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Yanagisawa B901 Bari (Otto Link STM 7*), Yamaha Advantage Tenor, Martin Comm. III Alto
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello everyone,

Does anyone have any good travel advice for flying with a bari? My high school has been selected to perform at the Jazz Education Network Conference in Dallas in January 2022. Right now I play a Yanagisawa B-901 meaning the case looks something like this:
Luggage and bags Rectangle Bag Communication Device Bumper

I've done a little bit of research on it and I'm not even sure if it will fit in the overhead compartment as a carry-on regardless. We were planning on trying to get it gate-checked, but I'm not sure if even that is an option at this point. I'll do some more research on it

My main concerns are that it's going to get lost, stolen, broken, etc. and I don't fly very often, so I don't know what to expect either. I was planning on propping the keys closed with styrofoam and cork and labeling it fragile regardless of what happens. I was also looking at getting a Bluetooth tracker to put inside of the case. Part of me is tempted to get a new case with a more compact form factor and locking latches, but at the same time, my gut tells me that keeping my current case is the best option considering it was built with Yanigasawa saxophones in mind.

Does anybody have any insight on this?

Also, other threads would be appreciated (Just in case I missed something :))
 

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or one like this that would likely take the beating better than the original case.

pad the sax well inside, with the cork stoppers and I'd also add a velcro band around the case through the handle so it doesn't open up. plus insurance! check out Clarion, they are very reasonable and should cover any damages or loss.
 

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Is the instrument yours or does it belong to the school? Not that ownership should change how you handle an instrument, but it will tell me whether or not its worth buying a different case. The best way to prevent most damage and/or loss is to gate check the instrument if you cannot carry it on. I have flown with my bari in my old SKB flight case roughly 8-10 times and I was actually able to stow it in an overhead a couple of those times. All other flights were gate checked and it came right back to me on the jetway safe and sound. The whole flight is usually nerve racking and it's hard to relax at all, but it's better than checking it at the ticket counter and wondering if it even made it on the plane. It should have no problem fitting through the TSA scanners at the main security checkpoint. I also remove EVERYTHING but the literal saxophone from the case. This is primarily because I store everything in the bell of the horn, so it would look fishy on the scanner to have a bunch of random stuff shoved in the horn. I always keep my mouthpiece, neck, reeds, strap, and anything else in my backpack.

On to the notion that your case is designed with your Yani in mind. It is designed with your horn in mind as far as the general shape of the padding inside and it stops there. The shell of that case is made of wood and will do nothing to stop your horn from getting bent or otherwise damaged. I don't mean to scare you, but it's the truth. That is not to say that your horn will absolutely get smooshed if you gate check it, but the probability is higher. I flew on a university band trip and a friend had his nice King 2B trombone in its original wood case and it ended up with a bent bell lip when we landed.

At the end of the day you are at the mercy of whomever is loading and unloading the plane. No amount of protection can help you if someone decides to toss or drop your case. I don't mean to be so bleak, not everyone has bad experiences when flying with their horns, but the horror stories exist for a reason.

What would your budget be if you were seeking a new case?
 
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That case for Yani B901 (I know I used to own one) is terrible as there is very little padding around the neck receiver. If you are holding the case long ways and drop it it won't be pretty. Maybe you could leave a day or two earlier on the bus or drive? It definitely will not fit in the overhead storage and it would be unsurprising if the horn doesn't suffer some amount of damage. Also, you may want to see if any local music shop would rent a bari for the time you will performing. Good luck.
 

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Make wings for it and tow it. More realistically...Packing an instrument so that it doesn't move within the case is the key. Won't help if extremely abused, but it's the first order of business. I've made a number of cases for instruments. I usually blow foam into the case with pockets for accessories. the instrument itself is suspended in there wrapped in cling film when the foam is blown. This gives a precise fit where the instrument can't move at all. I've used my cases checked into flights going all around thee world. Never had to adjust anything much less have any damage of any kind.

On a completely separate note: Hopefully you are using a harness or some other method of keeping the weight off your neck. I was nominated by my band instructor in high School to play the baritone. We only had neck straps. I have suffered much of my life with neck problems as a result. Don't let this happen to you!
 

