[Dixielandjazz] Packing a banjo for air travel

Bill Gunter jazzboard@hotmail.com
Sat, 14 Sep 2002 05:06:12 +0000

Hi listmates,

I occasionally fly to a gig and take my banjo along with me. I check it 
through with the regular baggage in my regular banjo case.

The case is pretty sturdy and can take a lot of abuse and the banjo fits 
fairly snugly inside. But I take additional precautions when I pack it.

First I loosen all the strings and lay the bridge flat.

Next I remove the resonator and pack the interior of the banjo with all the 
clothing (socks, shorts, hankies, whatever) to fill it up and then I replace 
the resonator.

Then I put the banjo in the case and pack more clothing items around all the 
spaces not occupied by the banjo (around the head and neck and anyplace else 
I can squeeze an undershirt or two.

Then I lock the case and go ahead and ship it through.  No problems yet.


Bill "Love them banjos" Gunter

>From: "Robert S. Ringwald" <ringwald@calweb.com>
>To: "DJML" <dixielandjazz@ml.islandnet.com>
>Subject: [Dixielandjazz] Trombone On Airlines
>Date: Fri, 13 Sep 2002 18:37:43 -0700
>Stan Brager asked about taking a trombone in a commercial airliner.
>A year or so ago, Mike Starr trombone & Scott Anthony banjo (both with Bob
>Schulz Frisco Band) arrived @ the Oakland Airport to fly Southwest to OR 
>a Jazz festival.
>The ticket agent would not let them carry their instruments aboard.  Since
>neither of them had a travel case suitable for checking, they went back 
>& did not make the festival.
>This can happen at any time.  It is not worth taking the chance.  You might
>have to either go ahead & check your horn, or go home & lose the money you
>paid for the flight.
>Gary Reynolds, trombone for Fulton Street JB has been sending his trombone
>through baggage in the normal case.  I keep telling him that he is crazy.
>So far he has been lucky but I know his luck is going to run out.
>After the incident with Mike Starr & Scott Anthony, 4 of us, Ralph 
>Scott Anthony, Jim Marsh & I bought traveling banjo cases from the same
>company that Jack Vincum from Climax JB got his.  We have all used them &
>they go through baggage just fine with no damage to our instruments.  Both
>Jim & Jack have taken their instruments around the world many times with no
>I strongly advise against checking a valuable musical instrument through
>airline baggage, even if they mark it fragile.  To some baggage workers, 
>word fragile on an item means you throw it 20 feet farther.
>A couple of years ago an airline pilot member of DJML posted a message
>telling what goes on with your baggage behind the scenes.  If I still have
>that message & can find it, I'll post it on DJML.
>Placerville, CA USA
>Amateur (ham) Radio Station K6YBV
>Fulton Street Jazz Band
>See: http://www.ringwald.com
>Boondockers Jazz & Comedy Band
>See: http://www.theboondockers.com
>Dixielandjazz mailing list

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