When we travel by car, we can take as much things as we want to with us, just make sure, that instrument case does not lie on the BOTTOM of the things and it does not MOVE too much, especially on the case of saxophone. Place it well amongst the things!
Traveling by plane is a challenge, but I can share what have I done.
Traveling with tenorsaxophone, I take the so called flightcase (Selmer, BAM, SKB has a good one, it is soft material and also the hard flightcases), it has the shape of the saxophone and usually there has not been problems. But it is crucial to understand, that there are little planes versus big planes and that’s why YOU NEED TO KNOW before, which plane will be! Once, when I checked in at Paris airport, they start to interrogate, that mesures do not fit… etc and I was with soprano!!! So I told, I ve been traveling 15 years and I never had problems and as I have looked, that the airplane is big, so even for guitarplayer it should be ok…..it worked and actually it is true. Usually you have no problem with soprano, at least the case of straight soprano looks similar to violin case.
But the conciousness about musical instruments has not approved with the time!
When I was traveling tenorsaxophone with normal case, I mean not in a saxophone shape, airbaltic company charged me for special price 60 euros and I could carry it on the plane. So if you don’t have a saxophone shape flightcase, then you should count on for extra money (continue to read!).
Traveling with two saxophone,
I have wrapped alto in a hard cover suitcase between the clothes, nothing happened and theN tenor I took on the plane with (F)lightcase – ON THE SHAPE OF SAXOPHONE!
Of course I did put all documents inside the saxophone, no other bag is taken to the plane!
ALWAYS take out for travel the screwdrivers and all stuff you need for reparation your saxophone, because in the security of the airport, they look at it as a suspicious stuff, so they just take it away!!!!!
ALWAYS close all open pads with cork material, do it just like you received a new saxophone, if you still remember, all open pads and even C# and G# were closed with cork material. Then you have no worries about pads regulation problems, if that had accured during the traveling!
ALWAYS control before leaving an airport, if you had to give away your saxophone down with other suitcases, so when you arrive to the destination airpot (and I presume you have done insurance also!) then YOU OPEN AND CONTOL IMMEDIATELY there the condition of your saxophone. If something has happened during the travel, you can complain and ask for to repair it. Do you imagine yourself looking for a saxophone reparation in a country you barely know? Maybe you will not have even time for that?
Traveling with bariton I had such experiences:
Either you ask a bariton from the destination you are traveling, somebody has to have a bariton? It has worked.
You can buy a ticket for your bari saxophone separately and on the plane you sit next to it!
Third option is to close all open pads with cork and sticker them with the tape if needed. Then buy a LOT OF “FRAGILE” stickers and put ALLOVER on your saxophone, Otherwise you know…..they will damage.
We musicians are aware of the different suitcases for instruments, but airport craft NEVER.
Just think forward everything. All them worked well with me!
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Hope my experiences had served you, and please comment and share yours also! Thank You!