I have a question about instruments, too, and you sound like the guy I need to talk to.
I am a professional musician traveling from Austin to shows in Washington State and Oregon. I have had varying success with carrying my guitar on flights on other airlines; last time I checked my guitar at the gate, I got it back with a huge gash in the case and a hairline crack at the base of the headstock. This happened on the first leg of a return journey with another airline; the break was discovered when I received my guitar at the gate.
This didn't happen in Austin-- the baggage handlers here have been worth their weight in gold-- I'm convinced that a good number of them have to be musicians, too; I've had the same experience with the Nashville baggage handlers. It's just everywhere else that makes me nervous.
I have a dreadnought size acoustic guitar in a standard hard shell case which will definitely fit in the overhead compartment of a 737, which is the kind of plane I'll be flying on tomorrow. This guitar was handmade by a luthier from Illinois. He replaced the neck a month ago and the glue has not had time to fully cure. I would have bought a flight case for it, but the repair itself was so costly that I'm broke now. Also, I am unsure that a flight case would prevent potential harm from heat, cold, and dramatic changes in pressurization. And a flight case would definitely not fit in the overhead compartment.
My boarding number is B06. If there is still room in the overhead compartment when I board, is it possible to store it there? If not, may I stow it in a closet area? This guitar is very important to me because playing music is my only means to support myself and my daughter.
Thanks for your help,
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