10 Essential Tips for Flying SAFELY with Your Acoustic Guitar • Acoustic Tuesday 283

We’re taking to the skies as I share my top 10 tips for flying with your acoustic guitar! Join me as I walk you through the best practices and pro-tips I’ve picked up on my own journeys, ensuring your precious instrument arrives safe and sound at your destination.

Whether you’re a touring musician or simply taking your guitar on vacation, these tips are essential to keeping your guitar protected and your travels stress-free. I’ll cover everything from shipping your guitar to “green tag gate checking,” and even the secret of asking for the closet.

Here’s a quick rundown of what we’ll discuss in this episode:
– Packing your guitar 📦
– Using air tiles or tags 
– Padding your case properly 
– Using some common human decency 🙏
…and 6 more amazing tips!

Make sure you don’t miss out on these valuable insights—hit that subscribe button and join the Acoustic Tuesday family, where we share our passion for all things acoustic guitar! And, as always, I’d love to hear your own experiences and tips for flying with a guitar, so drop a comment below and let’s chat!

Happy flying and strumming, my friends! 🛫🎶

Submit your guitarsenal at the link below!

Also featured in this episode…
–  Chicago Music Exchange  
–  Nat Myers  
–  Gibson Guitar  
–  Gems On VHS  
–  Billy Strings  

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  1. My tip for traveling with a guitar is to get a Journey carbon fiber overhead guitar, which costs about $1,500. I’ve had one for about 4 years take it everywhere I go when traveling. The neck come off, it goes into a custom backpack, and fits easily into an overhead compartment. You can also put other goodies into the bag that you may need. The best part is that this guitar sounds fabulous, especially plugged in!

  2. Thank you so much for presenting Nat Myers.
    Wow! I bought every singles released and can’t wait for his new album coming in June.
    Meantime, this artist is a true motivation for me to practice and find the key to play with others!

  3. yep. being a MN wild fan I think a MAF sweater is an excellent choice! btw loved the Martin custom, I can see why you had to have it.

  4. I recently bought a Samsonite luggage strap with an integrated TSA combination lock for my guitar case when I check the guitar. My case isn’t a travel case, but is pretty sturdy. I wanted a little extra security against the case opening up and didn’t want to risk TSA busting the non-TSA locks on the case. I’ll be flying with my (inexpensive) Ovation, not my Taylor 914ce 🙂

  5. Funny, I’m actually heading to the Old Town School of Folk Music in a month for a small intimate story telling acoustic show. Heading there to see Trevor Hall who has been my inspiration to learn finger style guitar. Travis picking I think its called

  6. I am traveling right now with my new Taylor GS mini. I sprung for an SKB flight case and am so happy I did. Last Friday the flight was very full and I was asked to “check at the gate” in Dallas Fort Worth. A few minutes later I and all the fellow passengers in my section watched in horror as one mindless baggage handler put the guitar on the fender of the loader-conveyer machine, then walked away; and then another on the other side of the machine didn’t see it, and when all the baggage was loaded, proceeded to lower the conveyer apparatus directly onto the guitar. Needless to say I yelled. He couldn’t figure out why it got stuck, went around to look and then tried to yank the guitar out of the machine, and of course it was stuck , and had to raise the machine to get it out. I spent two hours fretting about what I would find on the other end of the flight – but as it turned out the SKB did its job, case was a little battered but the instrument was fine. Worth every penny for that flight case!!!!

  7. share my success? My wife walked by 2 nites ago as i was playing Vincent. “Um. that sounds good.” she said.
    first time ever. huh.

  8. I have a couple modest cost small body guitars with sturdy gig bags that I fly with. Both sound nice and are fun to play so they work well on a trip. Probably wouldn’t suit a gigging musician but it works for me. I pay a bit extra for early seating and I am alway super kind, polite and friendly with everyone. So far, no hassles. Always have my guitar in the overhead or closet. Other things you didn’t mention – I arrive at the airport very early. This habit has reduced my stress level when flying immensely. And finally, I pay a fee for TSA pre. This reduces stress in the security screening process. No more modified strip searches! When I am relaxed and stress free it is so much easier to be kind, polite and friendly.

