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Everything You Need to Know About Flying with a Guitar


Music is a universal language, and musicians’ instruments are extensions of their soul. Besides that, if you are a guitarist, you know the special bond you share with your guitar. Therefore, when it comes to flying with a guitar, the fear of damage, airline protocols, and the trouble of carrying it can make musicians nervous. But do not worry, we have got your back. In this comprehensive guide, we will walk you through everything you need to know about flying with a guitar.


Can you move a guitar on a plane?

Well, yes, you can bring your beloved guitar with you when you board the plane. In fact, it’s the law. Air carriers are legally required to accept musical instruments on their passenger flights under the FAA reconstruction and reform act of 2012, specifically Section 403, Us. Hence, you can carry them in baggage or check them, depending on the sections.


To be clear, flying with a guitar does not mean you can always keep your guitar with you. However, some situations might make it possible to bring your guitar inside, and you may need to gate check it. Therefore, most airlines will try their best to assist you. Nevertheless, if you are flying on a small plane where most passengers must check their overhead carry-on luggage, including your guitar, you may need to store it in the cargo hold.


How much does it cost to fly with a guitar?

Carry on- If you are flying with a guitar, there usually isn’t an extra fee because it’s a part of your ticket

Checked- If you choose to carry your checked baggage, the cost may vary. However, most airlines only allow one checked bag per person, and you may have to pay more if you have additional baggage.

Not to mention, there is no additional fee for checking your guitar; it is subject to the same rules as other luggage. Thus, the charges depend on the airline rates and how many other bags you have.


How To Fly with a Guitar? Top Recommendations For Safely Flying With a Guitar

Flying with a guitar can be a nerve torture experience. But with accurate precaution, you can ensure your beloved instrument arrives at your destination unharmed. Here are some profitable tips to help you travel stress free, with your guitar.

Choose your case safely:

When flying with a guitar, investing in a hard shell case is critical. However, it provides the finest protection against the rough handling by the staff airline. Therefore, if you have planned to carry your guitar onboard, a big bag can be more suitable. Im short, it’s easier to fit in hanging compartments and won’t attract much attention from the airline’s staff.

Pack the case tight:

Fill any empty spaces with soft cloths, t-shirts, or towels to keep your guitar from moving inside during handling turbulence. As a result, pay special attention to the head stock, which is under the most strain. In a nutteshell, if your guitar has tremolo, knobs, or a pickup selector switch, consider removing them or adding extra padding to protect them from damage.

De tune your guitar:

Flying exposes your guitar to changes in temperature, humidity, and pressure, which can affect the wood and cause warping and cracking. However, to minimize the risk, detune your guitar before flying. Therefore, loosening the strings reduces tension on the bridge, body, and neck making it tougher to environmental changes. A guitar diffuser can aid in humidity management, especially for aural guitars.

Secure the lid on your case:

However, to protect the case during a USA to India direct flight, consider securing it with tape. Avoid duct tape because it leaves a sticky residue. Packing tape or scotch tape, on the other hand, is appropriate for this purpose. Avoid locking your case because the TSA may need to suspect it and may damage the bolt if they cannot access it.

Remove the non-essential gear from the case:

If you plan to carry your guitar onboard, remember that it will go through the security scanner. Thus, be sure that there are no items inside the case that could raise intuition, such as pliers, strings, cutters, or oils. After all, electronics such as tuners and pedals are best kept in your carryon bag to avoid unnecessary case inspections.

Put your name everywhere:

Label the outside and inside of your guitar case with your full name, home address, phone number, and email address. Furthermore, add a tag with your contact information on the headstock for tuners.

Carry on when you can:

Whenever possible, carry your guitar onboard the plane after checking it. Simply put, arriving early can help you secure overhead storage space. In fact, look for flights departing from major hubs, as smaller regional airports may not have enough cabin space for guitars.

Get to the airport early:

Reaching the airport well in advance allows you to label any potential issues, such as airline staff insisting on checking your guitar. So, plan your extra time at baggage check security and the gate to hold any challenges that may arise.

Check with the airline instrument policy:

Before you even book your ticket, take a little time to check out your airline’s policy on musical instruments. As a result, some airlines are extremely accommodating to musicians and will not cause you any problems when transporting your guitar. In contrast, others may find things a little more complicated.

Padding and Support:

Most people are aware that guitars are easily broken. But lots of people don’t. However, it is a good idea to give your guitar extra padding and support by stuffing it with shirts, shocks, and towels. Therefore, pay special attention to the headstock and neck. These are the most important break points, especially when flying with a guitar. Likewise, you want to minimize the movement of your instrument within the case. At the same time, you want to provide some cushion to absorb blows from irritated airport employees’ drops, flows, and throws.

Pack it up and ship it out:

While shipping is not always ideal for the uber-transient guitarist, it is a safe and adaptable option when flying with a guitar is not an option. However, if you are shipping your guitar within USA, you will undoubtedly need insurance.

Know which Airlines allow guitars as carryons:

To make things easier for you, here is a list of travel-friendly airlines. Therefore, if an airline is not on this list, it means they don’t express, carry on anomalies for instruments or we could not find any information on their site.

Not to mention, these airlines also provide you cheap business class flights India. However, before flying with a guitar, check the airline’s website for carry-on policies. Last but not least, they frequently have a budget set aside for instruments.

Ask flight attendants to store guitars on board:

Your guitar is an expensive and easily broken item that you rely on for a living, right? Similarly, politely explain the crew and inquire about housing options. You are not going to get anywhere by putting up a flight, so keep your cool. But try to drain every option before you let them put that guitar down below.

Consider the pros and cons of hard cases versus gig bags:

Travelers often use gig bags for guitars. Well, this may appear strange, but it can help persuade the crew to let your guitar aboard. It’s not for better protection but for crew approval. Assuming you are not a small counterflight, a guitar in a gig bag has several advantages. Moreover, it appears smaller to the gate crew, so they will not tag it for gate checking. Finally, passengers often find it easier to fit in an overhead bin. Attendants prefer it in the coat closet when there is not much room.

Be confident that your guitar is weatherproof:

If you make it onboard with your guitar, you will have far less to think about. The crew maintains a reasonable, comfortable cabin temperature. But if the guitar goes below, rapid changes in humidity and temperature can inflict chaos on your instrument.


Can You Check A Guitar As Luggage On A Plane?

Yes. You can check your guitar as luggage on all major airlines, including Air India, Air France, American Airlines, Etihad, and others. But there is a catch: it has to fit within their standard baggage size limits. So, contact your airline directly to learn about the specific regulations, and check their official websites for rules and regulations.



Here is complete information about flying with a guitar. However, we want you to travel untroubled and stress free. Therefore, we have brought you ideas that can help you while traveling with your musical instrument. Finally, by following the above tips as well as some rules and regulations regarding baggage size limits, you can ensure that your guitar arrives safely at your destination.

For any information regarding the flights, you can visit our website, where we are providing amazing deals on cheap flight tickets to India. You can also drop us a line at the toll free number of the MintFares team. Our skilled people are always available to serve you.