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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Has anyone taken their horn overseas? I'm going to Kiev with a quartet in late April and wonder how best to handle my instrument. I currently have a BAM case, but certainly don't feel comfortable letting the baggage handlers manhandle it.

I'd appreciate any comments or your experience taking a bari on an airplane.

Sincerely,
Lynn
 

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I travel with my "The Martin" bari to Europe (from NY) a couple of times a year, and domestically quite a few times a year (I'm the bari player for the Diva Jazz Orchestra). I've been using a BAM case for a few years - I bought one about 6 months after they came out.
I GATE-CHECK the horn - this is the key. This means I carry it through security - it fits through the X-ray machine - and carry it to the door of the plane and leave it where the baby strollers go - it gets a pink gate-check tag at either check-in or at the gate - depending on the airline.. It is hand-carried to a separate luggage chamber & t the end of the flight, it gets hand-carried back up to the door of the plane. If you travel on a non-American airline, they let you bring it on board and store it in the coat closet. Sometimes (but much rarer) the American companies will let you do that too..
I've never had damage on an international flight, but twice on a returning Delta/Northworst flight to LGA, it was put on the belt instead, and I had to get repairs. That was twice in about 100 flights since I've had the BAM case.
Best of luck and have a great tour!
Lisa Parrott
 

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I've thus far been lucky enough to convince them to let me put mine in the overhead. Not something to count on, but worth a try at the airport.
The ideas about Cabin baggage, or cabin lockers sound fine, and I have always manged to travel with my tenor( in a Hiscox), in the luggage Locker, as hand baggage.
I thinkthe airlines may be more sympathetic since UK musicians mada fuss about not wanting to place valuable / fragile instruments in holds. .
However, as a last resort, I think woudl rather hire one in the distant Country than risk the baggage handlers - imagine where one would en up if the Heathrow T5 system consumed it last week!

Blowhard2
 

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The one time I flew without my horn and had a choice of using the college's MkVI or SA80, they were both in terrible leaky condition. I used the SA80, but lamented the decision to not bring my horn the whole gig. Never again..
 

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I had a HORRIBLE mishap flying to Europe with my Yanagisawa in a Walt Johnson case. When I finally collected my horn in Venice the case was destoyed and the horn was trashed! The worst part was this was on the way to the gig and there was nowhere who could repair the major damage, I had to ship the horn back to the US and played the gig on my bass clarinet until I could get a functional bari!

Ever since then, every time I fly, I put my horn in an anvil case. Altogether it weighs 50 pounds, but I have never had a problem since! I do know of a couple of guys who have anvil cases for their baris that have built in wheels.

Additionally, I have loaned my case to other players who have been flying with their horns as well...

Another consideration is insurance for your horn. If there is damage to your horn in flight, on international travel the airlines are only obligated to $400 US!!! Get private insurance on your horn! Imagine my surprise first of all when I get my bari in Venice and the case was destoyed, the top bow crushed, the body bent and the bell flattened. Then after my tribulation to discover the airline would only pay up to $400 of the repair bill that cost me $3000!!

Being someplace where they barely speak your language, needing MAJOR body work done to your horn and not getting reimbursed by the people who did the damage! - Don't risk it!!!! Get an anvil case for your horn and get it insured!!!!!
 

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I've thus far been lucky enough to convince them to let me put mine in the overhead. Not something to count on, but worth a try at the airport.
I thought Baris were too big to fit in overheads. No?
 

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I thought Baris were too big to fit in overheads. No?
My WJ case fits fine... I used to travel back and forth to Europe with a tenor and bari on the plane and was rarely hassled (but this was before 9/11). Now I have an anvil for my WJ bari case if I need to check it. I still prefer a seat for it, but it depends on the gig and who is footing the bill...
 

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My advice is to box it up and pad it liberally... thats what i had to do for my bari...

granted it was a bit of a hassle to handle, having nothing to hold onto, but it was well worth it in the end, because i flew to new york from texas and to england from new york, and when i got it out in england it was in great condition without a sign of wear...

also, be sure that you get a fragile sticker put on it... they may throw it softer...
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Thanks for all the advice. I got the key clamps, added some extra padding in my Bam case and liberally applied fragile and handle with care stickers in English and Russian. We made it to Kiev and back with no problems. I was able to gate check the horn on the shuttle to and from North Carolina and New York and the bari fit in the overhead of the transatlantic flights. The ticket agent in Kiev was especially accommodating, although concerned that all the members of the quartet had instruments the same size as mine! Thanks again to all who responded to this thread.
 
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