From CD Baby:
1. Book seats towards the rear of the plane
If you’re flying a commuter plane, your guitar is most likely going in the hold (unless you can talk the attendants into letting you take up the whole coat closet); but if it’s a bigger plane, there’s a chance you can take it on as a carry-on item.
You’ll increase those chances the earlier you board the plane. By booking a seat at the back of the plane, you’ll get on the flight early, head straight back to your row, stuff that guitar in an overhead, and sit down quickly. Now it’s everyone else’s problem. They have to fit their carry-on items around your guitar.
2. If you’re given a gate-check tag, take your guitar on the plane anyways
A certain amount of playing-dumb can be helpful. If you’re told at the gate that you need to leave your guitar at the bottom of the jetway (so it can be placed in the hold), let ‘em put the tag on the handle of your guitar. THEN — carry your guitar handle so your hand conceals the tag and walk onto the plane. If no one stops you, refer to tip #1 for further instructions. If you are stopped…
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