Carry on/check musical instruments?

#1 Sep 14th, 2014, 21:01
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#1
I'm curious how the check/carry on may work with instruments.
Flying to India from the USA I will have no checked baggage. I'm using a carry on backpack. I believe we're allowed one free check under 50lb, one carry on, and one person item. I've read there's a new law that forces airliners to allow you to carry on an instrument, just as long as it fits under the chair or above head.
I have my eye on smaller instruments such as tabla set, sarangi, and sarod. I would personally like to purchase a tabla and one of the other instruments. I'm nearly certain the tabla could fit under the chairs. What about the sarangi/sarod? Should they be checked?
I've also read issues with the TSA and wood from India. They would'nt have to slice them up like I've read?
#2 Sep 14th, 2014, 21:09
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#2
I wouldn't check any wooden instrument (that wasn't packed in a hard case). Tabla under the seat . . . Hmmm . . . might be close. Maybe be prepared to check your bag on the return flight. They are getting crankier about the size of carry-ons . . . and this could change during your stay. I'd personally check with your carrier.
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#3 Sep 14th, 2014, 21:11
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#3
So then I would want to give up the idea of bringing back a sitar I assume. Even with a fiberglass case?
Shipping cost back would be too much
#4 Sep 14th, 2014, 21:16
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#4
I have known people to get a sitar on as luggage. But, I'll strongly ditto D's comment on a case..
#5 Sep 14th, 2014, 21:31
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#5
So far I'm seein' sitar . . . sarod . . . sarangi . . . tabla . . . (what?, no harmonium? ) I see two options: your own container, or, learn to love bansuri (as I did) . . . I brought three back with me
#6 Sep 14th, 2014, 22:06
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#6
Tabla in fibreclass case, has been done, but checked in. My son took it to the US, the case cost almost as much as the tablas. I doubt you can carry a set under the seat.

Of course, one reads stories of international musicians buying a seat for the instrument that they play (ok, ok, I wanted to write 'their instrument' but then... ). Probably makes sense with a Stradivarius
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#7 Sep 14th, 2014, 22:42
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Not a chance it would fit under the seat. Almost nothing does, except a small bag. One has to have room for feet too!

Tabla would not be nearly as fragile as something like a sitar or veena. For the drums, all you really need to do is protect the heads. This is not so hard: punch holes in steel plates so they can be tied on, put a soft layer between the head and the plate, and secure the plate with string. The wooden drum body is thick: you could probably break concrete with it , but the metal body obviously must be protected from dents. Mridangists are better off: the single wooden body is very, very tough, and only the heads need protecting.

I've never handled a sarangi or a sarod. The sarangi looks like much of it is made from solid wood, and its squat shape would take quite a lot of wrapping and still fit in a standard size case. I guess sarods are rather more delicate.
#8 Sep 14th, 2014, 23:29
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#8
A harmonica would fit under an airline seat. As would a bansuri (flute).
#9 Sep 14th, 2014, 23:35
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I've brought back a sitar to the UK as checked-in luggage. I had it packed at a shop in Pune, who put it in a wooden box and packed it tightly with foam. No damage. No extra cost, though it was my only piece of luggage.

It was with Air India - maybe they are more comfortable with the idea? And it was pre- all the recent paranoia with luggage, so probably none of this is relevant anymore.
#10 Sep 14th, 2014, 23:44
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#10
Quote:
Originally Posted by ViShVa View Post A harmonica would fit under an airline seat.
That should be a t-shirt, "...and all I got was this lousy harmonica."

Mind you, I went to Birmingham and bought a rolling pin, once.

I did have other reasons for the trip, and it was a chance purchase, but, sitting on the Central Line (London) on the way home to Shepherds Bush, I looked in my bag and thought, "I've just been to Birmingham to buy a rolling pin!" I started to giggle. The girl sitting opposite me caught my eye, and with no idea why, she started to giggle too. In a couple of minutes all seven or eight passengers in that section of the train were all laughing.

God knows what might have happened had it been a harmonium from India!
#11 Sep 15th, 2014, 00:29
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#11
I am giggling reading that! You might have had an impromptu Tamil film-like sing song 'dancing in the aisles' experience. (with a Gujarati dandiya sequence with rolling pins just to confuse viewers.)




(Home was 'Shepherd's Bush'! I love that neck of the woods but could never afford it).
#12 Sep 15th, 2014, 01:53
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#12
I rented what amounted to little more than a corner of a room. This was my first home in London.
#13 Sep 15th, 2014, 05:47
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#13
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