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Thread: Traveling with Marcus Bonna Hard Case

  1. #1
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    Traveling with Marcus Bonna Hard Case

    After looking through some of the posts on this I learned that the Case for my Adams(made by Marcus Bonna) WOULD FIT in the overhead compartments of Southwest Airlines planes, but on their site the dimensions they use to regulate carry ons say otherwise.
    10x16x24 is what they say is there limit in size for a carry on item. Do they let you take it anyway? My case measures 14x16x32 inches.
    Adams E1 SS, Gold Brass Body .6mm DE Euph N103 Jcup, J9 shank
    Meinl Weston 2141 Eb Tuba PT 84

  2. #2
    This is one of those "You are at the mercy of..." situations. If you are beyond published dimensions they can make you check it, but many crews are flexible for reasonable infractions like this. If they don't accept it at the gate they can gate-check it to go under the plane. The case is good protection, and Miel Adams tells me they often carry euphoniums as checked baggage with no problem.
    Dave Werden (ASCAP)
    Euphonium Soloist, U.S. Coast Guard Band, retired
    Adams Artist (Adams E3)
    YouTube: dwerden
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    Instagram: davewerdeneuphonium

  3. #3
    the carry-on restrictions do not apply to musical instruments. The rule is that if it will fit, you may bring it on. However, you may still run into someone that doesn't know that and will give you a problem. Your best bet is to be as nice as you can be, take it with you to the gate, have it on the opposite shoulder as you walk by. If you can pay a few dollars extra for early boarding, that will help. This way you can get it somewhere before all the overheads fill up. If someone does stop you, they will ask you to gate check it. Don't put up a fight. Just say yes, accept the tag, and then walk down the jetway and carry it on anyways. If someone does stop you at the bottom of the jetway, and makes you gate check, I have been VERY impressed with the care that I've seen southwest's baggage handlers use. They seem to have really drilled it into them to treat every bag gently.

  4. #4
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    Great post Barry! Steven Mead shared a link on his website that might help frequent air travelers with musical instruments. Here's the link:

    Airline travel with Musical Instruments


    edited to add: There are some good follow-up comments below Nick's article linked above.
    Last edited by RickF; 05-17-2014 at 11:00 AM.
    Rick Floyd
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  5. #5
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    Great info everyone! thanks for the the help, if you have any other comments on this subject fill free to flood this post with knowledge as it was somewhat scarce when I started looking for the info myself.

    Justin
    Adams E1 SS, Gold Brass Body .6mm DE Euph N103 Jcup, J9 shank
    Meinl Weston 2141 Eb Tuba PT 84

  6. #6
    My son and his fianc? traveled to 4 grad school auditions a total of eight flights, most from regional airports. 4 puddle jumpers and four larger flights. They had a euphonium (him) and tuba (her) and 3 seats for each of the flights. In each instance they approached the flight crew before leaving, explained their situation. In each case they were allowed to pre board, strap the tuba into the seat and the flight crew stored my son?s euph in a cabin storage facility. On two of the small flights the euph flew with the flight crew in the pilot?s closet. All the crews were very nice and appreciative of the advanced notice. For the record my son?s euph was in a MB case as well.
    Last edited by Euphdad; 05-19-2014 at 08:07 AM. Reason: sp.

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by bbocaner View Post
    the carry-on restrictions do not apply to musical instruments.
    I don't believe that this is the case.

  8. #8
    Look up the FAA Modernization and Reform act of 2012. The gist is that the airlines can't set a maximum size (other than that imposed by the physical limitations of the overhead bins or underseat space itself) for musical instruments, as long as there is space. This is why early boarding is key, there needs to be space. Try to also schedule flights direct, when you change planes it is too easy to get there late and there not be any space left. Also, they can't charge you extra for carrying on a musical instrument. Also, the current TSA rules allow you to bring a musical instrument in addition to your one bag and personal item through security checkpoints -- not in lieu of either of those. However, I find it to be easier to have success and not raise anyone's hackles if you are ONLY carrying your musical instrument and not other stuff as well.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by bbocaner View Post
    Look up the FAA Modernization and Reform act of 2012. The gist is that the airlines can't set a maximum size (other than that imposed by the physical limitations of the overhead bins or underseat space itself) for musical instruments, as long as there is space. This is why early boarding is key, there needs to be space. Try to also schedule flights direct, when you change planes it is too easy to get there late and there not be any space left. Also, they can't charge you extra for carrying on a musical instrument. Also, the current TSA rules allow you to bring a musical instrument in addition to your one bag and personal item through security checkpoints -- not in lieu of either of those. However, I find it to be easier to have success and not raise anyone's hackles if you are ONLY carrying your musical instrument and not other stuff as well.
    This is correct. Until a recent job change I traveled monthly and while I didn't travel with my Willson I often took my dreadnought sized guitar. The rules say that if the instrument fits in an overhead you can carry it on if there is room. But you can still only have 1 other carry on. So early boarding helps. I am a frequent flier so I always get to board early. Last, if the plane is large and has closets, you can politely ask a flight attendant if they will store your horn in one of these.

    Also be aware of gate attendants who do not know the rules. On time I was told I had to check my guitar even though I was one of the first to board. I protested politely and was allowed to carry it on. Those are the rules.

  10. #10
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    I just wanted to give everyone an update on my situation as this may be helpful to others in the future.

    Marcuss Bonna Cases do NOT fit in the overheads of the Boeing 737 planes Southwest flies, the bell of the case is too tall. I got lucky my first flight and the flight attendants did as many have said and placed in a closet, but they told me they only did it because they knew there was no one from FAA on board to check, normally this would not be allowed. Second flight was not the case. Again the case would not fit in the overhead and the flight attendants speedily took my horn and checked it. Thus, my horn was damaged. EDIT: It was obvious to me and others that the case had been dropped to cause the damage and there were matching marks (yellow scuff and cut into the case) on the case and where damage appeared on the bell.

    Due to this incident I am shipping my horn home via fedex/ups so that it can be insured and not on a plane.

    Had I known it wouldn't fit in advance, as I told the flight attendants on both flights, I would have left my horn at home rather than checking it. Also, once you are on the plane they won't allow you do a valet check/gate check even though the people right behind just did. I am sure this is just another policy no one talks about, and the airline does not supply much information on their site.

    If anyone has any questions please feel free to ask.
    Last edited by Jrpetty24; 05-23-2014 at 08:27 AM.
    Adams E1 SS, Gold Brass Body .6mm DE Euph N103 Jcup, J9 shank
    Meinl Weston 2141 Eb Tuba PT 84

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