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Thread: Mandolin as carry on?

  1. #1
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    Default Mandolin as carry on?

    Anyone have recent experience flying with their mandolin? I've only done it once a few years ago. I was able to take it and a carry on bag to store in the overheads.

    I'm flying Delta next week. If I knew I could take it as carry on, I would proceed. I have time to ship it ahead via Fedex. I'd rather avoid the cold weather shipping and chance of damage or loss. I do have a Calton flight case. I'd almost rather take the risk with Fedex vs. the gorillas at the baggage area.

    BTW- it's my backup mandolin, but I still don't want to have anything happen to it.

    Thanks

  2. #2
    Registered User John Soper's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mandolin as carry on?

    I always use a hard case and put it in the overhead. My other carry-on fits under the seat. Sign in on-line early. Never had a problem.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Mandolin as carry on?

    How many carry on pieces of luggage do the airlines permit ?
    Last edited by DGtryin; Feb-08-2020 at 11:24am.

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    Default Re: Mandolin as carry on?

    Assuming you get 1 overhead storage item and 1 personal item (backpack, purse, etc), you should make the mando your overhead item. Don’t try to take it and a rolling suitcase on board, because the Calton won’t fit underneath the seat. Either check a bag for your clothes/toiletries or fit everything into a backpack or computer bag that will fit under the seat. Just flew Delta to Cancun with a short layover in Atlanta last week and saw several guitars and a trombone stowed overhead. It helps to pay to upgrade your boarding status as well. I had a travel uke in my backpack

    I was able to fly last August to/from Boston with a mando in a gig bag as my under seat item, but the gig bag wasn’t Reunion Blues or Travelite beefy. I originally put it overhead cuz I’d gate checked the roller, but nixed that plan after a lady tried to crush the thing with her suit case (in her defense she was too short to see it).

    Ultimately, it comes down to the mood of the flight attendants, who generally respond quite well to politeness, courtesy, and reason...
    Chuck

  5. #5

    Default Re: Mandolin as carry on?

    Quote Originally Posted by CES View Post
    Assuming you get 1 overhead storage item and 1 personal item (backpack, purse, etc), you should make the mando your overhead item. Don’t try to take it and a rolling suitcase on board, because the Calton won’t fit underneath the seat.
    +1
    Have flown 5 times in the last 5 months with my mandolin in a Hoffee and my computer in a messengers bag.
    The Hoffee fits in the overhead and the computer under the seat in front of me.
    Only got a hassle once from a gate agent, who thought it was too big for the overhead.
    I told her I fly with it all the time....she just shrugged as I took it on board.

  6. #6

    Default Re: Mandolin as carry on?

    FYI, not all tickets these days follow the "1 carry-on and 1 personal item" rule you might be used to. Assume you have 1 personal item and no carry-on unless you have verified (or paid) that they'll let you do that.

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    Registered User Steve Sorensen's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mandolin as carry on?

    https://www.transportation.gov/sites...nstruments.pdf

    "On February 14, 2012, the FAA Modernization and Reform Act of 2012 (the Act) was signed into law.
    Section 403 of the Act requires U.S. air carriers to accept musical instruments on their passenger flights either as carry-on baggage or checked baggage, provided that certain conditions are met. The passage of Section 403 is Congress’ response to difficulties musicians have encountered when transporting their instruments during air travel."

    Steve

  9. #8

    Default Re: Mandolin as carry on?

    Quote Originally Posted by sliebers View Post
    Anyone have recent experience flying with their mandolin? I've only done it once a few years ago. I was able to take it and a carry on bag to store in the overheads.

    I'm flying Delta next week. If I knew I could take it as carry on, I would proceed. I have time to ship it ahead via Fedex. I'd rather avoid the cold weather shipping and chance of damage or loss. I do have a Calton flight case. I'd almost rather take the risk with Fedex vs. the gorillas at the baggage area.

    BTW- it's my backup mandolin, but I still don't want to have anything happen to it.

    Thanks
    Just flew Delta from SFO to Nashville on Thursday with mine. No issues.

  10. #9
    Registered User BeanJean's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mandolin as carry on?

