Ever since the United Breaks Guitars video went viral, everyone’s well aware that guitars and planes just don’t mix. But with the holidays just around the corner, there’s a chance that you’ll eventually find yourself in the same old predicament with your Loog Guitar. You have to take it with you flying back home (or flying out somewhere) and what’s worse – there’s probably a child involved. During the holidays. Sleep-deprived and probably coming off a sugar high. Yeah, the true makings of a conundrum.
So what to do? This post over at TrueFire is amazing at pointing everything you must do to ensure the safety of your prized posession. It covers the basics (loosen up the strings, plead to not stow it with your luggage, ask to keep it in the coat closet or cabin, cry if you must) and even offers a nifty list of airlines that are guitar-friendly. The Loog’s a little bit different – it’s, of course, smaller than a regular guitar and can make travelling easier. But we’re still going to offer some sound advice.
1. Don’t assemble it
The best advice is, of course, don’t open the package until you’re home and check it as extra luggage. This works if you’re away from home and a Loog ends up popping up under the Christmas tree, for instance. It makes sense – we wrapped the Loog pretty tight to survive shipping, it should also survive the plane ride. But of course, this is kids we’re talking about – opening a Christmas present and NOT being able to use it right away? We’re hardly that cruel. So, next tip please. (Plus, notice we said should survive – levels of TSA wrath are as unpredictable as the weather.)
2. Unassemble it and place the parts in a suitcase
Once assembled, played and used, unassemble it carefully and place it in a suitcase. Then follow True Fire’s advice and stuff the thing like a turkey to avoid any exterior blows. Of course, you could also use the original packaging (don’t forget the box works as a guitar case) but make sure it’s as tight as when it was shipped when doing this.
3. Ship it back
This option is always a good plan B, even if it means not being able to use the guitar the second you get home. Instead of making it travel with you, ship it back home – and get it insured. Getting stuff delivered to your door intact is kind of their job and, let’s face it, they’ll probably be a lot more gentle than a TSA agent.
4. Take it on board
This is the best option, by far, but you’ve got to be prepared. Some airlines do allow musical instruments on board, provided they fit into the overhead bins – and make special exceptions for guitars which are, of course, larger than your run-of-the-mill, permitted carry-on. The Loog’s original packaging is larger than allowed carry-ons, but you can always take it unpacked and assembled. Still, you never know what you’re going to get and someone might ask you to check it – and if it’s sans case, you’re going to end up checking something else you wanted to take on board. The Loog, in this case, usually counts as one carry-on luggage item, so take that into account. And if you’re taking the case on board, still stuff it with clothing or whatever you have at hand, just in case. It might make it heavier to carry but you know what they say – better safe than sorry!
Any other parents that have already taken their Loog for a fly? We’d love to know what you did. Tell us in the comments!
P.S: Just as a bonus track, here’s someone playing Neutral Milk Hotel’s In the Aeroplane Over the Sea on their Loog. Sorry – we couldn’t resist