Minstrel Banjo

For enthusiasts of early banjo

So I was entertaining the idea of heading out to the sweeney gathering if its happening again. But am not sure of the best way to bring my banjo since I would be flying. Do you guys ever do air travel with axe or do you mail it ahead of time to someone? Mailing seems a bit better to me but was curious of other opinions or options for safe arrival of banjo.

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I have always brought my banjo with me. Of course, I only live about 4 hours away from ACH, so carrying it with me is best for me. If you are thinking of mailing it, you may want to check with David Wooldridge. He works as a historian at the park.

I worded my question out rather poorly so I have edited it for clarity :)

If I did make it out I would be flying in which is why I am worried. I just picture them tossing it onto the conveyor belt like cargo and it urks me a lil. All in all it is a much more light weight banjo than a wire rig but still sketchy.

I will deff ping David, thnx!

I figured you would be flying.  I wouldn't want to trust the airline baggage handlers either.

There was a ruling a couple of years ago with regards to airlines being required to allow instruments as carry-ons "provided that certain conditions are met:"

U.S. Department of Transportation Issues Final Rule Regarding Air T...

The rule requires that each U.S. carrier subject to this regulation allow a passenger to carry into the cabin and stow a small musical instrument, such as a violin or a guitar, in a suitable baggage compartment, such as the overhead bin or a closet, or under the seats, in accordance with FAA safety regulations and the carrier’s FAA-approved carry-on baggage program. 

Carriers must allow passengers to stow their small musical instruments in an approved stowage area in the cabin if at the time the passenger boards the aircraft such stowage space is available.  Under the rule, musical instruments as carry-on items are treated no differently from other carry-on items and the stowage space should be made available for all carry-on items on a “first come, first served” basis.  Carriers are not required to give musical instruments priority over other carry-on baggage, therefore passengers traveling with musical instruments may want to buy the pre-boarding option offered by many carriers to ensure that space will be available for them to safely stow their instruments in the cabin.


In addition to issuing this rule, the Department has also created a webpage (http://www.dot.gov/airconsumer/air-travel-musical-instruments) that provides useful tips and information for consumers on how to prepare for air travel with musical instruments.

So, assuming you get on the plane early enough, they technically have to let you carry your instrument on.   Seems like it would definitely be worth looking into the preboarding option, and also to bring a print-out of the above ruling; it seems like exactly the sort of situation where one can run into someone who gives them a hard time because they don't know about the rule.

Don't check it as regular baggage.  I did that once with a hardcase and literally watched the baggage supervisor (yes 'supervisor') pick it up off the belt and simply let it fall out of his hand onto the tarmac.  This was on Southwest Airlines where they claim to love their baggage.  That said, I have never had problems carrying my banjo on board.  Here Southwest is a good choice because if you check in online EXACTLY 24 hours before your scheduled boarding time you will likely get an "A" boarding pass, which pretty much ensures that there will be sufficient room in the overheads.

Good luck and hope to see you at APX!

awesome, did *not* now about being able to carry it on. Thanks for sharing guys!

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