Good Travel Case

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piezer
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Joined: Sun Apr 08, 2018 9:43 pm

Good Travel Case

Post by piezer » Wed May 15, 2019 8:53 am

Hi everyone, I need to fly across the country with my horn in a few weeks and I was wondering what case you guys would recommend. I would prefer not to spend a ton of money if possible but I understand that that is hard when looking for safety.

Also if anyone has tips for checked bag vs. carry on and how to get it on carry on that'd be appreciated too.

Thanks!
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BGuttman
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Re: Good Travel Case

Post by BGuttman » Wed May 15, 2019 9:16 am

What kind of horn is it and what kind of case is it in now? What size aircraft are you flying on?

Most of us will try to fit a smallish case in the overhead compartment. Sometimes that works, and sometimes you have to gate check it, which means surrendering your trombone at the boarding gate where it gets put on top of the pile of luggage in the hold (and removed first on landing).

Large cases have to be checked as baggage. The trick here is to have a case that can withstand the abuse of the Luggage crew. Packing the horn properly in the case can be a big factor. There is an article on Doug Yeo's site (www.yeodoug.com) with suggestions on how to pack a case for air travel. Among the suggestions are filling all air spaces in the case with soft clothes, bubble wrap, or other inert material that can dampen shocks.

If you are part of a traveling band, you may be able to get a container to fit all the instruments and it sometimes gets special handling. Note that I said sometimes.

Good luck.
Bruce Guttman
Merrimack Valley Philharmonic Orchestra
"Almost Professional"
piezer
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Re: Good Travel Case

Post by piezer » Wed May 15, 2019 9:49 am

It's a shires by eastman in the case it came with. I also have a protec case (not sure on the exact model).
The flight is through Alaskan Airlines but I'm not sure on the size of the plane. It only has the two side sections as opposed to planes that also have the center section if that helps.

Thanks for that link I'm going to follow the tips there for sure.
harrisonreed
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Re: Good Travel Case

Post by harrisonreed » Wed May 15, 2019 10:12 am

My Tank case has been a fantastic investment. Not cheap though.
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JohnL
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Re: Good Travel Case

Post by JohnL » Wed May 15, 2019 10:48 am

harrisonreed wrote:
Wed May 15, 2019 10:12 am
My Tank case has been a fantastic investment. Not cheap though.
The Tank is kind of a gold standard, but buying one only makes sense if you travel with your horn on a regular basis. Same goes for any high-end flight case. It's too bad you can't rent such a case.

Something like an SKB-462, combined with good packing technique (as outlined in Doug Yeo's article) will probably be OK.
CalgaryTbone
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Re: Good Travel Case

Post by CalgaryTbone » Wed May 15, 2019 1:35 pm

I've gone back to using an SKB golf case with the horn in a gig bag inside of it. I add some extra foam padding to the bell area, and take the accessory bag out of the gig bag, so it can't flop around. The biggest worry is that the TSA guys will open it up and not put things back as they belong. I've never had damage this way, and you have something light to carry the horn in (leave the golf case in your hotel room) when you get to where you're going. You do have to pay checked bag costs, but the wheels on the case makes it pretty easy through the airport, and the baggage handlers seem to be more respectful toward what they think is sports equipment rather than a musical instrument.

Jim Scott
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Matt K
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Re: Good Travel Case

Post by Matt K » Wed May 15, 2019 2:02 pm

I actually have an SKB golf case I can get to you for a really good price as I don't ever fly with my horns. I can take measurements to see if either of your cases would fit too.
mrdeacon
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Re: Good Travel Case

Post by mrdeacon » Thu May 16, 2019 1:38 am

piezer wrote:
Wed May 15, 2019 9:49 am
It's a shires by eastman in the case it came with. I also have a protec case (not sure on the exact model).
The flight is through Alaskan Airlines but I'm not sure on the size of the plane. It only has the two side sections as opposed to planes that also have the center section if that helps.

Thanks for that link I'm going to follow the tips there for sure.
You'd be surprised as to how many planes the protect tenor case will fit on. Assuming it's the newer design and not the old old rectangle monster case.

I can't confirm what it won't fit on... But my Bonna bass soft case sure fits into most planes and it's a hair larger than the newer style protec cases.

