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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'll be flying from New Brunswick, Canada, to Fort Lauderdale. It's a rental bari, and I'll be down there for 4 months on a cruise ship. I know I can't take it as carry on, but what's the best way to protect it for the flight? I don't want a horror story here, so any recommendations would be great. And I can't ship it down earlier, the only option is to take it with me when I fly.

Martin
 

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there is no easy answer to this one!

This subject has caused me so much frustaration its ridiculous! I used to always use a gig bag and as long as the plane was a 757 or larger it fits in the overhead with no problem. Until one time I had a very unpleaseant experience on American West where they made me check my selmer VI or I couldn't get on the plane. I paid a TSA guy to take my horn down to the belly and make sure that nothing could fall on it or anything and somehow I got luck that time with no damage.
I have a bunch of friends that still do this without problems, but it scares me too much to risk it. The safest options are:
#1: buy a calzone anvil type ATA case-best way to go but it will cost you around $450-500
#2: Buy a golf club CASE that is used to put golf bags in for travel and stuff a small hard shell or soft shell baritone case inside the golf travel case. Check the measurments to make sure your case will fit inside. If you have the standard rectangular bari case it won't fit.

You can gate check your horn in its current case. This is safer than checking it the normal way, but I have still had damage to my horn this way. I did this once and looked out the plane's window to see a baggage handler throw my horn down a huge metal slide and saw it slam down at the bottom. The best part was he walked down the stairs with a stroller in his hand.

These are the options that I know of, If you are planning on traveling in the future it might be a great investment to get an ATA case for it.
good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
The problem is I'm only playing this bari for the 4 months. The school I have owns a Mk VII Bari, but I can't take that so I need to rent one. I don't want to put out 500 bucks on a case I'll use twice. I'll call the airport and see what they say.
 

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Two words...Bubble Wrap. I have a Mk VI low Bb bari that I had to fly to New York a few times. I was using a ProTec Case, and just lined it and wrapped the bari in bubble wrap(the type with 1" bubbles). I also asked at check in to make the case a "last on/first off" case. Back then I was able to take the case to the gate and drop it off, then pick it up at the gate when I arrived. This was before 9/11, so I don't know if you can still do this. I'd also suggest that you stay as far away from Delta Airlines as possible.
 

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Vagrog said:
The problem is I'm only playing this bari for the 4 months. The school I have owns a Mk VII Bari, but I can't take that so I need to rent one. I don't want to put out 500 bucks on a case I'll use twice. I'll call the airport and see what they say.
Vagrog, I'm sorry to say that unless you put that horn in a bullet-proof case, you're likely going to end up with the horror story you're trying to avoid.

If you're renting this bari for the trip but have another to play at home, I'd consider shipping it as cargo, maybe as a counter-to-counter shipment with the airline (you might be able to get it on the same flight you're on). You'll pay to do that and you have to pack it properly, but the advantage to shipping is you can insure it and make the airline responsible for any damage that occurs.

The other suggestion I have is to call music shops in Ft. Lauderdale and see if you can rent the horn there instead of flying with it. If you're renting a horn anyway, you might as well do it at the destination and spare yourself the risks of transport.

BTW so you know... If it were me in your shoes, I would probably pass on the gig if I couldn't arrange for a horn at the port. Let's pretend the airline hammers the horn on your way down: what's your plan B? Will the gig pay enough to cover replacement if it's a total loss? It happens.

-Leanne
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Yeah, I know what you're saying. I've already signed the contract and everything, and I'm a university student and this is the best paying summer job I can get playing music.

I'll definitely check into the shipping option. How's it work? If it's not on the same flight as mine do they store it somewhere till I get there or what?

Edit: Anyone know a Music Store in Fort Lauderdale near the port that rents bari's :p
 

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Yes, ship it. You also have to consider the fact that damage is not the worse case scenario in the check baggage scene. They will LOSE your axe in a heartbeat. Insure it and ship it. If they lose it, it's on them.
 

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I know there's a lot of info about this topic that's available using the search efeature, but it seems like many posts are along the lines of finding something good and inexpensive.

Let's say, hypothetically, that you already have a WJ case for the bari and you need to fly overseas. Renting at the destination is not an option and neither is buying a horn once you get there.

Let's say you have a bari and already have a WJ case and you bubble-wrap the heck out of the horn itself.

If you could spend up to $1000 on a "solution" for getting the horn to the destination is good shape:

Do you get an anvil-type case to encase the WJ?
Do you get a BAM case and that should be sufficient?
Do you get a BAM case and then get an anvil-type case to encase the BAM?
Something else?

Hypothercially, of course!
 

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MoonPie said:
I know there's a lot of info about this topic that's available using the search efeature, but it seems like many posts are along the lines of finding something good and inexpensive.

Let's say, hypothetically, that you already have a WJ case for the bari and you need to fly overseas. Renting at the destination is not an option and neither is buying a horn once you get there.

Let's say you have a bari and already have a WJ case and you bubble-wrap the heck out of the horn itself.
Might as well stop there, because if you bubble-wrap the horn, you aren't going to get it back into a WJ case without seriously compressing the interior padding, which tends to defeat the purpose of padding it in the first place.

I've been in this situation, and the ONLY thing I would do in this case is get an Anvil or a crate to go over the outside of the case, and then SHIP IT. Carrier liability for lost or damaged baggage on international flights is strictly limited by international treaties, so if you end up with a damaged-beyond-repair horn, you might find yourself completely at the mercy of the airline with no legal recourse beyond the $.15/pound (or whatever that number is now) limitation.