    I flew Delta last week from Minneapolis/St Paul to Pittsburgh with no problems. One of the stewardesses and the pilot were musicians and we had a nice chat about my mandolin.
    Eastman 815 oval hole f style
    Saga kit f hole campfire/travel mando

  11. #10

    Default Re: Mandolin as carry on?

    Quote Originally Posted by Steve Sorensen View Post
    https://www.transportation.gov/sites...nstruments.pdf

    "On February 14, 2012, the FAA Modernization and Reform Act of 2012 (the Act) was signed into law.
    Section 403 of the Act requires U.S. air carriers to accept musical instruments on their passenger flights either as carry-on baggage or checked baggage, provided that certain conditions are met. The passage of Section 403 is Congress’ response to difficulties musicians have encountered when transporting their instruments during air travel."

    Steve
    That is all fine, but the flight crew still retains all the discretion it needs to deny an instrument in the cabin on a crowded flight. You can't rely on this language, and I would never travel with an instrument that wasn't in a case that could withstand unexpectedly being thrown into the luggage compartment.

    That being said, I often fly with a guitar, and I can only recall two times in the last 3-4 years that I wasn't allowed on the plane with it. The vast majority of times, it's been fine in the overhead compartment. And I'd imagine the odds are even better with a mandolin.

    If OP has a Calton case, that seems to suggest the obvious solution: use that case. It'll fit just fine in the overhead, which is most likely where it will end up.

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    Default Re: Mandolin as carry on?

    Quote Originally Posted by Marty Jacobson View Post
    FYI, not all tickets these days follow the "1 carry-on and 1 personal item" rule you might be used to. Assume you have 1 personal item and no carry-on unless you have verified (or paid) that they'll let you do that.
    Agree. If you buy a ticket via a discount site (like Priceline), your status is at the very bottom and you may not have the same policy and someone that bought from the airline direct. Having status always helps as you can get on earlier and grab precious overhead bin space before it fills up. I would not fly with a gig bag as there is the chance they could make you check your bag

  13. #12

    Default Re: Mandolin as carry on?

    I fly a fair amount internationally and I've never had a problem with the mando as carryon. (My last trip, it was the mando in a hard case and a soprano ukulele in a gig bag bungeed together!) It fits fine in an overhead bin.

    Just double-check the baggage allowances on your ticket because, as already noted the 1+1 carryon rule is no longer universal - the airlines are nickle-and-diming us to death.

    Also, if you're flying smaller jets like a Bombardier or something be aware that you might be asked to gate-check the instrument. In that case (NPI) a gig bag would be a gamble.

  14. #13

    Default Re: Mandolin as carry on?

    Jinx, DaveGinNJ, you owe me a Coke!

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    Default Re: Mandolin as carry on?

    Quote Originally Posted by BadExampleMan View Post
    I fly a fair amount internationally and I've never had a problem with the mando as carryon. (My last trip, it was the mando in a hard case and a soprano ukulele in a gig bag bungeed together!) It fits fine in an overhead bin.

    Just double-check the baggage allowances on your ticket because, as already noted the 1+1 carryon rule is no longer universal - the airlines are nickle-and-diming us to death.

    Also, if you're flying smaller jets like a Bombardier or something be aware that you might be asked to gate-check the instrument. In that case (NPI) a gig bag would be a gamble.
    I took my mando on a business trip to Australia last year, and the final leg was on a Dash-8 prop plane. With these they take your carry-on bag as you board the plane and toss it in cargo because the overhead bins are tiny. I was able to convince them to let me take the mando on board and the attendant found a spot for it for me.

  16. #15

    Default Re: Mandolin as carry on?

    I’ve traveled all over and not once had an issue. I’d toss it in the Calton and not worry. Worst case scenario it takes up your leg room.

  17. #16
    Martin Stillion mrmando's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mandolin as carry on?

    I wear hospital scrubs and put the mandolin in a cooler marked ORGAN FOR TRANSPLANT.
    Emando.com: More than you wanted to know about electric mandolins.

    Notorious: My Celtic CD--listen & buy!

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  19. #17
    Registered User John Soper's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mandolin as carry on?

    I've bungee corded a guitar and a mandolin together as a single carry-on to go in the overhead with no problem, flying in anything but a puddle-jumper.

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