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Air travel with a violin
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V10L1N
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August 12, 2016 - 12:15 am
Member Since: November 16, 2015
Forum Posts: 22
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I'm not sure which way I should go on this.

I'm traveling thru the States for a couple weeks and would like to take my fiddle with me.

I have been debating whether to purchase an expensive case for my violin or to purchase the Cecilio solid wood electric violin. 

The silent electric will be perfect for hotel rooms and alot cheaper on the whole than some of the travel cases that I have been looking at.  

If you have traveled by air with a violin what case do you recommend.

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Fiddlerman
Fort Lauderdale
August 12, 2016 - 10:16 am
Member Since: September 26, 2010
Forum Posts: 11717

I've never had a problem in all my years of flying with my violin being stored in the overhead compartment.
If you are leaning towards the inexpensive Cecilio Solid Body electric violin, consider having it shipped to a hotel and avoiding paying customs and extra shipping. Which states are you visiting?

"The richest person is not the one who has the most,
but the one who needs the least."

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V10L1N
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August 12, 2016 - 11:21 pm
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I'll be flying from Tallahassee to Atlanta for a week and then to D.C. for week.

My wife's going to conferences, so I'll have a lot of down time to practice. 🙂 Plus, no kids!!! 😉

I'd love to bring my violin with my original full size case but I have heard horror stories where they make you check your instrument if it doesn't fit the requirements.

Some of the BAM cases are small enough to fit but are expensive.

So I figured that if I chance it with your Cecilio violin and I have to check it, it will fair better in the belly of the beast than my expensive accoustic.

Thanks for your advice!

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Charles
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August 13, 2016 - 12:03 pm
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According to this https://www.transportation.gov/briefing-room/us-department-transportation-issues-final-rule-regarding-air-travel-musical, US carriers (in the US, presumably) HAVE to let you bring it onboard in the cabin. (There are gotchas, I'd read the whole article. The two big ones are that it's first come, first served, and you might have to pay extra.)

The only real issue with it riding in the cargo area is that it's colder. It's NOT the -50 degrees that I thought it was. The cargo areas are pressurized these days, and heated, too.  But they usually keep them anywhere from 5 to 15 degrees (20-22 if they have a pet in there.)

5, or even 15 degrees is enough cooler than you usually have it at that the strings would tighten. At a minimum that will take it out of tune, and in a worst case scenario, might crack your bridge, or have the sound post fall over (since it shrinks some, too.) You could loosen the strings, but that has issues, too.

The good news is that the baggage area is not nearly as hostile an environment as it used to be.

On the other hand, it sounds like you're looking for a good excuse to get an electric, and far be it from me to discourage you from that.  (I'd recommend loosening the strings before you fly it in the baggage compartment, though. No sound post to fall over, so just a PITA tuning.)

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Fiddlerman
Fort Lauderdale
August 14, 2016 - 9:50 am
Member Since: September 26, 2010
Forum Posts: 11717

You are right Charles.

Also, I never had a special case for traveling. I don't know of any violin cases that don't fit in the overhead compartment. Try to get onboard a bit earlier rather than last minute. If they can't fit the violin in the overhead there is a chance they will want to put it down below though you can protest. The only problem in putting yourself in that situation is that they can say that you'll have to wait for a less booked flight. If you get onboard early (Also, wear your case on your back so that they don't think about it) you'll have a very little chance that anyone will even mention it. I have flown with my violin hundreds of flights.

"The richest person is not the one who has the most,
but the one who needs the least."

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V10L1N
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August 14, 2016 - 10:05 pm
Member Since: November 16, 2015
Forum Posts: 22
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Thanks guys!

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