Flying internationally with trombone

All about making money.
Post Reply
User avatar
tbdana
Posts: 288
Joined: Sat Apr 08, 2023 5:47 pm

Flying internationally with trombone

Post by tbdana »

Hi. I've been hired for a European tour, from California to Greece, to Italy, to Germany, to Austria, and more. I'll have to fly internationally. How can I do this and have my horn survive?

I think the flight over is on KLM. I don't know about the other flights, trains, buses, and boat rides we'll have to take. But they are international, not U.S., so I have no idea about polices and laws regarding carrying on a trombone. Anyone know how to do this gig and have my horn survive?
User avatar
Burgerbob
Posts: 4727
Joined: Mon Apr 23, 2018 8:10 pm
Location: LA
Contact:

Re: Flying internationally with trombone

Post by Burgerbob »

Use a good, small case, carry it on with you every time.
Aidan Ritchie, LA area player and teacher
baileyman
Posts: 994
Joined: Fri Mar 23, 2018 11:33 pm

Re: Flying internationally with trombone

Post by baileyman »

I had to spend some time in Greece explaining what that thing in my bag was that was a practice mute.

But I've never ever had trouble with a French case. If room overhead looks tight, I pull a bag out, rotate it, and slip the horn behind in the inevitable unused corner back there.
ngrinder
Posts: 243
Joined: Tue Apr 24, 2018 7:30 pm
Location: New York City
Contact:

Re: Flying internationally with trombone

Post by ngrinder »

The investment in a cut bell and a cut bell case has taken so much stress out of traveling with the horn. I highly recommend it.
mbarbier
Posts: 269
Joined: Thu May 17, 2018 9:58 pm

Re: Flying internationally with trombone

Post by mbarbier »

Second the cut bell opinion. Helps immensely on the stress side and also with trains and buses in Europe. I've generally had good experiences traveling to and within Europe, just always pay that little extra to not be in the last group.

I fly KLM a lot from LA. Always had great experiences with them towards horns. Friendly and easy. Definitely spend extra to get whatever ticket is up a step from the ones at the bottom of economy where you don't pick your seat and such. You end up in a higher boarding group by default. Makes it easier.

The only issue with KLM is if you're flying through Schipol there's a high chance of flight cancellations/rescheduling cause of strikes. I've had probably 50% of my flights on KLM get cancelled and rescheduled in the last 5 years. They do an auto reschedule, so it's not a bit deal, but can be disconcerting.
trombone faculty at CalArts and LA City College
1/2 of RAGE Thormbones
they/them
https://mattiebarbier.bandcamp.com/
http://www.mattiebarbier.com/
User avatar
DaveAshley
Posts: 164
Joined: Wed Aug 01, 2018 9:37 pm
Location: Kentucky

Re: Flying internationally with trombone

Post by DaveAshley »

I've flown all over the world, and the only place I've ever had a problem is the good ole USA.

The last time I had a problem, they (at JFK) made me check my *tiny* 1960's Bundy case (Bach 12 inside) all the way to Costa Rica. I was told that hard cases have to go underneath. :idk:

I flew Japan Airlines from Tokyo to L.A. about six weeks ago. I was seated in the last row, and the attendant let me put my horn on the floor behind the seats. She suggested it! Awesome!

I try to book seats as far in the back of the plane as possible. Pay extra for early boarding. Carry the AFM letter regarding instruments onboard. Be prepared with a diplomatic speech for the attendants. Make your horn as invisible as possible to anyone who might want you to check it.

Other solutions --
Walt Johnson case (heavy but super heavy duty)
Travel with a cut bell. I *do* normally travel with my cut bell Lawler in an *extremely* compact case.

Here's the AFM document:
https://www.transportation.gov/sites/do ... 20rule.pdf
User avatar
JohnL
Posts: 1650
Joined: Fri Mar 23, 2018 9:01 am
Contact:

Re: Flying internationally with trombone

Post by JohnL »

DaveAshley wrote: Mon Feb 12, 2024 10:47 amOther solutions --
Walt Johnson case (heavy but super heavy duty)
Yeah, that's the other way to go in this situation - put the horn in case that's designed to be abused and let it go with the rest of the checked baggage. I've checked horns in Tank cases several times without issues.