    Small win for me when I completed the daily challenge today was being able to mark my lesson Complete. I have been having trouble with that functionality on my devices lately. At first that was no big deal. But over time, I realized how much seeing all the completed lessons and my total progress for the month is a motivator and source of satisfaction and pride for me. Small win with a big impact.

  9. Hey Tony! Great segment on flying with your guitar. One suggestion, take a 3/4 size “small” guitar. I traveled with a Little Martin in a gig bag and had no trouble boarding with it; the flight attendant volunteered to put it in the “closet” for me. Also, boarded with a dreadnaught in a gig bag as well, went in the overhead bin with no trouble (I was flying first class, so I think that helped, early boarding, etc.). Anyway, great acoustic Tuesday program. Thanks.

  10. Aloha Tony and TACer’s,
    I travel to the islands several times a year. My guitarsinal for travel is a martin backpacker, which fits extremely well in the overhead. First, the backpacker is built like a tank and the sound is banjo-ish when strummed but articulates notes beautifully when finger-picked. The point is I look forward to its unique sound. Second, my 1940’s vintage martin soprano ukulele fits in its case inside my luggage. I pack the ukulele in soft clothes. So, I get my guitar and ukulele too!!

  11. Hey Tony,
    That was an amazing Guitarsenal from the guitar geek in Warsaw, Poland, that you shared today. And you’re story about the Domi Blackhawks sweater was unfortunately funny…is he the son of Tie Domi of Maple Leafs fame? Anyway, I’m sure you know that traditionally hockey jerseys were called hockey sweaters. When are you going share pictures of your “Hockey Sweatarsenal” with all your guitar geek friends?!?

  12. Hi Tony, My airline experience has been so poor I have given up flying the airlines all together. I have found something even better: TRAIN. I love the train. I can play my guitar the whole trip. Most of the time I can see my transportation from the train as it pulls into the station and I am in the car and away in seconds. There is the down side, I admit, you have to go where the train goes. Not as varied as a plane.

  13. Have a travel guitar in your guitarsenal if you’re only going to use it for your own practice or enjoyment and not a gig. I travel with my Taylor Academy 12e, a very respectable guitar that won’t break the bank if something happens to it.

  14. This isn’t a tip, but rather my experience with being kind to the flight attendant.
    I flew to Austin with my guitar and had not had any trouble putting it in the overhead bin. Coming home, the attendant didn’t want me putting it there – full flight. So I very politely and smiling implored her to allow it rather than make me check it. Without my asking, she actually looked in the closet then offered to put it there for me. As we started our final approach, she came on the intercom and announced to the whole plane: For the gentleman who brought the guitar on board, there wasn’t room so we had to throw it off the plane just before take off…….Long pause. Plane went silent. She could see my face. Then she broke out laughing and said No, I’ll have it here for you as you deplane. The whole plane was laughing. Being nice can really be helpful.

  15. traveling with a guitar in any vehicle is a problem. I have carried one in the upper compartment of a 13 hour flight to New Zealand and then into a car there everyday for a month , then home again…no damage. I take one or two to Arizona every year through an Alberta/Montana/Idaho/Utah/Nevada trip, coming and going. Temperature & humidity shift is a serious consideration. Theft is a consideration as my car sits in the hotel parking. My advice is to use a good padded case ta a minimum or a travel case (research required) and then wrap the case in a blanket or beach towel and do not leave it where it is subject to the extremes of heat or cold. That means the trunk or rear window of a suv. Be sure to bring it into your room every night. Do not think it will be safe in the parking lot , or what I call it – a shopping channel for criminals. Shipping sounds perfect until one of the biggies loses your guitar. That’s when the insurance and claim things go out of control. Just remember nothing is perfect or guaranteed.

  16. I have sent acoustic guitars purchased in the USA to Barbados as checked luggage on at least 5 occasions on AA and have never had a problem with damage to the guitars. Maybe the odd scratch to the hard case. I do take the precaution of insuring higher end guitars even for every day use as have seen a mic stand get knocked over and punch a hole in an acoustic.