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your only option is buying an extra ticket otherwise is the hull and then you need packing

there are previous threads on this ( as PigSquealer suggests)

 

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Well, there's no way the coffin case will fit in an overhead. In the olden days there used to be a closet at the front of the plane where stuff like that could sometimes be placed, but I haven't seen one of those in years.

I very much doubt that even a shaped case will fit overhead.

It is supposedly possible (get a copy of the AFM letter on this) to carry on musical instruments under special dispensation, but I wouldn't bet on that either. All the scuttlebutt seems to agree that what happens to your instrument is totally dependent on the mood of the gate agent on a specific date, and the fill condition of a specific flight.

Now you're talking about having the thing go in checked baggage. Problem there is that a baritone sax is a very heavy fragile instrument and can easily be damaged IN THE CASE, just by inertial effects should it be dropped. Imagine the horn nicely supported at each end; drop it and you can easily get a sag or bend. The standard for checking large instruments on flights is the Anvil case, but they're terribly expensive, heavy, large, and will probably incur significant oversize charges.

If it were me, I'd start, right now, trying to beat the bushes for a saxophone in your destination area. Seriously, I'd even consider buying a Craigslist bari, having the seller deliver it to a music store for a tuneup, using it for the week or so, then doing a consignment sale through the music store - if you can't come up with a short term rental. Maybe start calling faculty members at the NTSU music department to find out if any of them knows someone who might have an instrument to rent (not necessarily a big box music store, more likely a colleague or independent technician).

If you can swing having a playable horn on the ground when you get there, all you've got to do is bring your mouthpiece, reeds, and neck strap.
 

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If you have the time, ship it via UPS or FedEx, whichever has an office at the airport. Send it to that office marked "Hold For Pickup" and bring ID with you.

It has been my experience that the shipping companies treat parcels much kinder than the luggage handlers putting things in the belly of the airplane.

It might cost a bit, but if you want your bari to arrive in good playing shape, your odds are better with UPS or FedEx.

Insights and incites by Notes ♫
 

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I personally don't trust UPS or FedEx with instruments either. Last sax I got via UPS sustained $700 worth of shipping damage in spite of being covered in "fragile" stickers.

Have your director try to line up a loaner or rental for you at the destination. I'm sure he doesn't want the school's bari damaged any more than you do.
 

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Have your director try to line up a loaner or rental for you at the destination. I'm sure he doesn't want the school's bari damaged any more than you do.
+1
It's great that you care, but this should be the responsabilty of your school, your director etc. Loaning an instrument seems the best way for my understanding. There should be other bands with other bari players at this conference, no? Not easy in corona times, but perhaps a school horn could be found in Dallas?
 
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best advice is if this is your own bari-dont take it. its not worth the risk. if its the schools -check it as baggage and cross fingers
 

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Hello everyone,

Does anyone have any good travel advice for flying with a bari? My high school has been selected to perform at the Jazz Education Network Conference in Dallas in January 2022. Right now I play a Yanagisawa B-901 meaning the case looks something like this:

I've done a little bit of research on it and I'm not even sure if it will fit in the overhead compartment as a carry-on regardless. We were planning on trying to get it gate-checked, but I'm not sure if even that is an option at this point. I'll do some more research on it
You don’t mention how far you are flying or what size plane you would be on. Gate check can be an especially low risk on small planes where you carry the horn to the plane then pick it up at the plane when you get off. On larger airlines, it is still preferable to dropping it at the front desk as checked baggage. I agree with Taragot about getting your band director involved - ask the questions and express your concern before travel.
 
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Yanagisawa B901 Bari (Otto Link STM 7*), Yamaha Advantage Tenor, Martin Comm. III Alto
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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Sorry for responding so late, just got off from school not that long ago. I really appreciate all of the response

@DetroitBariSax The instrument is mine actually. We bought it from Tim Glesmann at Sax Alley in Windsor CO a couple of years ago and it's been great for me. I'm not really sure what our budget looks like yet, but I definitely can't afford anything too top of the line (so maybe around $400-$500 at the very max). The SKB case you mentioned is probably around the best I can afford.