One thing you might do is ask around in your neck of the woods and see if someone might have a "super-heavy" case you can borrow. I'd be willing to loan out one of my Tanks, but I'm afraid I'm a little too far away to do you any good.
User avatar
LeTromboniste
Posts: 1039
Joined: Wed Apr 11, 2018 7:22 am
Location: Sion, CH

Re: Flying internationally with trombone

Post by LeTromboniste »

There is sadly no European regulation on carriage of musical instrument equivalent to the FAA rule in the US. The AFM/FAA sheet won't be of any use in Europe, only for the flight from/to the US, and only if that flight is operated by a US airline. If you are indeed flying KLM then it doesn't apply, but they are generally great with instruments. On paper their policy is not explicitly good, but they have never given me any trouble, and always been helpful – I've flown on probably over 100 flights with them. I actually just got off the plane an hour ago, where as I boarded the attendant preemptively offered me solutions for stowing my horn should the bins near my seat be full.

For your travels within Europe, if the other flights are also KLM, then that's gonna be on 737s (which should be no problem to fit a trombone), E190s or E175s (which have 10" bins, will for sure fit a small case for 8.5" bell or less, or a cut-bell case, but might not fit a large tenor or bass case). If on other companies, then it becomes more complicated. I would for sure recommend inquiring about all the travel details and figure out which airlines operate the flights you'll be on (not which one the tickets are bought through – the operating airline's bagage rules always apply).

The main ones:
-EasyJet: Great, no problem at all with a trombone as long as the option for a "large cabin bag" is purchased (or a seat that includes that option), and make sure you get to the get early to board when the bins are still empty.
-Ryanair: Nope. You 100% need to have extra seat booked for it.
-Air France: technically the same company as KLM, but they are usually less accepting of large instruments. Probably fine with a small horn, might get into trouble/need to convince the gate agent if you play something bigger. Crew usually pretty chill and helpful.
-Lufthansa Group (including Swiss, Brussels, Austrian): pretty hit and miss. Often completely fine, but they can also randomly be very strict and insist you can't carry an instrument. Usually can talk your way through, but having an extra seat might be a good thing
-British Airways: sometimes fine but will regularly insist on buying an extra seat or checking into the hold, and will sometimes remove instruments from bins to make room for suitcases. Would not use without an extra seat booked.

For trains, most of them will be fine. German trains usually have very large baggage shelves above the seats. Some Swiss and Dutch trains less so, but no reserved seating so you can put the instrument on a seat. The annoying ones are the French high speed trains, with very little bagage room adapted for instruments, and reserved seating that makes it impossible to keep your instrument on the next seat.

One alternate solution is to use an SKB golf bag travel case and just pop your gig bag inside of that along with your gear, shoes, concert clothes and some other clothes for padding, and then leave the big flight case in the hotel room and walk around with just your gig bag/case. I use that for flying with the bass sackbut, so far never damaged the instrument (and that case has taken a beating! I've had to replace the wheels, a handle and some of the latches). Saves the stress, uncertainty and hassle of getting the trombone in as a carry-on. Drawback is that if your luggage is delayed because of a tight connection, or lost, well, it's your instrument... (happened to me 4 times in 2022, always got it back but it's a drag). Also it's rather impractical and annoying for travel by train. So both options have advantages and disadvantages.
mbarbier wrote: Mon Feb 12, 2024 9:45 am The only issue with KLM is if you're flying through Schipol there's a high chance of flight cancellations/rescheduling cause of strikes. I've had probably 50% of my flights on KLM get cancelled and rescheduled in the last 5 years. They do an auto reschedule, so it's not a bit deal, but can be disconcerting.
Schiphol was somewhat of a mess during Covid, and then a huge mess when things started reopening afterwards. But it seems to be better now. I haven't really had much trouble with flying through there in the last year or so.
Maximilien Brisson
www.maximilienbrisson.com
Lecturer for baroque trombone,
Hfk Bremen/University of the Arts Bremen
chouston3
Posts: 15
Joined: Tue Dec 19, 2023 9:18 pm

Re: Flying internationally with trombone

Post by chouston3 »

I took a trombone to Spain with me on a tour back in 2008. Doug Yeo's article really helped me back then. I am sure some things have changed but I think its a good starting point.
https://www.yeodoug.com/resources/faq/f ... ravel.html
User avatar
tbdana
Posts: 288
Joined: Sat Apr 08, 2023 5:47 pm

Re: Flying internationally with trombone

Post by tbdana »

Thanks everyone. The more I think about this and research, the more insecure I am about it. There doesn't seem to be any uniform rules or set of experiences. Seems like a crap shoot.

