Tue. Apr 16th, 2024

Most guitarists have fun touring, but do the bassists get the chance to have the same fun? Yes, they can, but there are difficulties that every bassist faces in transit. Already there are hard and fast airline rules; on top of it, bass guitars are bigger than the standard, such as Tele or Stratocasters, for the deeper frequency these guitars produce. Carrying it in a hard case might be enough, but some tips and preparations can ensure smooth touring as any other guitarists do. In this post, I have rounded up the essential tips for flying with a bass guitar.  

Tips for Flying with a Bass Guitar 

1. Carry a Hard Case: 

Gig bags are suitable for saving space and packing more accessories, but flying with a bass guitar hard case would be the best option. Also, accordions for sale are an excellent option which can be carried by a hard case. Generally, most hard cases are made from premium aluminium, ABS plastics, or polymer. The solid body of the hard case protects the bass guitar from bumps, and drops are common in transit. Moreover, while flying, the atmosphere and pressure change at that time hard cases are exactly what you need to protect your precious bass.    

2 Insurance: 

Losing or damaging a bass is highly likely when someone plans to fly with a bass guitar. Sometimes the bass even gets stolen. At that time, common insurances like renters’ or home buyers’ insurance are more likely not to cover the loss. Your instrument is insured if you are a member of ASCAP and BMI. If you are not, the only option is to buy insurance. Companies like Music Pro Insurance can help you get one.  

3. Follow the Airline’s Rules:

        Every airline has rules and regulations for musical instruments. Some airlines may seem very friendly, and others may seem too harsh. So, before flying, it’s essential to check through airline rules as most airlines have weight and size limitations on carry-on items. Moreover, while traveling intercity, some domestic airlines have small airplanes. Carrying items on those is difficult. If possible, check which plane you can go on before flying with a bass guitar. 

4. Take Care of Your Bass While on a Flight:

Never leave your bass unattended for a moment. It can get damaged somehow. Don’t keep the bass around the plane’s seat where it can get knocked around. Do not leave the bass in the hands of flight attendants as they have a lot of priorities. If you had to leave the guitar in their hands, don’t forget to request them to handle the guitar case carefully since it’s a fragile item. 

5. Make Basic Adjustment with Your Bass:

While travelling, there won’t be access to everything just like at home, so it’s best to think of what could go wrong and be prepared accordingly. Make the basic adjustment like height, string, or truss rod in case something goes wrong. Think thoroughly and pack everything you think is needed, including the extra cable and strings. 

6. Write “Fragile” on the Guitar Case:

While checking in, the bass in the airport Write “fragile” in the box so that the airlines’ luggage conveyors handle your box safely. Add your name as an act of caution against being lost or stolen. 

7. Take Photos of the Case Before Boarding: 

Before boarding, take a picture of the box from multiple angles. Somehow the box gets damaged, you will have proof, and you can ask for a refund from the airline later. 


Among the musical instruments, bass guitars are not the strongest, so the idea of flying with them makes it more concerning. But if you follow all the tips mentioned above, the guitar will be well protected during flights. I strongly advise checking out the federal and airline rules regarding flying with a musical instrument.  


Can you fly with an upright bass? 

      The straight-cut answer is yes. But there are many rules and regulations by airlines. Since Bass guitars are usually bulky, make sure it complies with airline policies for flying with a guitar.  

Is it OK to take my guitar as hand luggage? 

      A Bass guitar is best if carried as carry-on or hand luggage because checking in makes it more prone to getting damaged, lost, or stolen. Moreover, there’s an extra cost for checking in where the carry-on is free. 

Can I carry on my guitar without a case? 

Flying with a bass guitar without a case is very risky; by case, I mean the hard case. The Bass guitar is fragile and more prone to damage, so it’s best not to carry the guitar without a case; gig bags don’t offer ample protection. Rather than using cases like gig bags, it’s best while flying with a bass guitar to use hard cases. Hard cases that are TSA approved are best for these cases.