If you’re travelling as a professional musician then there are certain items of luggage which are pretty darned important. Yes, obviously your pants and trousers are up there, but that goes for any traveller really. If you’re part of a Roxy Music tribute band, then enough hairspray to take a good chunk out of the ozone layer is of course vital too. But what about the tools of your trade, you know, your drums, your banjo or that awful ukulele? When you’re travelling abroad for a gig, it is imperative you keep your instruments safe. With that said, let’s have a little look at some of the factors touring musicians need to be aware of when travelling with their instruments.
Not just any old instrument will do
Such is the human condition that musicians build strong bonds with their favourite instruments. No one wants to see a famed rocker renowned for their aloof, womanising ways reduced to a weeping wreck, as they watch their Gibson Les Paul whirl slowly around the baggage carousel with a badly broken neck. As any musician will tell you, one guitar is not very much like another, and the same goes for drums, didgeridoos and violins (believe it or not, a Stradivarius is not interchangeable with the £64.99 Argos own brand).
Put it in cargo at your peril
Flight cases are designed to keep your instruments safe under even the most perilous conditions. Top quality flight cases are tailored for each instrument they carry, ensuring a tight and protective fit in the spongy and forgiving interior. However, when your instrument can be of immense personal and monetary value, the cargo hold does not always provide the peace of mind you need. We’ve all peered out of the aeroplane window upon arrival at our destination, to see the cargo hold open and the contents being hurled boisterously about and dragged kicking and screaming by the carefree baggage handlers. It’s a surprise the instruments contained within don’t take it upon themselves to play a mournful sonnet as they suffer this brutish treatment.
Over the past few years there have been an increasing number of restrictions added to the transportation of musical instruments, which are causing a significant hindrance to musicians travelling abroad. The additional expense can be such that travelling abroad for musicians on a budget is no longer an option. There’s no worries if you’re the Jonas Brothers, well, no worries relating to the expense of carting your instruments safely around the world anyway, but if you’re more at home in village halls and dingy bars than international stadiums, you may find the cost prohibitive.
If damage does occur, will you be covered?
Airlines, particularly of the budget variety, can be inconsistent, almost to the state of unscrupulousness in their application of insurance cover. The problem is that there is no standard policy which applies across EU countries for airlines to rely upon. If the airline itself has a policy, then often its application is unpredictable and in certain circumstances, contradictory. It is also sometimes unclear the condition under which instruments can be carried on board.
Author: Dragon Cases is the UK’s leading supplier of flight cases, specialising in the design and manufacture of custom made poly and fibre transit cases, providing a secure and virtually indestructible method of transporting and storing your prizes possessions.