And I can't choose my own tickets, status or seats, as the promoter is purchasing all the tickets, so I can't upgrade or ensure that they will let me on with my axe. I don't know what I'd do if I get to the airport (especially on the return flight) only to find they won't let me bring my horn on board.
User avatar
Burgerbob
Posts: 4727
Joined: Mon Apr 23, 2018 8:10 pm
Location: LA
Contact:

Re: Flying internationally with trombone

Post by Burgerbob »

Bring a case you're comfortable checking. But always try to surreptitiously get the horn on.
Aidan Ritchie, LA area player and teacher
User avatar
BGuttman
Posts: 6013
Joined: Thu Mar 22, 2018 7:19 am
Location: Cow Hampshire

Re: Flying internationally with trombone

Post by BGuttman »

tbdana wrote: Wed Feb 14, 2024 10:11 am Thanks everyone. The more I think about this and research, the more insecure I am about it. There doesn't seem to be any uniform rules or set of experiences. Seems like a crap shoot.

And I can't choose my own tickets, status or seats, as the promoter is purchasing all the tickets, so I can't upgrade or ensure that they will let me on with my axe. I don't know what I'd do if I get to the airport (especially on the return flight) only to find they won't let me bring my horn on board.
This is one of the reasons the SKB golf bag case became so popular. You can fit a gig bag, padded out with clothes and other stuff, so your horn is protected.

Other choices are the Anvil and Walt Johnson cases, though these can be pretty pricey. Good value if you do a lot of traveling.

If you have no other choice, maybe use a backup horn that you don't mind if they damage?
Bruce Guttman
Merrimack Valley Philharmonic Orchestra
"Almost Professional"
User avatar
LeTromboniste
Posts: 1039
Joined: Wed Apr 11, 2018 7:22 am
Location: Sion, CH

Re: Flying internationally with trombone

Post by LeTromboniste »

tbdana wrote: Wed Feb 14, 2024 10:11 am
And I can't choose my own tickets, status or seats, as the promoter is purchasing all the tickets, so I can't upgrade or ensure that they will let me on with my axe. I don't know what I'd do if I get to the airport (especially on the return flight) only to find they won't let me bring my horn on board.
You normally should be able to upgrade your seats yourself, or surely you can ask the promoter to do so (if the alternative is for them to book an extra seat, it's at their advantage to pay the little extra). Worst case, when choosing seats at check-in, picking a window seat as far back as possible usually means you won't be in the last boarding group.

If you're playing a small bore tenor and carry it in the most compact case possible (one specific for small horns with 8" bell or not), then there should be no problem. I've fitted my Cronkhite small tenor gig bag in tbe smallest of jets, the only planes where it didn't fit were the small turboprops, which you're very unlikely to fly on in Europe. If you play a large tenor or a bass trombone, then the SKB flight case option will alleviate your concerns about damage from flying. It'll be a drag to carry around across Europe, but it can be worth it for your peace of mind. You can also inquire to the promoter about what the travel arrangements within Europe are, and if there's a gear/equipment van following the tour for at least certain legs, where your flight case might be able to catch a ride.
Maximilien Brisson
www.maximilienbrisson.com
Lecturer for baroque trombone,
Hfk Bremen/University of the Arts Bremen
User avatar
harrisonreed
Posts: 4708
Joined: Fri Aug 17, 2018 12:18 pm
Location: Fort Riley, Kansas
Contact:

Re: Flying internationally with trombone

Post by harrisonreed »

Get a Tank case, ask to be present when TSA checks your horn, and fly like a pro. Cut bells are cool but you never have a guarantee that you can put your horn in the overhead. The Tank case is the only thing I've ever flown with unless flying with Japan Airlines or ANA (they have special rules and their own flight cases for instruments). It's been literally all over the planet, gotten very beat up, and my horns come through fine every time.