I have a funny feeling that I'm going to end up having to rent one and pick one up in Dallas. My main concern with this is just playing in tune. I play on an Otto Link STM, and on the Yani I have to go all the way to the end of the cork in order for it to play in tune. When I tried my little brother's school bari a couple of weeks ago (it is a brand new Chateau) it played fine other than in intonation, mainly because the cork was so new and I couldn't get it in as far as I wanted. It was then that I realized that my bari has very thin cork on the neck (to the point of it being nearly flush with the rest of the neck). If I were to rent an instrument in Dallas I worry that whatever I get is going to have a similar issue to my brother's Chateau, and with it being a rental it probably wouldn't be right to try to sand the cork down at the last minute or anything like that. Is there any way around that or am I going to have to deal with it? And is there any way to play sharper without losing volume? I'll search it right now and see if I can find anything, but I frequently play long tones and struggle not playing flat at full volume. Come to think of it, elevation change and humidity change will probably change the intonation quite a bit, but it's still unsettling to think about. Aside from our main big band performance, the conference also has different jam sessions late at night ranging from beginning to expert that I was planning to play on, so playing another sax is definitely not ideal but I will do it if I have to.

Another issue that I am running into is that we do not have plane tickets finalized yet. My band teacher said that we should be able to get them by the end of this week (assuming everything plays out ok). He said we would likely be flying United from only Denver to Dallas. Because it's a school trip, I would likely be stuck in the convention center and hotel for the majority of the trip. @Dr G I'm not 100% sure how big or small the plane would be, but because of the smaller distance, I would assume it is on the smaller side.

I am also getting an overall vibe that I should invest in something different, especially with me going to college soon. Does anyone else here have any solid case recommendations for not a ton of money? As I mentioned before, I don't have money for anything extremely expensive or top of the line.

On another side note that I forgot to mention in my first post: I will be bringing my tenor as well. I assume it would be less of an issue to carry on since our group is traveling as a school. It also has a much smaller case than the bari. My private lessons instructor recommended Hiscox Cases to me, and I think I might invest in something similar to that as well for something guaranteed to be able to be carried on. My tenor also isn't anything too special-- just a Yamaha Advantage. It's not worth nearly as much as the Yani and it's not my primary instrument, but I am playing it in one of the charts.

Thanks again to everyone who has responded thus far :)
 

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I have a funny feeling that I'm going to end up having to rent one and pick one up in Dallas.
Good luck on finding one to rent anywhere in Dallas. Having lived in the DFW area for years, I can say I'm not sure if you would even find any store that has one for you to rent. You might need to call some schools or maybe see if a forum member would have one they would loan/rent you.

As for traveling, someone told me once that whatever case you put it in will need to be able to handle a fall from 10 feet.
 

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Yeah save your money and rent one. the only other alternative with your case budget is to find a used Anvil case and check it. If it was some kind of extended tour it would be one thing but if it's just one concert, or one weekend it will be over before you know it. And also keep in mind that just because it makes it there safely there without damage, it is not a given that it makes it safely back without damage. Keep yours safe at home and try to rent a YBS 52 or something similar. If you fly with yours or ship it and it shows up damaged, you will be renting one anyway and still paying to ship/fly yours back. Maybe one of the Dallas based high schools involved in the concert, if there is one, can supply one for you at no charge.Perhaps your band director can call ahead on your behalf,
 

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a hiscox is a fine case but expencive and also large for a formed case. an skb is a much cheaper and smaller option. hiscox also near impossible to find in the usa. your issue with the bari stm link and fitting a loaner horns cork is a valid one and smart of you to realize this .
 

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If I were to rent an instrument in Dallas I worry that whatever I get is going to have a similar issue to my brother's Chateau, and with it being a rental it probably wouldn't be right to try to sand the cork down at the last minute or anything like that. Is there any way around that or am I going to have to deal with it? And is there any way to play sharper without losing volume?
If you end up renting, I would pack a square of sandpaper, a roll of painters tape (to protect the lacquer on the neck if you need to sand) and a roll of plumbers tape (to add width to the neck if the cork is too thin instead of too thick). If you don't butcher it, they probably won't even notice if you have to sand the cork down a bit.
 

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@bhebert You could always find a local rental. Explain to them your requirements for travel and get it insured. Another option, ask Sax Alley if they can rent you a case for the outing.
One thing you’re doing right. Planning ahead. Look up music stores in Dallas. Send them an email of what you need. Two years ago I helped a member locate a rental in South Africa for an outing. Pick up the phone and make it happen.
 
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