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Technique & Instrument Related to techniques, to the instrument, to the components, to maintenance.

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Old 11-27-2018, 11:45 PM   #1
Piping Potential
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Default Bagpipes as carry-on luggage

I'll be traveling via airline soon. My case is pretty well padded, but I'd just as soon not trust my pipes to the rough baggage handlers. Problem is the airlines have decreased the maximum length of a carry-on from 24" to 22" (my case is about 24"). But they also say the luggage may not exceed 45 linear inches (W+L+H). Either way the case exceeds the maximum. Has anyone had a problem with bringing their pipes on a plane? Any recommendations if I must check my pipe case?
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Old 11-28-2018, 05:31 AM   #2
Pppiper
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Default Re: Bagpipes as carry-on luggage

Quote:
Originally Posted by Piping Potential View Post
I'll be traveling via airline soon. My case is pretty well padded, but I'd just as soon not trust my pipes to the rough baggage handlers. Problem is the airlines have decreased the maximum length of a carry-on from 24" to 22" (my case is about 24"). But they also say the luggage may not exceed 45 linear inches (W+L+H). Either way the case exceeds the maximum. Has anyone had a problem with bringing their pipes on a plane? Any recommendations if I must check my pipe case?
This comes up a lot. Under NO circumstances should you check your case with your pipes in it. The issue isn’t baggage handling ... it's temperature changes. There are various types of baggage compartments, all of which will have some climate controll, but you have absolultely no way of know what will be what, and where.

If you’re using a particular airline, check that specific airline’s policy in regard to musical instruments. Almost all airlines will have policies relating to instruments. Many will make accommadations outside of the maximums, provided that the case will still fit somehow in the overhead bin. I have a darned-large case, but that will still fit the long way (horizontally).

Putting the case in the long way takes up more overhead space though, so you may be at the mercy of flight attendents if there’s a crowded flight and overhead space is getting scarce.

First line of defense is to pay extra to get an early boarding position. Whether that means business class, early-bird checkin, etc ... do whatever it takes to be among the first to get on the aircraft. Those who are boarding last are the ones with the least options available. In short; this is one of those times where its worth paying a little extra to get a lot of peace-of-mind. If you try to nickel and dime it ... well, you were warned.

Again, though, you are at the mercy if the attendents. Be polite, do not get upset if they try to force your case below. Try to calmly explain that the wood can crack from temperature swimgs. If they dont buy it ... well that sucks, but theyre just trying to acommodate all passengers as best they can. Do not get heated, if you do then ALL of your options will be gone because theyll be left with zero sympathy for you.

In this event, simply remove your pipes from the case (and give them the case to check, sans-pipes), and put them under the seat in front of you or (preferred if possible) in the seat pocket. You’ll probably have to take them into pieces, but one way or another you’ll get through fine. I know lots of pipers who had to fly from the US to Scotland with their pipes sticking out of the seat pocket.

You could also try checking your case ahead of time, and carrying your pipes in a small knapsnack for carryon. I’ve done this with budget airlines, where I don’t trust them to be helpful.

Knock wood (ha) ... I’ve not needed to remove my pipes yet when boarding with my case.

Best of luck.

Cheers,
~Nate

Last edited by Pppiper; 11-28-2018 at 05:51 AM.
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Old 11-28-2018, 06:27 AM   #3
bob864
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Default Re: Bagpipes as carry-on luggage

What I've always done is completely break down my pipes, wrap them in clothing, and put them in a small backpack (the kind kids carry books to school in).
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Old 11-28-2018, 06:40 AM   #4
Lochie
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Default Re: Bagpipes as carry-on luggage

I also bought a legal sized carry on case and simply broke down my pipes in them. No more worries...
On one trip I packed my pipe case full of clothes in my regular suitcase and switched it out once I arrived.
But now I just use my rolly carry on as a pipe case, it's very convenient, and I don't mind the extra 2 minutes assembly and take down.
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Old 11-28-2018, 07:37 AM   #5
Jim Fogelman
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Default Re: Bagpipes as carry-on luggage

My case is pretty big - about the size of a carryon bag.

I've flown plenty of times with it, both domestically and internationally to Scotland and never had an issue. And I fly with that case and a carryon bag and take both on the flights with me.

I do have a small drawstring bag that I keep in the for two reasons:
-if I have to check the case, I'll put the pipes in the bag and keep that with me
-I take it with me on parades and at games to put the pipes into for the walk back to my car or the band area (similar idea to the pipe caddy)

If you are like me and have everything you could ever need in your pipe case, take out stuff you know you won't need (or just put it into your luggage) to help save a little space.
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Old 11-28-2018, 09:21 AM   #6
Pppiper
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Default Re: Bagpipes as carry-on luggage

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lochie View Post
I also bought a legal sized carry on case and simply broke down my pipes in them. No more worries...
On one trip I packed my pipe case full of clothes in my regular suitcase and switched it out once I arrived.
But now I just use my rolly carry on as a pipe case, it's very convenient, and I don't mind the extra 2 minutes assembly and take down.
A+ ... I've done this as well with more difficult airlines such as Spirit.

Cheers,
~Nate
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Old 11-28-2018, 09:29 AM   #7
Mac an t-Sealgair
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Default Re: Bagpipes as carry-on luggage

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Fogelman View Post

I do have a small drawstring bag that I keep in the for two reasons:
if I have to check the case, I'll put the pipes in the bag and keep that with me
I do the same, great tip.

I use this for airtravel.

http://bagpipecase.com/product/bagpiper-backpack/

I have only ever been asked once on a small regional airline (SAAB 340) to put it in the hold, when I explained it was bagpipes the staff were more than happy for me to take it on.

On bigger aeroplanes this should be no problem.
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Old 11-28-2018, 10:01 AM   #8
RJB
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Default Re: Bagpipes as carry-on luggage

Prior to flying to Scotland, I took my bag to the airport and had them check it out. Got a written doc stating it was OK to take as carry on.
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Old 11-28-2018, 10:11 AM   #9
Pip01
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Default Re: Bagpipes as carry-on luggage





Greetings, Piping Potential.... and to All,

All in all... we are quite fortunate... that we do
not... play the cello. :)

But were our instruments of that size... airlines
all have specialty accommodations... for musical
instruments. (All sorts of musicians air travel with
all sorts of instruments. :)

I have a very old... but very sturdy... pipe case...
that continues to comply with present airline(s)
size restrictions... and for both national and inter-
national travel.

But that being said... if... or the more likely... when...
carry on baggage sizes are further constricted (as
the companies are forever trying to get more bodies
and bags... into smaller and smaller spaces :) then
we are always at liberty to stow our instruments in
the fore or aft spaces... reserved for the crew.

Overhead spaces having been already filled... I have
only had to do this twice... in all these years... and with
no... administrative difficulties. (The crew was always
quite happy to help. :)

Most usually... I arrive to the plane in time to secure
an overhead space... that is in direct... line-of-sight...
with my seat.

Need I now say... never... never... never... trust your
pipes to baggage handlers... and cargo holds...??

Wishing for all... happy... and safe... air travel,


Pip01



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Last edited by Pip01; 11-28-2018 at 10:14 AM.
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Old 11-28-2018, 12:11 PM   #10
Andrew Lenz
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Default Re: Bagpipes as carry-on luggage

All good advice, this may be helpful too:

Traveling on Airlines with Bagpipes
http://www.bagpipejourney.com/articl...nd-pipes.shtml

Andrew
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