Try your best to carry your horn on. Putting your horn under the plane even if it's gate checked is always a dice roll. Small carry on case always beats out giant case you can put under the plane in my book.
Getzen 3047AFR 2000s, Elliott XT
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Conn 6h, Elliott XT
Minick Bass Trombone 1980s, Symington 1 1/2
mbarbier
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Re: Good Travel Case

Post by mbarbier » Thu May 16, 2019 10:09 am

Alaskan is a very chill airline about bringing a horn onto. Flown them a bunch with zero issue. Just be as close to front of boarding as you can.

Re case- the eastman plastic cases are great. Flew with one for years. They fit most places and should be fine to gate check in a pinch.
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Posaunus
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Re: Good Travel Case

Post by Posaunus » Thu May 16, 2019 11:46 am

I had good luck with Alaska and JetBlue traveling with a small tenor trombone as carry-on luggage.
(Both good airlines with generally friendly and helpful staff.)

What worked for me:
• Fly non-stop if at all possible.
• Try to arrange to be among early groups to board. (Some airlines will do this for extra $$).
This is important.
• Arrive early at the departure gate and meet the flight attendants before they board.
Tell them (and the gate agent), in a friendly manner with a big smile,
that you are traveling with a delicate musical instrument
and that you hope it will not be a problem putting it in the overhead bin.
Both times I did this, I got a positive, helpful response -
and found there was plenty of space for my trombone overhead.
• Pack the trombone securely inside the case with plenty of bubble wrap
(and no loose mouthpieces rattling around inside)
and securely latch or strap the case closed, just in case you have to gate-check it.

Good luck. :good:
mbarbier
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Re: Good Travel Case

Post by mbarbier » Fri May 17, 2019 8:21 am

Forgot when i posted before- Alaskan does seating for the back half of the plane first (after all the fancy people) so get a seat near the back and you'll be in an earlier group.



And download their app cause their current movie selection is 🔥

Horn Guys has this useful page as well- https://www.hornguys.com/blogs/special- ... instrument.

One mod i do to this is that I generally carry a small backpack and sling my horn over the opposite shoulder. It's genuinely rare that its even noticed and the backpack gives that extra bit of cover. When I get on the actual plane I hold it in front of me so that 1. I don't have to swing it around to put it in the overhead (and risk hitting someone) and 2. The crew on the plane sees it. They basically don't care what you've got if the gate agents have let you on and I've found that if I'm getting on later they're helpful in finding a place to stow it.
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Schlitz
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Re: Good Travel Case

Post by Schlitz » Fri May 17, 2019 9:22 am

I’m interested to hear about experiences with Delta. I’m flying in a few weeks with a Shires screwbell bass case. The Marco Magi one. Any tips would be appreciated.
mbarbier
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Re: Good Travel Case

Post by mbarbier » Fri May 17, 2019 10:08 am

Schlitz wrote:
Fri May 17, 2019 9:22 am
I’m interested to hear about experiences with Delta. I’m flying in a few weeks with a Shires screwbell bass case. The Marco Magi one. Any tips would be appreciated.
In my experience Delta has been great- never had an issue with them and they've been very accommodating. Got on once at the very end and they approached and asked if the coat closet was ok for my horn. Flown them pre and post screwbell- been no problem. Seen them preboard the musicians a few times but that was on flights from Europe. I'd imagine a tiny case like the shires one should be pretty easy.
trombone faculty at CalArts
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CalgaryTbone
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Re: Good Travel Case

Post by CalgaryTbone » Fri May 17, 2019 4:50 pm

Part of my reasons for suggesting the Golf Case route is that I am based in Western Canada. I've found that Air Canada is not particularly user-friendly for allowing an instrument that doesn't fit in the little rack that they have to measure carry-ons to come on board. West Jet is even worse. Also, almost every flight I've been on recently had at least one connection, and one of those flights was often on a smaller plane where a trombone didn't fit in the overhead. Gate checking is also often an issue when you're crossing an International border, since they sometimes check it through to your final destination when you gate check (without informing you of that). With the golf case, I know what I'm getting, and I do everything I can to beef up the padding to protect the horn. I also avoid the stress at the gate, worrying that the flight attendants will deny access for the horn, or the delays at security. It's not ideal, but it has been working for me recently.

Jim Scott
mbarbier
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Re: Good Travel Case

Post by mbarbier » Sat May 18, 2019 11:04 am

That's really great to know about those airlines and unfortuante to hear!
trombone faculty at CalArts
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