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The friendly skies may seem welcoming to human passengers, but a guitar might not find air travel quite as accommodating.

Photo by Josh Sorenson

The ins—and especially the outs—of carrying a guitar on commercial flights, with tips and horror stories from Dave Davies, Kaki King, Tortoise’s Jeff Parker, and others.

A few months back, I was booked to perform at a festival in England. I always fly with my guitar in a gig bag and put it in the overhead bin, so I expected that I would do the same on this trip. About two weeks before the festival, I received an email from the organizer letting me know that my airline, British Airways, had created a new policy that no longer allows guitars in the cabin. I've taken my guitar on British Airways a number of times in the past and never had a problem, so this took me by surprise.

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