especially the RFID tagging and location monitor. LoJack my uke...


Hoffee cases. Spendy, but bulletproof ...

http://www.carbonfibercases.com/ukelele.html

ukulelekarcsi
08-21-2014, 09:14 PM
When I can't carry a uke, I throw my Risa stick tenor in my suitcase.

Just remember not to take that model as carry-on Luggage. The sight of it on scanners freaks out security people: a cricket bat with embedded spikes!

billten
08-21-2014, 09:21 PM
The other option i am considering is to give up on the checking a case idea and try the fusion F1 bag. Kind of back-pack uke camouflage, pretty hard to tell its not just a backpack unless you are very much in the know.

Dan Uke
08-21-2014, 09:21 PM
glad to see that you are bringing your best. Another vote for Ameritage

thenewb
08-22-2014, 01:19 AM
Hey Bill, I would recommend a flight case. The ones that withstand baggage hell.

Alternatively get a shipping box and a hard case and pack it similar to the one here:
http://frets.com/FretsPages/Musician/GenMaint/Packing/packing1.html

marcocolo
08-22-2014, 02:04 AM
Totally cool but these just scream to baggage handlers "steal me!!"


Hoffee cases. Spendy, but bulletproof ...

http://www.carbonfibercases.com/ukelele.html

billten
08-22-2014, 02:10 AM
The guys on this forum never fail to give my day a great start. LOL ubu...


Anyway, you'd only be able to garotte a kid or two before being overpowered—I think we've all been sorely tempted.

Skinny Money McGee
08-22-2014, 02:13 AM
Too bad Martin doesn't have the OXK in Tenor size. I wouldn't hesitate to check that with a hardshell case

billten
08-22-2014, 02:23 AM
http://www.casextreme.com/prod_details.php?pid=40

This looks interesting, over-bag your existing case with a flight case type of thing. I'll give these guys a call...

Thanks newb


Hey Bill, I would recommend a flight case. The ones that withstand baggage hell.

Wicked
08-22-2014, 02:49 AM
I would venture to say that there are no actual "safety rules" about the possible use of instrument strings as weapons. Some employee got a crazy idea one day and it spread.

I would contact the airline for clarification.

Fact is, a rolled up SkyMall catalog would be a far more effective weapon than a string.

Still Water Weapons
08-22-2014, 01:39 PM
What about a Pelican case, or other brand of the same style? They ship electronics, photo equipment, etc. Many sizes to chose from.

billten
08-22-2014, 02:07 PM
I actually did, i focused on PAL as i travel a lot with them and they told me that it really is a new "guidance" issued from FAA but it is enforced at the discretion of the head flight steward on the actual plane you are traveling on. So if they want they can allow it on, if not, not...


I would venture to say that there are no actual "safety rules" about the possible use of instrument strings as weapons. Some employee got a crazy idea one day and it spread. I would contact the airline for clarification.

PereBourik
08-22-2014, 02:29 PM
I carry mine on. A concert meets the carry-on guidelines and it's my "personal item." Works best with a window seat. I slide the big end along my feet and there's no obstruction. I'd only check a uke I didn't care if I saw again.

Ukejenny
08-22-2014, 04:34 PM
I would just hate to check it - regardless of the case. My hometown is also the home of Unclaimed Baggage - where all the lost luggage ends up. They sift through it (tons) and then sell, store, toss it. You'd be amazed at the stuff that has come through that place.

bunnyf
08-22-2014, 10:58 PM
My daughter is heading off for the Peace Corp on Sunday and is, of course, bringing her uke. She's serving in Tonga (South Pacific island near Somoa). She hopes to take it as carry on and will be using several different carrier, Florida to LA, LA to Fiji, Fiji to Tonga. She only has a padded gig bag for her Kala, so checking it is not an option at this point. Hope she isn't hassled.

thenewb
08-22-2014, 11:46 PM
Hmm paded gigbag is too risky to be checked in.

Its good to remember not to carry too much with you on the plane. Most airlines allow one carry on luggage and another bag. If you have a carry-on luggage with a computer laptop or a large purse, you'll run the risk of checking in your uke. If I travel with a uke, I'll sure have my laptop bag checked in and carry my uke instead.

billten
08-23-2014, 02:12 AM
I have travelled with a tenor ukulele almost continuously for the last three years and it's only in Asia and only for the last few months that anyone gave me a hard time. So long as I counted the uke as a piece of carry on all my US travel has been without a hitch.

frugalaudio
08-24-2014, 05:32 PM
I toured for many years with an artist who played classical guitars of the expensive (>$20K) variety. When we had to fly, and were sick of fighting to carry one on, he got Calton cases. Not sure if they make a specific uke case (I know they do Mandolin). It would certainly be worth inquiring. http://www.calton-cases.com