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#1470959 - 07/09/10 05:25 AM Pianos on a plane
xiangjiao Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/06/09
Posts: 63
Loc: California
Hey guys,
I'm going to go across the country soon and was wondering how I am going to get my 88 note keyboard to go with me. I still have the original box, but it will would be counted as an over sized luggage (since it has so much Styrofoam padding inside). I am allowed to have a luggage up to 62 inches long otherwise the airline will charge $100 more. My keyboard (Yamaha p85) is only 53 inches unpacked and was hoping to find a way to get it safely to the other side in a case -saving the oversized baggage cost for a case.

I was considering buying a hard case, but all the hard cases are almost as much as the keyboard itself ($350++). And I'm not so sure if a soft case is secure enough for those rowdy luggage handlers. So I was wondering how you other travels get your keyboards to go where they need to go.

Any suggestions? Any case recommendations?
I would appreciate it :]
-xiang

edit* total weight also may not exceed 50 pounds or a $50 charge will be applied frown the keyboard itself weights almost 26 pounds.


Edited by xiangjiao (07/09/10 06:51 AM)
_________________________
book// Alfred's Book I
song// Blow the Man Down
dreams// Cruel Angel Thesis, Just communication, I Say Yes, Cannon in D, star fox 64 opening theme
_________________________

Yamaha p85// started 6-11-2010

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#1470961 - 07/09/10 05:45 AM Re: Pianos on a plane [Re: xiangjiao]
Dave Horne Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/07/04
Posts: 5261
Loc: Vught, The Netherlands
... starring Samuel L Jackson ... ?

_________________________
website

mp3\wav files

AvantGrand N3, CP5

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#1470965 - 07/09/10 06:14 AM Re: Pianos on a plane [Re: Dave Horne]
xiangjiao Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/06/09
Posts: 63
Loc: California
Originally Posted By: Dave Horne
... starring Samuel L Jackson ... ?




love the video. its not helping though :-x
_________________________
book// Alfred's Book I
song// Blow the Man Down
dreams// Cruel Angel Thesis, Just communication, I Say Yes, Cannon in D, star fox 64 opening theme
_________________________

Yamaha p85// started 6-11-2010

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#1470979 - 07/09/10 07:20 AM Re: Pianos on a plane [Re: xiangjiao]
Dave Horne Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/07/04
Posts: 5261
Loc: Vught, The Netherlands
You bring a piano in a cardboard box and you take your chance. I wouldn't do it.

I wouldn't take a piano on a plane as luggage unless it was in a flight case. I've always owned flight cases for my equipment.

You either spend the money for a good case or you don't.
_________________________
website

mp3\wav files

AvantGrand N3, CP5

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#1470985 - 07/09/10 07:44 AM Re: Pianos on a plane [Re: Dave Horne]
theJourney Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/22/07
Posts: 3946
Loc: Banned
It would be easier and probably cheaper to buy another P85 at your destination.

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#1470992 - 07/09/10 08:01 AM Re: Pianos on a plane [Re: theJourney]
xiangjiao Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/06/09
Posts: 63
Loc: California
Lol, yes I also have considered this. But, a case will be an investment if I have to take my piano elsewhere (which I will since I move a lot).
A hard case under 24 pounds would be great, but no luck finding one so far. Anyone have experience with a soft case in an airplane?
_________________________
book// Alfred's Book I
song// Blow the Man Down
dreams// Cruel Angel Thesis, Just communication, I Say Yes, Cannon in D, star fox 64 opening theme
_________________________

Yamaha p85// started 6-11-2010

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#1471013 - 07/09/10 09:06 AM Re: Pianos on a plane [Re: xiangjiao]
Dave Horne Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/07/04
Posts: 5261
Loc: Vught, The Netherlands
One more thing, you don't have to buy a case mail order. Many local music stores can make you a custom case, this isn't rocket science. I had a custom case made for my then P250. I chose the thickness of the material, where I wanted the handles, etc. It was cheaper than buying mail order and I got exactly what I wanted.

Consider ordering yours with built in wheels, they come in handy.