If you are feeling worried and insecure, this is the solution:

https://shop.casesbysource.com/products ... t-trombone
baileyman
Posts: 994
Joined: Fri Mar 23, 2018 11:33 pm

Re: Flying internationally with trombone

Post by baileyman »

I have an older tank style case, free for pickup north of Boston. But I won't be back there till Spring!
User avatar
dbwhitaker
Posts: 83
Joined: Thu May 16, 2019 2:43 pm
Location: Berkeley, CA, USA

Re: Flying internationally with trombone

Post by dbwhitaker »

It seems odd that casesbysource has more details and pictures than the manufacturer's own site. But the price direct from the manufacturer is lower. :idk:

http://the-tank.us/instrument-cases/trombone-cases/
User avatar
bitbckt
Posts: 106
Joined: Wed Aug 19, 2020 11:41 am
Location: Maine

Re: Flying internationally with trombone

Post by bitbckt »

Cases By Source is the manufacturer. I didn’t have the best experience when I bought my Tank from them (via the-tank.us), but the product is well-named… it will take some serious abuse.
User avatar
mwpfoot
Posts: 79
Joined: Fri Mar 23, 2018 1:54 pm
Contact:

Re: Flying internationally with trombone

Post by mwpfoot »

BGuttman wrote: Wed Feb 14, 2024 10:17 amThis is one of the reasons the SKB golf bag case became so popular. You can fit a gig bag, padded out with clothes and other stuff, so your horn is protected.
They had their moment, but oversized luggage is one of the places some carriers have gotten super expensive. Seems like some standard cases qualify these days! Check with specific airlines re: golf cases if considering, they each have their own policies that apply.

Also, if it is affordable, the gig-bag-in-an-SKB-tube approach really only shines if the transportation upon arrival can accommodate. Under a bus? Perfect! Into a compact car? Not so much.

I'm checking an SKB 462 with horn (tbd) braced with additional foam inside, gaff tape over the latches, and a ratchet strap around the belly to/from Europe next month. It should be fine - unless it isn't!

:idk:
User avatar
harrisonreed
Posts: 4708
Joined: Fri Aug 17, 2018 12:18 pm
Location: Fort Riley, Kansas
Contact:

Re: Flying internationally with trombone

Post by harrisonreed »

Yeah I have no idea. I bought mine in 2012. Still rock solid. The manufacturer site is weird.
User avatar
Doug Elliott
Posts: 3051
Joined: Wed Mar 21, 2018 10:12 pm
Location: Maryand

Re: Flying internationally with trombone

Post by Doug Elliott »

Keep in mind that TSA will open it and maybe not put things back together the same way you packed it.
I have always had success with my separate slide and bell gig bag(s). One time I carried the bell on and put the slide through baggage inside a garment box.
"I know a thing or two because I've seen a thing or two."
User avatar
harrisonreed
Posts: 4708
Joined: Fri Aug 17, 2018 12:18 pm
Location: Fort Riley, Kansas
Contact:

Re: Flying internationally with trombone

Post by harrisonreed »

You are allowed to request to be present when TSA checks oversize or valuable checked items. That's the reason why I watch them open it, to ask them to put it back as it should be. It's usually a nook very close to the ticketing areas.
User avatar
LeTromboniste
Posts: 1039
Joined: Wed Apr 11, 2018 7:22 am
Location: Sion, CH

Re: Flying internationally with trombone

Post by LeTromboniste »

Also security opening checked bags is only a thing in the US, elsewhere they just scan it. So that would only concern the very first flight.
mwpfoot wrote: Thu Feb 15, 2024 11:01 am They had their moment, but oversized luggage is one of the places some carriers have gotten super expensive. Seems like some standard cases qualify these days! Check with specific airlines re: golf cases if considering, they each have their own policies that apply.
KLM's policy is golf cases qualify as standard luggage, no extra fee. And I believe they also apply an unofficial policy of not charging oversize fees for musical instruments unless they're also overweight. At least that's been my experience with them. I've never, ever had to pay to check my bass sackbut in the SKB gold case or the ophicleide in its huge, wheeled coffin case.

Lufthansa group might be trickier, but the cost should not be too prohibitive, maybe 50€ each time it gets checked, if they charge it.

But really, if it's a small tenor, that's overkill. I would just bring it as a carry-on and get the promoter to book an extra seat on airlines that won't allow it (get the detailed itinerary already or as soon as the promoter has it).

