Advice and questions on keeping your instruments in top form
User avatar
By rachelnguyen
#11069
I check my drum, too. And yes, I have them put the fragile sticker on it. So far no problems. My TKL bag fits like a glove. I think it if were not as tight a fit, I would definitely pack some extra padding in it to keep the drum from slopping around in there.

When I came back from Mali, I brought a drum with me. All I had was my spare duffel bag, into which the drum fit perfectly. (It was meant to be, LOL.) I used a pillow to shield the head, stuffed some clothes into the base and wrapped clothing and towels and other stuff around the drum shell. It made it all the way to NYC without a scratch. On Royal Air Maroc. That, my friends, is what you call a miracle.

R
User avatar
By Djembe-nerd
#11070
Do they charge extra for size or something, OR is it just a regular bag.

I read somewhere that some airlines would let you take musical instruments and store them in the plane somewhere, and hand it back at the arrival point, I saw some guitar cases.
User avatar
By rachelnguyen
#11071
If you are flying domestic in the US, as long as the bag is under 70 lbs, it is ok. (Most US airlines now charge for checked bags regardless of size. Bastards, LOL.) International is 50 lbs for most airlines. My djembe in a duffel bag was below that. So was my drum in a tkl.

In the US, since people are being actively discouraged from checking bags because of the outrageous rates, the carry on situation is very chaotic. I cannot IMAGINE being able to bring something as big as a drum on board.
User avatar
By e2c
#11074
rachel - you've been very fortunate!

I would only check a drum in a hard-shell case, never in a soft-sided bag... too many things can go wrong. (I've seen baggage handlers do exactly what Michi described a few posts back.)
User avatar
By Dugafola
#11076
i've checked my drums in my cases dozens of times with no problems.

the crazy thing is when you have a window seat and a clear view of the luggage handlers loading luggage into a plane. the times i've seen them handle my djembes or duns, they've always pulled it off the cart and set it aside so it gets loaded in last on top of the other bags. one time i did see it come off the belt and hit the tarmac.
User avatar
By e2c
#11077
interesting - and there's never been any problem with the rings being a bit off?

I guess all my years of traveling with easily breakable drums is showing - most of my non-W. African instruments can't survive a trip in a plane's cargo area unless they're in hard cases.

what you're saying is encouraging, though!
User avatar
By Dugafola
#11078
e2c wrote:interesting - and there's never been any problem with the rings being a bit off?

I guess all my years of traveling with easily breakable drums is showing - most of my non-W. African instruments can't survive a trip in a plane's cargo area unless they're in hard cases.

what you're saying is encouraging, though!
never had a problem! knock on wood.

i normally use my Rhythm Traders bag for air travel because it has the most padding along with a lid for the head for extra protection.

i asked mamady if he's ever had problems with air travel and he said never. but he's probably got some gri-gri all over his stuff.
User avatar
By Dugafola
#11080
e2c wrote:If I could get one of their bags *without* the logo, I'd do it in a heartbeat. But somehow I think they're not planning on selling one like that. ;)
au contraire! when i was at the RT shop last summer, brad showed me the "low pro" bags...completely void of any branding and/or logo!

hook it up!
User avatar
By bops
#11082
What's up people, how is everyone?

I've had two drums damaged during air travel. I had thought that they were sufficiently padded, apparently not. One was repairable, the other was a loss. I would definitely be interested in that hard jembe case that was posted here a while back for air travel.
User avatar
By e2c
#11084
bops wrote:What's up people, how is everyone?

I've had two drums damaged during air travel. I had thought that they were sufficiently padded, apparently not. One was repairable, the other was a loss. I would definitely be interested in that hard jembe case that was posted here a while back for air travel.
Oy. I'm sorry to hear that, but not really surprised. (Have seen some incredibly bad baggage handling in the past myself, though none of my checked stuff has ever been harmed.) What airline(s) did the damage?

Back in the day, I got hassled a lot for refusing to check camera bags, but the thing was, the cameras and lenses belonged to my employers, not me... and there was no $$$ to replace them, so I wasn't taking any chances. (This was back when air travel was a bit easier than it is now, and I was able to get away with refusing to hand over the bag.)

I guess I'd be willing to check a Remo, should I ever be caught carrying one. ;)
User avatar
By michi
#11087
e2c wrote:What airline(s) did the damage?
Not sure whether knowing that would make a difference. As far as I know, baggage handlers are provided by the airport, not a specific airline (at least in most countries). It may be different with the US hub-and-spoke system though.
e2c wrote:I would only check a drum in a hard-shell case, never in a soft-sided bag... too many things can go wrong. (I've seen baggage handlers do exactly what Michi described a few posts back.)
Well, I've had my drum on flights dozens of times without incident. And, to be fair, I think the case I described is the exception. Most baggage handlers treat luggage decently. (If you think about it, if they didn't, there would be lots more damage than there actually is and the airlines would start to come down heavy on them.)

Cheers,

Michi.
User avatar
By e2c
#11088
Agreed, but even so, I'd rather be safe than sorry. A good drum is a big investment, and not all that easily replaceable, in some ways. (Since each one is unique.)

Lots of musicians carry their instruments; some even buy seats for them. Makes sense to me. :)

Also... there are some nice hardshell cases out there for congas. I doubt they'd exist if there was no need for them. ;)

* As far as knowing what airline, I dunno... there are some companies here where problems are a bit more frequent. These kinds of questions seem to come up a lot in travel mags... and (I'd guess) on websites, too. Knowing about it - plus people writing to the company or companies involved - has helped in the past, IIRC.
Last edited by e2c on Tue Feb 23, 2010 10:16 pm, edited 1 time in total.