My choice in that situation, by the way, was to leave the bari at home. These things cost a fortune, and I'm just not willing to risk it.
 

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Well, here is what I would do (and I have a WJ and an anvil case for it). Call the guy who hired you, and make them cough up the bread for a seat for your horn. I used to do this during my cruise ship days before 9/11 if it was during a peak travel period. Otherwise, I carried my bari and tenor on the plane with no issues. These days, if someone is hiring you for a gig like that, they should be paying for a ticket for your horn.

Oh, and shipping a horn in an anvil case works well too. I've done that twice now (for overhauls). I just slap the shipping labels right on the case!
 

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MoonPie said:
I know there's a lot of info about this topic that's available using the search efeature, but it seems like many posts are along the lines of finding something good and inexpensive.

Let's say, hypothetically, that you already have a WJ case for the bari and you need to fly overseas. Renting at the destination is not an option and neither is buying a horn once you get there.

Let's say you have a bari and already have a WJ case and you bubble-wrap the heck out of the horn itself.

If you could spend up to $1000 on a "solution" for getting the horn to the destination is good shape:

Do you get an anvil-type case to encase the WJ?
Do you get a BAM case and that should be sufficient?
Do you get a BAM case and then get an anvil-type case to encase the BAM?
Something else?

Hypothercially, of course!
As someone already mentioned here, damage is only half of the battle. Making sure it gets there at all is the real issue. The "least hassle and stress" option is to buy a seat for it. That way, you know your horn is fine, and when a snotty attendant wants to give you crap about your big case you can show her your ticket, get on the plane, put it in the overhead (yes the WJ fits fine - as long as you don't have the case with wheels) like you would normally, and have two seats to yourself in the completely packed plane.

I had one incident years ago (late '90's) with Air France where I was essentially forced to buy a seat for my horn (or check it in my WJ - not going to happen) after the first leg of a three leg flight. When I got on the last flight (Paris-JFK), I stashed the horn in a closet and sat down. The flight was completely full, and they were still trying fit people on. They wanted the seat back! I gave the attendant an ear full and they gave up. I had two seats and two meals (their food is actually decent) that flight... To top it off, after I got home, I wrote Air France a letter and got my money back for the second ticket!
 

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Airplanes aren't the only way to travel, especially from New Brunswick to Florida.

If I had to make this trip, I'd take a bus to Boston then Amtrak to Florida. With busses and trains, the horn never leaves your sight, except to put it in the baggage compartment on the bus, and no one else ever touches it.

With the new bus terminal at South Station (Boston), it's only a short walk from the bus terminal to the train platform.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I just realized it doesn't matter if it comes back in perfect condition, just that it gets there in perfect condition. I'll have it insured, so if on the return trip it gets damaged, no big deal. Thanks for all the suggestions, everyone, it's been a huge help.
 

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I stopped taking my bari with me on flights. Try and arrange a rental bari in Florida,
no shipping, no problems when you get there, use a reputable dealer and you will be fine.
 

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Maybe I just got lucky, but when I flew from Salt Lake to Orange County (cruise performance, then stop at Disneyland), I just warpped the Serie II I was using in bubble-wrap, duct-taped the thing shut, slapped a "Fragile" Sticker on the case, and checked it. I guess the Selmer case was pretty good. I didn't even worry about it.

Note: this was prior to 9/11, but everything went fine with the Bari. I'm still concerned about taking my alto and tenor on tour when I fly out to Montreal this summer, though.

-Bubba
 

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It isn't obvious to me who wanted to know, but as long as we're resurrecting this thread, I would add that landrusax's gate check anecdote probably explains what happened to my gate checked bari. They carry stuff down if it's easy (strollers), but the slide is there in case it isn't (bari sax in SKB case.) The case looked like it had dropped twenty feet, bari suffered inconspicuous but crippling body damage. I'm not gate checking anything again, but if you think you might like to try it, use the lightest, smallest case you can.
 

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I talked to Mr. Eppelsheim how he is shipping his tubax´s and basssax´s. He said his trick is to get a rather cheap box made of plywood and put the sax well packed in its own case inside. Since the wooden case looks rather wimpy and immediately shows damage everybody seems to handle it with care.
 

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i would never book a gig i didnt own a horn for. if you are going to play bari sax -you need to own one.
 

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I guess, Super20dan that you have neither flown with your bari or you didn't read the originial post. He didn't say that he did not have abari, he just didn't want to fly with it.
Over the years, I have played many a gig without my own horn, not my favorite, but the best choice. If you fly internationally, at all, the cse doesn't matter, the boys in customs
take the horns out of the cases to do an inspection and that's where most of the damage occures. So Super20dan, if you want to take your bari with you on a flight, be preparred for some damage, sooner, rather than later. Me, I leave mine at home and rent.
 

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looks like you are the one who didnt read the post carefully. he does not own a bari-the selmer he plays belongs to the school. no i havnt flown with my bari except for flying home from boston after i bought my selmer mk6. i have flown for many flights playing tenor and had my first super 20 ruined by the airlines. there is only one safe way to fly with a bari and thats with a calzone type flight aproved road case and cross your fingers it dosnt get lost/stolen. i still feel its foolish to sighn a contract for a cruise ship gig with out having a horn to do so on. would you rather play your own axe rather than scramble to find a rental thats beat to heck and trust that its going to do the job? playing bari has its own set of hazzards besides just getting it to the gig. its large and so fragle. even on a cruise ship i would want a backup horn just in case
 
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