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Accessories Flight Case Recommendation

Veggie Dave

Veggie Dave

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As it looks like I may be taking regular flights between France and the UK, I need to find a way to safely transport a tenor. Although I know you're supposed to be able to take a tenor/sax onto a flight as hand luggage I'm assuming that every time I fly something will go wrong and it has to go in the hold. And that means using a proper flight case rather than hard case.

Can anyone recommend one? Preferably from personal experience but companies you've heard good things about would be helpful, too.

Thanks. :mrcool
 
rhysonsax

rhysonsax

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I can't answer your question, so I'll ask a different one.

Are you flying to the same place in France each time and you want to have a tenor to play there ? It might be simpler to get a cheapish second tenor to keep in France and just transport your mouthpiece.

Rhys
 
Veggie Dave

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I'm looking at leaving a sax in place and flying one over. The problem I face is that my cheap tenor doesn't want to play the altissimo notes I need so I'm cheating and using an alto. That means leaving two saxes behind. Or (finally) buy a pro level tenor and take it with me because I'll no longer need the alto.

If I'm really lucky, having a sax that will allow me to play altissimo with ease and confidence will then mean I'll be able to jump back on the cheap one and still hit the notes, and then I'll no longer need to fly one over or have two saxes in another country doing nothing 90% of the time.
 
Wade Cornell

Wade Cornell

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This may not help unless you're fairly handy: Make your own. I go from New Zealand to Europe each year to play and take a tenor, soprano and sopranino. They all fit into a hard shell older large suitcase that I modified into a flight case. The trick is to wrap each instrument in cling film and "blow" foam around them. This creates an exact mold and holds the horns in place while isolating them from shocks. The last step is to use contact cement to attach two way stretch velour to cover the foam. The only way they could be harmed is if someone drove a forklift through the case. There's also a compartment left for all my clothes. The suitcase cost $5.00 from a charity shop. Make sure it has good strong wheels. Cobble streets in Europe will destroy those cheap plastic wheels in no time.

Any case is only as good as the fit. What trashes instruments is their ability to move around in the case. That means that most cases you'd buy are "vague fits" with some movement that can happen. Generic cases require you to put other packing material around your instrument to keep it from moving. If you blow foam around the instrument the fit is absolute. I can't put a different brand/make of sax into any of my custom flight cases. I've also made blown foam cases using giant bamboo and cheap generic (empty) flight cases for smaller horns.

The big suitcase with the three horns plus clothes is heavy, but just makes it under the 20Kg limit for most flight's checked luggage. It's ordinary looking, but locks (combination type), so doesn't look like something worth stealing. This may not be a consideration in Europe, but I go through the orient to get to Europe where expensive looking stuff can go missing when suitcases are transferred from one flight to another.
 
Veggie Dave

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That's a unique solution. Many thanks. :thumb:
 
Pete Thomas

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Although I know you're supposed to be able to take a tenor/sax onto a flight as hand luggage

Are you sure you are " supposed to be able to take a tenor/sax onto a flight as hand luggage?" Which airline says that?
 
Veggie Dave

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Easyjet: Musical instruments are permitted for carriage as Hand Baggage provided that the instrument, including its case, does not exceed 30cm x 120cm x 38cm.

My tenor case is smaller than these dimensions, therefore I can only assume they will accept it as hand luggage.

Music Instruments | easyJet
 
Phil

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I took a tenor in a Hiscox case from Oregon through Paris to the South of France as a carry on. Its best to talk to the airline in advance but I had no problems...other than it being a miserably long trip. This was on Air France operated by Delta.
 
Veggie Dave

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Thankfully my flight times will be just a tiny bit less than yours ... by around 11 hours. :D
 
Zugzwang

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Oh how I love @Wade Cornell ’s blow foam solution - how do you come by a blower in the UK?
Phoned Hiscox re NZ flight and they were v. helpful (discussing mods to their cases) and the stories on their website are worth a read.
 
Targa

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Oh how I love @Wade Cornell ’s blow foam solution - how do you come by a blower in the UK?
Phoned Hiscox re NZ flight and they were v. helpful (discussing mods to their cases) and the stories on their website are worth a read.
You can buy expanding foam in aerosol cans from DIY shops.
 
Zugzwang

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You can buy expanding foam in aerosol cans from DIY shops.
But won't the cost of buying in such small units rapidly outstrip buying a seat for my tenor Heathrow-Auckland?
 
Targa

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But won't the cost of buying in such small units rapidly outstrip buying a seat for my tenor Heathrow-Auckland?
I have no idea how much a plane ticket is, (far too cheap for the damage done to the environment), but the one time I used a can of that stuff a little went a long way, too long if you don't contain it.
 
Pete Thomas

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Easyjet: Musical instruments are permitted for carriage as Hand Baggage provided that the instrument, including its case, does not exceed 30cm x 120cm x 38cm.

My tenor case is smaller than these dimensions, therefore I can only assume they will accept it as hand luggage.

Carriage as Hand Baggage is subject to available space in the overhead lockers and strictly at the Captain's discretion

My experience is that they are not the most helpful. My family arrived at the gate. My wife hand luggage was 10.9 kilos, mine was 8.8. We asked if they could be counted together and averaged. Oh no, she had to open it up right there in the queue and remove some of her underwear and decant into my bag.
 
Veggie Dave

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Carriage as Hand Baggage is subject to available space in the overhead lockers and strictly at the Captain's discretion


Indeed, which is why I want to make sure I plan for the worst.

Oh no, she had to open it up right there in the queue and remove some of her underwear and decant into my bag.

I've actually seen that numerous times, when they bother to check the hand luggage at all. I remember one flight to Perpignan (I think) where a couple's hard-shell bag was about 1cm too large to be classed as hand luggage. So he forced it into the 'Is Your Bag Too Big' metal frame thing. And by forced, I mean he mashed this thing in there. The staff only cared that it went in, not how it went in or that it took three of us 10 minutes to get the damn thing out again.
 
Wade Cornell

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Oh how I love @Wade Cornell ’s blow foam solution - how do you come by a blower in the UK?
Phoned Hiscox re NZ flight and they were v. helpful (discussing mods to their cases) and the stories on their website are worth a read.

There are several means of "blowing" foam. The foam is a polyurethane. It's in two parts which can be purchased as liquids. When mixed it "blows" which means that it generates a gas that expands making all the air bubbles and then hardens. There are also cans of foam that do this when you pull the trigger. Should be available at most DIY places. The curvy soprano pictured cost $25 for the case and another $20 for the foam and cloth. Time to make approximately 2 hours.
P1030931
P1030932
 
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thomsax

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Can anyone recommend one? Preferably from personal experience but companies you've heard good things about would be helpful, too.

The guys I use to meet at the airport use (Walt) Johnson flight cases. Very sturdy. But too big to check in as hand baggage!?!?!?! To travel with saxes is not so easy anymore. Buy a seat or ???? Are the seats for people or saxes? -Sorry I can't make it this Christmas. The aircraft is full?

Flyinghorns
 

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