And then it's just a question of mindset. Of course getting a horn damaged, destroyed or lost is no fun. But at the end of the day, it's a work tool, it's insured (I hope!), and it's replaceable. That there is a (small) risk of being required to check the instrument and then another (small) risk of it being damaged is just an unavoidable reality that is part of the business. At the end of the day you can't decline good work out of fear that traveling might damage your instrument. Since you're anyway going to take the work and you're going to travel, then it becomes a choice of whether to stress about it or let it go.
Maximilien Brisson
www.maximilienbrisson.com
Lecturer for baroque trombone,
Hfk Bremen/University of the Arts Bremen
Posaunus
Posts: 3532
Joined: Fri Mar 23, 2018 9:54 pm
Location: California

Re: Flying internationally with trombone

Post by Posaunus »

LeTromboniste wrote: Thu Feb 15, 2024 4:20 pm Of course getting a horn damaged, destroyed or lost is no fun. But at the end of the day, it's a work tool, it's insured (I hope!), and it's replaceable.
Try telling that to a violinist or cellist with a precious Stradivarius! These folks live / fly in a different world.
User avatar
Doug Elliott
Posts: 3051
Joined: Wed Mar 21, 2018 10:12 pm
Location: Maryand

Re: Flying internationally with trombone

Post by Doug Elliott »

harrisonreed wrote: Thu Feb 15, 2024 2:17 pm You are allowed to request to be present when TSA checks oversize or valuable checked items. That's the reason why I watch them open it, to ask them to put it back as it should be. It's usually a nook very close to the ticketing areas.
That doesn't guarantee it won't get opened by them some other time and place.
"I know a thing or two because I've seen a thing or two."
User avatar
harrisonreed
Posts: 4708
Joined: Fri Aug 17, 2018 12:18 pm
Location: Fort Riley, Kansas
Contact:

Re: Flying internationally with trombone

Post by harrisonreed »

Doug Elliott wrote: Thu Feb 15, 2024 9:08 pm That doesn't guarantee it won't get opened by them some other time and place.
The unfortunate truth.
User avatar
LeTromboniste
Posts: 1039
Joined: Wed Apr 11, 2018 7:22 am
Location: Sion, CH

Re: Flying internationally with trombone

Post by LeTromboniste »

Posaunus wrote: Thu Feb 15, 2024 7:27 pm
LeTromboniste wrote: Thu Feb 15, 2024 4:20 pm Of course getting a horn damaged, destroyed or lost is no fun. But at the end of the day, it's a work tool, it's insured (I hope!), and it's replaceable.
Try telling that to a violinist or cellist with a precious Stradivarius! These folks live / fly in a different world.
Yes of course, that's a different matter entirely. But folks with a Stradivarius cello on loan are high-profile enough that they can demand promoters book extra seats for their instrument even on long-haul flights, and demand flying airlines they know are good. Normal cellists might sometimes have to check their instruments, but they have very good purpose-built flight cases. Violinists don't really have to worry, they can always take it as carry-on and it's easy to avoid the very rare airlines that won't allow even a violin.

I used to stress a lot about traveling with my instruments, and with the amount of traveling, it was starting to be problematic. I learned to let go when I had to gate check my horn (in a gig bag!) while flying with an older colleague who also had to gate-check his carry-on baroque guitar on that flight and was completely unfazed. He plays theorbo, an instrument that is substantially more expensive, larger and also much more fragile than a trombone, one that because of its construction can often break in unrepairable ways (unlike cellos and violins), and that generally can only be checked into the hold (usually no option to bring as carry-on). He had the most chill attitude about it. He told me something along the lines of:

"I've had 5 instruments smashed while flying so far. It sucks, but at the end of the day whether I stress about it or not, if it's going to happen, it's going to happen and I can't actually do anything about it. If I get to a gig and the instrument is smashed, the organiser and me will find an instrument to borrow, and I'll have my instrument repaired or get a new one with the insurance. The stress of dealing with it when it actually happens is already bad enough. Preemptively stressing about the possibility that it might happen has no effect on anything except making my health bad. I need to fly for most of my work, so I'm not going to stop flying. The only thing I could do was to stop stressing about it until it actually happens".
Maximilien Brisson
www.maximilienbrisson.com
Lecturer for baroque trombone,
Hfk Bremen/University of the Arts Bremen
User avatar
tbdana
Posts: 288
Joined: Sat Apr 08, 2023 5:47 pm

Re: Flying internationally with trombone

Post by tbdana »

