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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've seen many posts here about suggestions for traveling by plane with a baritone sax such as Anvil cases, buying a ticket for the sax, etc..

Before going for one of those higher priced alternatives, I would like to know if anyone here has ever been successful in bringing a baritone on board as a carry-on item in one of the smaller profile cases (example: a Reunion Blues Bag). I've flown with my tenor many times on different airlines in a hard SKB-shaped case and have never had a problem bringing it on board. I'm pretty sure that I would be pushing the limits with a baritone though...

Any experiences? Thanks.
 

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10 years ago I was playing bari in a band that flew a lot. Carried my bari in a Reunion Blues bag for 1 1/2 years with no problems.

Since 9/11 things have changed. I now have my bari in a Walt Johnson case and then the Walt Johnson case goes into an Anvil style case.
You are totally at the mercy of the person at the gate. If you try to carry your bari on the plane and they say no at the gate you are screwed. Your horn is in an inadequete case and now has to go under the plane.

They may offer to "hand carry" your bari and put it under the plane. This option was offered to a guitar I worked with in January. They would not let him carry his guitar in a soft bag on the plane (think the bari would have gotten on?) They made the offer to hand carry his guitar and place it under the plane. When he got to Ft. Lauderdale, no guitar. It finally turned up 5 days later. It had been left on the tarmac in the rain and had been run over by something. It was in many pieces.

For me, better safe than sorry applies here.
 

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I was told by alaska airlines that they could only let me buy a ticket for my bari *IF* it was in a horn shaped case. They're a fairly big airline now, but I am unsure of how that goes with other airlines.

On a note: I have a "Hybrid" anvil style case, and have put it in the belly of the beast five times now; the only damage was caused by the TSA jerks who physically bent my low b, bb, and a keys up. I saw a lady in Chicago actually push my horn over(top of the case became the bottom) with absolutely no problems.

I bought my case from new york, but there is a maker of anvil style cases in Seattle, not sure on who it is. Cost is definitely a huge problem for getting this case. $512 to have it made and shipped to AK from NY; if you live on the west coast, look in to getting one from the west coast! :)

This case is also protecting my horn against everyday dings. No problems with the horn, but ouch! my arm!
 

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This morning I flew home from school on Jet Blue (flying out of Burlington vt to JFK) I carried on my bari in a protec case without a problem. When checking my other bags the worker mentioned that it was a big "if" whether they would let board the plane with the horn and did offer the hand carry (last item loaded - first item off) option if there was no room on the plane.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
A long overdue 'thanks' to everyone who responded. I made a successful round trip flight from NY to Long Beach, CA on Jet Blue and was able to bring my baritone on board in a gig bag. No one seemed to notice it since the bag has backpack straps and it was behind me. I had no trouble fitting it in the overhead bin either.
 

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yeah this was a while ago for a post... I think my first response was before I met Fred Ho. He travels a lot with his bari. So long as it will fit in the overhead bin, musicians can carry their horns on board with them... Like in a gig bag. I recommend sending the hard case via luggage though... Dent bags have a tendency to mess you up outside of the airport.
 

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barisaxplayer said:
yeah this was a while ago for a post... I think my first response was before I met Fred Ho. He travels a lot with his bari. So long as it will fit in the overhead bin, musicians can carry their horns on board with them... Like in a gig bag. I recommend sending the hard case via luggage though... Dent bags have a tendency to mess you up outside of the airport.
This doesn't always work. I've tried to carry mine on with me and been refused several times. (Which is why I would never show up to an airport with a gigbag.) If it works out, great. If not, you (and your horn) are screwed.
 

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I've flown on ERJ-145's (44 seats = TINY), MD-80's, Boeing 737,777,767,757... Pretty much every size, except a tiny Cessna.
So far no issues with any sax. *knocks on wood*

One thing I've noticed about all the planes I've been on, is this HUGE compartment up near the galley in first class. There's usually 2 on the larger planes. You could fit at least 2 baris in there and that's a very conservative estimate. I don't think they're reserved for people in 1st class, because I see flight attendants going around economy collecting large things and stowing them in those big cubbies. www.seatguru.com calls it a closet, another site called it a cubby. *shrug* Maybe the correct term is Galley Closet? :)
Asking at the check-in and then again at the gate if you can put your horn in that closet never hurts and could help secure a place on board. :)

I really think it all boils down to mood. Basically, if someone doesn't want to deal with it, you don't get to carry it on. I've been very lucky and they are always very accomodating to me and my sax.
Good luck to all future Bari players that want to fly with your little monster. (and I don't mean children.) :D
 
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