The airport authority is not concerned with how precious your guitar is to you and how you dread to part from it, so flying with one may require you to consider having the best guitar case for flying before boarding the plane.
Just as the airport authority can check your luggage, they can do the same with your guitar and may not let you carry it into the cabin. So besides prepping yourself mentally for the wild separation anxiety attack, you will also have to focus on how you can give your instrument a fighting chance when chugged around like common luggage.
While it is sad to part from your beloved guitar for a while, it must be infinitely worse to lose it for good at the hands of cruel airport rush/air-plane abuse. At this point, you should protect your loved guitar by using the best guitar case for flying.
We really hate to be the one to alert you of this cruel awakening but this should also explain the importance of having to sheathe your valued instrument.
We definitely recommend that you always invest in a durable casing, rather than find a cheap substitute as it will serve you longer while providing better protection against any damage from whatever the journey may have in store for your guitar.
If you are not sure of where to start your search or don’t have much knowledge on the kind of guitar cases available then this post should provide you with all the information you need to know about best guitar cases for air travel.
We have also covered a section where we provide you with some tips on how to safely fly with a guitar.
Our Top 5 Best Guitar Case For Flying
- Gator Cases Acoustic Dreadnought Guitar Case (GTSA-GTRDREAD)
- MONO M80 Acoustic Dreadnought Guitar Case
- SKB 1SKB-66PRO Rectangular Strat/Tele Style Electric Guitar Case Hard Shell
- Fender Deluxe Molder Stratocaster- Telecaster Electric Guitar Case
- Crossrock CRA860DBK Acoustic Dreadnought Guitar Case
Our Flight Case Recommendation
While soft guitar cases are great for portability and are very comfortable to carry around, there is no denying that the best guitar case for flying are those with hard exteriors. The GTSA-Dread comes with solid construction and upgraded latches for the best protection against any damage or loss you can think of when checking in your guitar at the airport.
We choose these gator guitar cases as the best acoustic guitar case for a number of other reasons which you will find out below.
The shell is made of strong and heavy-duty polyethylene which is exactly what you need to shield your valuable instrument from exterior pressure while the latches ensure that the guitar is safe inside the case.
TSA approved locking and the non-locking system is the way to go when you need that extra assurance while parting with your guitar at the airport. The locks are easy to work with so you can check up on the contents in a matter of seconds.
The interior of the case includes heavy padding of EPS foam covered with black plush that absorbs shock and prevents any impact from reaching the guitar. The padding is thick enough to cushion the guitar and stop it from wobbling inside.
Furthermore, there is a neck cradle to secure the guitar.
You can also throw in other items such as guitar pedals, straps, capos and other guitar accessories as there is a decent amount of storage space within the case. The storage compartment comes with a lid to ensure that the contents remain in place.
If you are not looking for the best acoustic guitar case then different styles of Gator guitar cases can be found for electric, bass and even for classical guitars.
- Hard shell
- Perfectly fits dreadnought shaped acoustic guitars
- Ergo-grip injection molded carry handle
- Thick padding
- TSA approved locking system with 2 keys
- Some buyers mentioned that the body of the guitar sits too low and the neck sticks out to the top of the case. This may be a concern for some who feel that this flaw in design could harm the guitar while gate-checking it during a flight.
The Mono M80 is more than just a gig bag it is perfect for musicians traveling with their guitar, strapped on to their backs while cruising along the urban streets. But can you trust the case to protect your prized possession on the flight? Take note that not all airlines will allow you to carry your guitar inside the cabin so before you part with the instrument you need assurance that you will get it back undamaged the next time it is in your hands.
To start off, the Mono guitar case known as M80 is equipped with hi-density foam bumpers in an attempt to protect the strap pin from feeling the blow of any vertical force. The aim is to turn the impact out and around the lower bout of the guitar.
Next, we take a look at the sole which is made of hardwearing industrial rubber that can be found on inflatable military rafts. This along with the incorporation of durable materials that are tested for resistance against abrasion and other harmful elements of the environment ensures that the case is built to withstand more than just everyday wear and tear.
Lastly, the patented headlock that straps around the most delicate part of the guitar-the neck- keeps the guitar from moving and saves it from all round impacts.
Overall this case with its ABS head, well-padded interior, and weatherproof exterior, will protect your guitar from impacts but we cannot say the same about its ability to save the guitar from stacking.
- Has decent guitar head protection
- Sufficient padding and storage
- Not entirely designed for cargo
The 1SKB-66PRO is designed exclusively for Stratocaster and Telecaster shaped guitars. The case comes in a rectangular shape and sports a hard shell made of durable lightweight ABS plastic. The exterior is also contoured with stacking ribs that double up the strength and power to withstand heavyweight and force.
Fiberglass reinforced TSA locking trigger latches protect your guitar and all the contents inside the case from theft and other possible harm. The lock system is secure yet easy to use by the owner so you can always do a last-minute check at the airport.
For the best support and accurate fitting, the interior of the 1SKB-66PRO is equipped with thick EPS. Once you lay your guitar inside, the plush-lined insert will firmly grip the instrument and prevent any movement.
A storage compartment takes up a small portion of the case inside that comes in super handy to keep all guitar accessories in one place.
After you have placed the guitar inside and secured the locks, you can easily carry the case to the point of gate-check-in by gripping on to the ergonomically designed handle. The positioning of the handle is just right to ensure stability during transportation by hand.
- Solid ABS exterior shell
- TSA locking system
- Stacking ribs on the exterior
- Thick padding for secure fit and protection against impact
- Includes a storage compartment.
- ABS plastic exterior may not be able to withstand blows from being dropped or extreme rough handling
By now you probably get the idea that cases with hard outer shells are better suited for cargo and our next product which is the Deluxe Molder Electric Guitar Case by Fender is already a favorite among many traveling musicians.