LeTromboniste wrote: Thu Feb 15, 2024 4:20 pm Of course getting a horn damaged, destroyed or lost is no fun. But at the end of the day, it's a work tool, it's insured (I hope!), and it's replaceable.
Yeah, it's not just a work tool, to me. I'm not cavalier about it, I actually have a personal relationship with that horn. It's rare and not readily replaceable, and I feel it's an extension of my body. To me, it's not like replacing a wrench or a drill motor.
That there is a (small) risk of being required to check the instrument and then another (small) risk of it being damaged is just an unavoidable reality that is part of the business.
The funny thing is that that guy's own statement belies his claim of small risks. You said he had FIVE instruments ruined by airlines. That is a substantial risk, not a small risk of a small risk. Indeed, this stat of five trashed axes is exactly the kind of thing that fuels my anxiety. LOL :D
At the end of the day you can't decline good work out of fear that traveling might damage your instrument. Since you're anyway going to take the work and you're going to travel, then it becomes a choice of whether to stress about it or let it go.
Not stressing over something you can't control is excellent life advice. But I can control this. I'm in a position where I do not have to take this work, and the only reason for me to do it is for visiting Europe. If I cannot be certain to a reasonable degree that my horn will be safe, I'll just tell them I'm not going on the tour.

At this point I would just take a spare horn on this tour -- one I wouldn't be upset to lose -- except ironically that I just sold my spare horn to a guy who is going on this tour, and he's bringing that horn (which is now his main horn).

But I certainly do not feel that professional instruments are fungible. They're all unique like snowflakes or fingerprints.
User avatar
LeTromboniste
Posts: 1039
Joined: Wed Apr 11, 2018 7:22 am
Location: Sion, CH

Re: Flying internationally with trombone

Post by LeTromboniste »

tbdana wrote: Fri Feb 16, 2024 9:07 am
LeTromboniste wrote: Thu Feb 15, 2024 4:20 pm Of course getting a horn damaged, destroyed or lost is no fun. But at the end of the day, it's a work tool, it's insured (I hope!), and it's replaceable.
Yeah, it's not just a work tool, to me. I'm not cavalier about it, I actually have a personal relationship with that horn. It's rare and not readily replaceable, and I feel it's an extension of my body. To me, it's not like replacing a wrench or a drill motor.
That there is a (small) risk of being required to check the instrument and then another (small) risk of it being damaged is just an unavoidable reality that is part of the business.
The funny thing is that that guy's own statement belies his claim of small risks. You said he had FIVE instruments ruined by airlines. That is a substantial risk, not a small risk of a small risk. Indeed, this stat of five trashed axes is exactly the kind of thing that fuels my anxiety. LOL :D
At the end of the day you can't decline good work out of fear that traveling might damage your instrument. Since you're anyway going to take the work and you're going to travel, then it becomes a choice of whether to stress about it or let it go.
Not stressing over something you can't control is excellent life advice. But I can control this. I'm in a position where I do not have to take this work, and the only reason for me to do it is for visiting Europe. If I cannot be certain to a reasonable degree that my horn will be safe, I'll just tell them I'm not going on the tour.

At this point I would just take a spare horn on this tour -- one I wouldn't be upset to lose -- except ironically that I just sold my spare horn to a guy who is going on this tour, and he's bringing that horn (which is now his main horn).

But I certainly do not feel that professional instruments are fungible. They're all unique like snowflakes or fingerprints.
Well yes, we all have a personal relationship with our instruments, and if an instrument gets destroyed, it sucks really bad. And yes they are unique. My point was more of a mindset thing to deal with the stress, not a statement about instrument's value. Don't worry, choosing to not drive yourself sick with worry is not going to diminish in any way the connection you have with your instrument.

The example of my colleague is a bit extreme because of the instrument he plays – a theorbo has a 20-30 inch-long, thin and narrow, wooden neck, and a very thin, flat resonance table that will cave in with little force. For flying, it is a pure recipe for disaster (and good luck finding a case that adequately protects that for flying). It was just something that made me realise, this guy plays an instrument that is ridiculously fragile, had it happen several times to him and still chooses not to stress about it, whereas it's unlikely to happen to me at all, and I'm here stressed out like crazy, which is not viable long-term if I'm going to be doing this, so maybe there's something to learn from him.