A case with hinges? two separate pieces? extra space for cables, pedals, etc.? You can discuss these issues with your local music store. Be sure to have your name stenciled in several places.
_________________________
website

mp3\wav files

AvantGrand N3, CP5

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#1471094 - 07/09/10 11:31 AM Re: Pianos on a plane [Re: Dave Horne]
R0B Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/03/08
Posts: 1432
Loc: Australia
When I first came to Australia, from London Heathrow, about 10 years ago, I took a 76 key Korg N264 with me in a soft case.

The airline, (Singapore Airlines) put it in the 'fragile items hold'.
I was told that this was where items such as wedding cakes, etc., were stowed, in a secure, and temperature controlled environment.

I don't know if such facilities are still available, but the keyboard arrived safe and sound, albeit after a short delay, (it was sent to Kuala Lumpur, instead of Perth, Australia, but arrived intact, by courier the next day)
_________________________
Rob

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#1471107 - 07/09/10 11:55 AM Re: Pianos on a plane [Re: xiangjiao]
elecmuse3 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/05/10
Posts: 304
Loc: Cincinnati
I agree with Dave Horne, get a real flight case.
Early on, I had a roommate who worked for an airline. As a new hire, she had to do various positions and was startled when handling luggage to see how much her co-workers just tossed it around. With the pressure to "produce" higher now than ever, handling can only be on average rougher.
A real, sufficiently padded case will protect the instrument much more carefully, for a long time, and will add to the resale value of the instrument. I'd vote for an SKB. My Gator cases aren't quite as sturdy as hoped for when I mail ordered them (yet another reason to buy from a local dealer).
Yes, this may put total weight and size into a higher $ bracket, but, do you need your instrument to arrive in good shape?
_________________________
Terry@cincyrockers.com
www.theplayerpianoshop.com

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#1471124 - 07/09/10 12:06 PM Re: Pianos on a plane [Re: elecmuse3]
theJourney Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/22/07
Posts: 3946
Loc: Banned
Most airlines won't accept a musical instrument not in an IATA approved hard case.
If your piano is damaged they will not be responsible for the damage.

Make sure you understand the way that the charges are calculated: these are often additive.
After paying an over charge for extra piece, over dimension and overweight, you can often be out hundreds of dollars for a one way flight. In general, if you are paying to transport your 88 key piano out of your own pocket, be prepared to pay as much or more as a new piano for every return flight. You would be better off using your original carton to send it to yourself via UPS.

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#1471364 - 07/09/10 06:30 PM Re: Pianos on a plane [Re: theJourney]
xiangjiao Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/06/09
Posts: 63
Loc: California
Originally Posted By: theJourney
Most airlines won't accept a musical instrument not in an IATA approved hard case.
If your piano is damaged they will not be responsible for the damage.

Make sure you understand the way that the charges are calculated: these are often additive.
After paying an over charge for extra piece, over dimension and overweight, you can often be out hundreds of dollars for a one way flight. In general, if you are paying to transport your 88 key piano out of your own pocket, be prepared to pay as much or more as a new piano for every return flight. You would be better off using your original carton to send it to yourself via UPS.


Well I have a few options to reduce the cost.
Firstly, my first two checked luggage are free, so no money is needed there. But, if its over sized they will add $150 dollar. If it is over weight they will add $50. If it is over sized and over weight they will add $200. Mailing it would cost over $80.
So I could:
1. use original box (over sized) and end up paying $300
2. buy a case (over weight) and end up paying $100 + case
3. ship it for about $200 both ways
4. buy another piano when I get there $400+

*Most of the cases are under 62 inches so they will not be charged as over sized, but they are also over 24 pounds so they will be over weight.

Also, how much will a custom sbk cost me? Is the stock "adjustable" foam cheaper? Will it still work well?
_________________________
book// Alfred's Book I
song// Blow the Man Down
dreams// Cruel Angel Thesis, Just communication, I Say Yes, Cannon in D, star fox 64 opening theme
_________________________

Yamaha p85// started 6-11-2010

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#1471414 - 07/09/10 08:50 PM Re: Pianos on a plane [Re: xiangjiao]
Volusiano Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/01/10
Posts: 770
If your keyboard is only 53" unpacked and you need to be under 62", that means you still have 9" of foam total to protect the ends, or 4.5" of foam on each side, which should be sufficient. So why don't you just shave off enough of the foam on each end so that your total dimension is 62"? Then cut your box in half in the middle and cut off enough and tape it back up in the middle so the whole box is 62" long only.