Of course, just having a hard exterior is not the only trait that’s important the material needs to be durable and strong enough to hold up against any force and for that reason, this Fender case is constructed out of ATA molded military-grade polyethylene.
The TSA approved locking center latch keeps all the contents safe inside while the polyester plush interior with extended reach protective neck cradle ensures a proper fit and resistance from shock for your instrument.
The comfortable handle enables easy transportation while rubberized feet on the hinged edge make it possible for you to keep the case upright and balanced on the ground.
As you check-in your precious guitar you can only hope that the airport staff are careful in handling the instrument but let’s face it, not everyone will take care of it like it is their baby so it is up to you to take all prior precautions.
Luckily with the best electric guitar case like this, you have some hope that your guitar will be protected against damage.
- High-grade polyethylene outer shell
- TSA approved locking system
- Rubberized feet
- Plush lined interior with a center pocket for storage
- The storage pocket is placed under the guitar bed that requires you to lift the guitar up to access any stored accessory underneath.
The Crossrock CRA860DBK is an attractive looking acoustic guitar case that also happens to come at an affordable price. Much like the ones mentioned before, this case is made sturdy for the well-being of your guitar, even while traveling by air.The firm ABS material exterior of the case is accompanied by a high-density foam core inside, giving the case a profound lush interior, which is just as necessary as a solid exterior. To protect your case from any kind of impact or scratches, it has been designed with shielding strips shaped around the case. For you to keep your various accessories in, the case has a large accessory compartment with a lid to prevent anything from falling out.
The case has five metal latches along with three metal hinges that assist in keeping the case stable. The handle is molded into the case for ease in moving of the case, a factor that has been taken into great consideration, hence leading to the addition of 3 sturdy D-rings at the back of the case followed by high-class backpack straps which have really durable metal buckles.
The safety of your guitar is in your hands and so before buying a case for your most prized possession, it is extremely necessary to stop and think several times. So if you’ll be traveling somewhere by air soon, and are looking for a durable, and stable case for your guitar that will give you the surety that your guitar is safe in the cargo, albeit stacked up against numerous other luggage, then the Crossrock CRA860DBK is a good option.
- High stability.
- Excellent quality ABS exterior material
- Protective strips around the case body.
- Case was shipped damaged according to some customers.
Tips on Travelling with a Guitar
There are many things you can do to ensure that traveling with your instrument or flying with a guitar isn’t all that complicated or nerve-wracking.
If you are lucky and can stash your guitar in the overhead bin on the plane then kudos to you but if the situation demands and you are asked to send it with all your other luggage then the following tips may make things a little better.
Please note that while some tips may work for you, others may not so it really depends on the situation you find yourself in.
1. Stuff the Inside of the Guitar Case
You probably know that guitars are fragile items, no matter how high quality the wood or body material is.
Ever seen how a guitar crashes to pieces when heavy metal or rock stars bang them against the stage floor during concerts?
They clearly weren’t made for all that banging!
So to protect your instrument even when it is inside the casings make sure you stuff things like old t-shirts or towels into the extra spaces of the case. The items will provide padding like support to your guitar so that in case your prized possession is dropped or hit by another object the sensitive parts are well cushioned and protected.
This also minimizes movement within the case so there is less impact.
2. Loosen the Strings
Tight strings are crucial to get the perfect sound when playing the guitar but this pressure can be harmful to the guitar when flying.
Change in temperature is an unavoidable circumstance when you are high above the clouds and can cause the already pressurized strings of your instrument to alter the shape of the guitar’s neck.
Simply loosen the strings before flying to prevent any harm to the body of the guitar.
3. Invest in a Guitar that is designed for traveling
We know what you are thinking-But the travel guitars are just not good enough! Actually, you couldn’t be any more wrong.
With a little bit of looking around, you can easily get your hands on some amazing travel-friendly guitars that are just perfect for gigs or practice.
With effective internet searches these days everything is just a few clicks away so why not use it to your benefit and find the perfect guitar to fly with?
4. Ship it
Not all guitars can be shipped but some definitely can. If you think you cannot take your guitar with you into the plane and do not have the heart to let it accompany your other luggage then you could pack it up correctly and have it shipped to your desired destination before traveling there yourself.
Also Read: How to pack a guitar for flight
Just make sure you get insurance from the shipping company so you know that you are covered if something goes wrong.
5. Use a Gig Bag
This might or might not work but if you are willing to take the chance then go ahead and try it out.
Carry your guitar in a gig bag instead of a hard case and walk into the plane. If you are stopped you can always try and reason with the cabin crew to allow you to keep the guitar with you because of the fragile packaging.
If you are lucky then the airport or plane staff may just let you go through but if there is no way out then the only option you have is to place it in the best guitar case for flying.
6. Consider the Airline
Not all airlines have the same policies and while some airlines are too strict in following them, a few airline companies are known to make exceptions on request.
It is important to be polite to the airline staff because they can help you with your guitar and even allow you to maybe carry it on the plane.
Nevertheless, you must check out your airline policies on traveling with instruments before you travel so you can plan ahead.
Top Guitar Cases on Amazon (for General Usage)
If possible we would say that it is best to avoid carrying a guitar with you when you travel, as there are many other kinds of risks involved. Having a high-quality protective casing doesn’t always guarantee the protection of your guitar from all possible harm.
But if you must carry your guitar with you then investing in the right casing (above mentioned best guitar cases) may somewhat help in reducing the chances of damage.
Moreover, we believe that along with a good casing it is more important to invest in an equally high-quality, travel-friendly guitar.
If you are someone who is always on the move and has to catch flights regularly with your musical instruments then you just need to travel with items that are designed for travel to minimize damage.