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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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