With trombones you have a number of options to strongly mitigate the risks, which have been outlined in this thread (and getting a temporary spare instrument to bring along instead of your main instrument is yet another one). If you deal with it right, you could be on hundreds of flights and never have your trombone damaged at all (let alone damaged beyond repair).
Maximilien Brisson
www.maximilienbrisson.com
Lecturer for baroque trombone,
Hfk Bremen/University of the Arts Bremen
User avatar
Doug Elliott
Posts: 3051
Joined: Wed Mar 21, 2018 10:12 pm
Location: Maryand

Re: Flying internationally with trombone

Post by Doug Elliott »

I have a Yamaha 354 and a King 2B for travel (and some outdoor gigs) when I don't want to risk damage to my Williams. I'm perfectly happy playing any of them. And I would consider cutting the bell on a 354 just for travel.
"I know a thing or two because I've seen a thing or two."
User avatar
Burgerbob
Posts: 4727
Joined: Mon Apr 23, 2018 8:10 pm
Location: LA
Contact:

Re: Flying internationally with trombone

Post by Burgerbob »

Yeah, sounds like you may need to just take something else. I wouldn't turn down a potentially very fun tour (of europe, nonetheless) just because you might get a dent.
Aidan Ritchie, LA area player and teacher
User avatar
Doug Elliott
Posts: 3051
Joined: Wed Mar 21, 2018 10:12 pm
Location: Maryand

Re: Flying internationally with trombone

Post by Doug Elliott »

If you don't want that gig tell them to call me.
"I know a thing or two because I've seen a thing or two."
User avatar
EriKon
Posts: 258
Joined: Sun Apr 03, 2022 7:03 am
Location: Germany
Contact:

Re: Flying internationally with trombone

Post by EriKon »

Doug Elliott wrote: Fri Feb 16, 2024 1:08 pm If you don't want that gig tell them to call me.
I'll be there for the gig in Germany!
claf
Posts: 23
Joined: Mon Oct 22, 2018 7:10 am

Re: Flying internationally with trombone

Post by claf »

I hope there is one in France too.
Gaudet bass
Adams TB1 Open Flow dual bore tenor
Blessing .508 straight tenor
Digidog
Posts: 253
Joined: Thu Dec 13, 2018 3:31 pm

Re: Flying internationally with trombone

Post by Digidog »

JohnL wrote: Mon Feb 12, 2024 1:14 pm
DaveAshley wrote: Mon Feb 12, 2024 10:47 amOther solutions --
Walt Johnson case (heavy but super heavy duty)
Yeah, that's the other way to go in this situation - put the horn in case that's designed to be abused and let it go with the rest of the checked baggage. I've checked horns in Tank cases several times without issues.

One thing you might do is ask around in your neck of the woods and see if someone might have a "super-heavy" case you can borrow. I'd be willing to loan out one of my Tanks, but I'm afraid I'm a little too far away to do you any good.
For issue-free travelling, a built to purpose flight case - Accord for bass and Selmer for tenor - is what I use.

Since it comes down to the individual flight crew and airline company, you can never be sure of how your horn will be handled. To buy or borrow a flight case is then the only ultimate choice for safe packaging. If you can carry it on, fine; if not there's is no hassle or immediate risk.
Welcome to visit my web store: https://www.danieleng.com/

Big Engband on Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/artist/30Vuft1 ... me3sZi8q-A
User avatar
heldenbone
Posts: 123
Joined: Tue Aug 21, 2018 9:17 pm
Location: Ohio

Re: Flying internationally with trombone

Post by heldenbone »

Building your own flight case isn't out of the realm of possibility. This cost about $200 total once the foam was cut to fit with a hot knife and the fabric glue was dried. Imagine the TSA opening this up and seeing the snazzy upholstery.

viewtopic.php?t=30982
User avatar
elmsandr
Posts: 991
Joined: Fri Mar 23, 2018 2:43 pm
Location: S.E. Michigan
Contact:

Re: Flying internationally with trombone

Post by elmsandr »

tbdana wrote: Wed Feb 14, 2024 10:11 am Thanks everyone. The more I think about this and research, the more insecure I am about it. There doesn't seem to be any uniform rules or set of experiences. Seems like a crap shoot.

And I can't choose my own tickets, status or seats, as the promoter is purchasing all the tickets, so I can't upgrade or ensure that they will let me on with my axe. I don't know what I'd do if I get to the airport (especially on the return flight) only to find they won't let me bring my horn on board.
Ah, but you CAN generally upgrade by having your own frequent flyer number. For example, with delta, you can get your own number, link it to whatever reservation was made, and pay for points/miles until you are a higher boarding level.

For example, I recently got upgraded on a few flights that were purchased by others because my status was pretty good. Didn’t do me much good because the group I was with wasn’t fully upgraded, but I was able to board earlier (these were not situations where I had a horn, so no info there).

Cheers,
Andy
Post Reply

Return to “Music Business”