♫ I’m leavin’ on a jet plane… ♫

I’ve read volumes about traveling by airplane with a guitar, enough that I’m thinking I shouldn’t try it. I’m curious whether anyone here has much experience traveling internationally by air with a guitar. Do you have any useful real-life hacks to share on that topic?


as long as you have a good quality hard case, you’ll be fine

I watched a video recently of a guy talking about stress free ways to travel with a guitar.

For me, the easiest way was to get a carbon fibre travel guitar. Mine is the Journey OF-660. Rainsong makes a very similar model. The body is slightly smaller, probably 7/8 the size of a full size guitar and the neck detaches and is stored right beside the body in the case that comes with the guitar. The case easily fits in the overhead lockers on airlines and I’ve taken it on numerous international and domestic flights. It fits easily within the cage used to measure baggage. It also has room in the case for my 13" laptop, and I also use the inside of the body of the guitar to carry my prescription medications.

The nice thing is you have it with you and when you have those long hours in the departure lounge waiting for another flight, you can pull out the guitar and noodle away.

Very happy with my travel guitar.

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But if those prescription drugs are “oregano” I won’t put them in there :smile:

There are some more who are not allowed to cross the border just like that, but the users will probably know that :blush: … have fun Skip buying a guitar :smiley: :sunglasses:


Haha! Thanks for the early morning laugh. I was going to ask how dumb do you think I am, but I keep proving myself dumber than I thought I was on a regular basis.

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Thank you Tony.
I’m a beginner guitar player, but I am a seasoned traveler. I travel from humid to dry climates frequently. I live in the tropics, Koh Samui, Thailand, and have wondered how the humidity here would affect the two guitars that I have, and also how going from tropical humid to desert dry would adversely affect the instrument, not to mention the handling and jostling of travel. This could be the answer.
Yours truly with much appreciation,


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Just make sure it’s insured.


@newstrings, I have carried a guitar (electric) back and forth between London and Athens a few times.
It’s a bolt on so I remove the neck and put both the body and the neck in my backpack.
No problems with that. The headstock sticks out but nothing that causes problems.
Other times I have put the body in my checked luggage. No issues with that either, provided it doesn’t move and is surrounded by clothes etc.
Another time I had the guitar in a softcase and the kind crew members put it in a cabinet at the front of the aeroplane and took it back when we reached our destination. That was kinda stressful because I just tried my luck there…

I think a bolt on neck (and as light a body as possible) could be the way to go if we’re talking for an electric guitar. Never had any stress or problems when carrying the guitar disassembled. Only questions from other curious travellers :joy:

I have to admit though that I bought a second hand (or 3rd… Or n-th hand, dunno…) guitar and left it in Athens permanently…

As for humidity, you will definitely need to retune and perhaps adjust relief.

@tony you gotta be careful with that carbon fibre (not to bang it anywhere). It’s a strong material but its major disadvantage is that you often cannot tell when it is damaged as in the outside it might look perfectly fine but the fibres in the inner layers could be broken.

I assure you the carbon fibre guitar is treated carefully like my other guitars. Just because it’s impervious to heat and humidity or lack thereof, it still gets handled carefully.

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This thread has been quiet for a few days, sorry if I am hijacking it, but I have questions about traveling with a guitar. I’ve traveled by plane with my Lava Me 2 on two occasions now. Both times DTW to Cancun with the guitar traveling in it’s case inside a rolling duffel bag and put into the cargo hold. I wasn’t really comfortable with this, but. On several flights without a guitar, I asked ~every crew member and airport worker that I could, how do I travel with an instrument. I got zero help and some comments about ‘you think someone would know’. Um, yes. Other than packing it as a checked bag, it seemed like an act of faith that the guitar would get in the passenger cabin and at what cost…

This has been really frustrating to me. Airline workers get enough hassle and I don’t push, but it would be really nice to get real answers about the current environment… I would appreciate any color on this.



A quick Google search brought up specific guitar policies for Delta, United, Qantas, British Airways and Singapore Airlines. I’m pretty sure the answers you seek will be on your chosen carrier’s website.

Basically, your choices seem to be either put your guitar in an indestructable case and check it in, or buy it a seat and have it sit next to you.

Jacksprat, Thanks for the reply. I have done the internet searches and there aren’t cut and dry answers. Most of the sites that I’ve looked at state that the instrument can go in the overhead if it fits. The sites also state that the instrument can be placed in a seat if it can be properly secured or moved to the cargo hold if it can’t be secured. That’s a lot of "if"s to be determined before a flight once you get to the airport. It is also a lot of uncertainty with respect to where the instrument will be placed and what the cost to transport the instrument will be. The uncertainty didn’t get any better when I spoke with the airline people that I had access to in the airport.

The next best step in due diligence is to ask people who have actually traveled with instruments what their experience is.