If you're concerned about having not enough padding in the middle if there is a void, you can crumple up grocery bags to fill in the void for padding. Grocery bags are much thicker than newspapers and work very nicely as heavy duty padding. If you want to be even more sure, buy the self-expanding insulation foam that comes in a spray can, wrap your keyboard in plastic, then spray this foam inside the box and let it expand throughout the whole box to fill all the void. Then ship it as is, and cut up the foam when you arrive. If you're clever enough in cutting up the foam, you may even be able to reuse it next time.

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#1471543 - 07/10/10 02:30 AM Re: Pianos on a plane [Re: Volusiano]
theJourney Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/22/07
Posts: 3946
Loc: Banned
If you arrive at the airport to check in a large musical instrument that cannot be carried on without it being in an IATA hard case, the following scenarios are possible:

1. Airline refuses to transport it for you.
2. Airline accepts but makes you sign waiver that when it is destroyed it is not their fault.
3. Airline doesn't realize it is a musical instrument and when it arrives broken they then will tell you it is not their fault as their policy is to accept only in an IATA case or original shipping carton.
4. Airline invites you to carry it on anyway.

Option 1 is the most likely if you are honest what is in your bag and option 3 is most likely if you are not honest.

Remember an unprotected Yamaha P-85 is not meant to be thrown on and off airplanes and to rest under hundreds of pounds of luggage, perhaps not even flat and subjected to unreasonable torque forces.


The measurement that counts for most airlines is not how long the box or case of your instrument is, but what the " Linear Inches " are.

To calculate linear inches you need to measure the length, the width and the depth of your box or case and add the three numbers together.

So, if your case is 65 inches long and 5 inches deep and 12 inches wide then your linear inches for the airline calculations and charges are: 82.

What airline are you flying and is it domestic or international?

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#1471545 - 07/10/10 02:41 AM Re: Pianos on a plane [Re: theJourney]
theJourney Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/22/07
Posts: 3946
Loc: Banned
BTW: Depending on where you are going and how long you will stay, it may also be possible to rent a digital piano economically for as short as one month.

If you do buy a new instrument at your destination you could sell it back to the store or sell it on the internet before returning.

If you are traveling for work, presumably a lot of your time will be taken up working at your destination and you may have less free time than you think. There is a lot of musical study that you can do without having access to an 88 key keyboard: read books on music history or theory, studying harmony and music theory, analyzing sheet music and memorizing at different levels of abstraction, etc. You could also buy a 25 key keyboard such as the AXIOM 25 from M-Audio to attach to your notebook which is well suited to learning new pieces, selecting fingering and learning initial coordinations, even refreshing your scales and chord changes/cadences in all keys. It is more than enough for the current repertoire you are working on. It would also likely fit in your carryon or could be wrapped and placed in a suitcase.

You mention that you started learning piano recently. Don't get hung up on seeing piano playing as something that only happens while tickling 88 keys. There is a lot more going on behind the scenes to play piano well and it is all happening in your head not in your hands.


Edited by theJourney (07/10/10 02:46 AM)

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#1471548 - 07/10/10 02:58 AM Re: Pianos on a plane [Re: theJourney]
keyboardklutz Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/21/07
Posts: 10856
Loc: London, UK (though if it's Aug...
Take up the violin.
_________________________
snobbyish, yet maybe helpful.
http://keyboardclass.blogspot.com/


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#1471554 - 07/10/10 03:22 AM Re: Pianos on a plane [Re: keyboardklutz]
theJourney Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/22/07
Posts: 3946
Loc: Banned
Or take up the mouth harmonica like US Republican Senators have been reported to do while on the road.

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#1472329 - 07/11/10 01:44 PM Re: Pianos on a plane [Re: theJourney]
anotherscott Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/20/10
Posts: 3076
I'll add yet one more suggestion... buy another piano, specifically something really light, that you use only when are traveling. Something you could more easily check or (more likely) ship in advance UPS without each shipment costing you $80 to $100. Yamaha NP-30 perhaps.

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