How to bring guitar on delta flight

How to bring guitar on delta flight

Have you ever been on a flight and thought to yourself, “I wish I could bring my guitar on this Delta flight?” But then you realized it’s at home. Or worse, you were just going on a short trip and carrying it with you would be a pain in the butt. We know that feeling, too! That’s why we put together this guide with everything you need to know on how to bring guitar on delta flight. From whether or not you can bring it as checked baggage (you totally can!), to the restrictions for carry-on, to how to pack it so that it arrives safe and sound, read on for everything you need to know about bringing your guitar on board Delta.

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Can you bring your guitar on a Delta flight?

This might be the most important question of all: Can you bring your guitar on a Delta flight? The answer is yes. You can bring your guitar onto the plane as checked baggage or carry-on, but there are some restrictions and tips we’ll cover later in this post.

Delta is a member of IATA (International Air Transport Association), which means that Delta complies with their policies for carrying musical instruments. That said, every airline has different guidelines for flying with instruments and there may be other regulations for each specific country that you’re traveling to and from. So, if you’re flying internationally, be sure to check the international rules before packing your instrument into the overhead compartment or under your seat.

First of all, guitars traveling domestically within the U.S. will not incur any additional fees when checked at the airport. Secondly, guitars traveling internationally will be charged $200 USD in addition to standard checked baggage fees per international trip; this is significantly less than the $450 USD fee for bringing an oversized item onboard an aircraft.

Additionally, you may need more space in order to store your guitar as there is limited overhead storage space on airplanes. When checking your guitar at airport check-in, ask about larger storage options for guitars like our premium check-in service or our oversized bag service which can accommodate large items like guitars and surfboards!

Finally, if you are bringing a valuable instrument (such as an acoustic/classical), you may want the assurance that is remains safe from harm from being handled too much or from being exposed to extreme temperatures during transit.

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What are the restrictions for carry-on?

You can carry your guitar on board as a carry-on item and it will be considered a personal item. As a personal item, you’re allowed to bring one carry-on bag and one personal item onto the aircraft and this includes your guitar. Your guitar counts as your personal item only if it’s less than 9 inches (22.9 cm) in total length and can fit in the overhead bin or under the seat in front of you.

Be sure to purchase an additional seat for your bike if it cannot fit under the seat or in the overhead compartment with your other luggage.

What should you do to prepare your guitar for travel?

The first step to preparing your guitar for travel is to remove the strings. You can leave them off for the duration of your flight, or you can place a thin cloth over the neck so that no one steps on them as they come and go from their seat.

If you’re checking your guitar as baggage, be sure to pack it in a hard case with plenty of padding. If you don’t want to buy a hard case, use blankets, pillows and clothes to fill any empty space within the case. Delta recommends using packing materials that are at least 4 inches thick.

Lastly, avoid placing anything heavy on top of your guitar while you travel as this could cause damage to the neck.

Before you begin packing for your flight, there are a few things you should do to prepare your guitar for travel.

-Remove all strings from the guitar and place them in a ziplock baggie.

-Remove any pedals or accessories.

-Wrap the headstock with electrical tape or other material.

-Place the instrument inside of a heavy duty case with a hard shell and secure latches.

If you have any doubts about whether or not your guitar is too large to be checked as baggage, check out our handy infographic below:

How to pack your guitar for travel

When packing your guitar for a flight, consider what you will need to do once you get there. If you’re going away on an extended vacation, you may want to bring your guitar with you and it will need to be packed in your checked baggage. For example, if you are checking three bags and have room for a fourth, pack your guitar in one of the checked bags. If not, pack it in your carry-on bag.

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If you’re traveling for a few days or just need to take your guitar as carry-on baggage, keep it with you and make sure that the case is under the size limit (45 linear inches) so that it can fit in the overhead compartment.

Packing tips

– Check that your guitar is in tune before you pack it.

– Pack your guitar in a sturdy, well-padded case.

– Place the guitar in the case with the neck pointing down.

– Place a few inches of soft material (e.g., rags or foam) at the top and sides of the case to prevent your guitar from banging against the case.

– Avoid placing heavy items on top, as this could cause damage to your guitar.

Choosing the right case or gig bag

We know that you’re probably wondering what the best case is for your guitar. This will largely depend on your personal preferences, but for the most part the cases are pretty interchangeable. The only real factor to consider is whether or not you want a hard shell case or a lighter gig bag.

Another thing you may want to take into consideration is how much time you have before your flight and whether this is going to be a one-time thing or more of an ongoing thing. If it’s a one-time event and you don’t have time to find a new case, then just grab your current case! But if this will be something that will happen multiple times in the near future, then we suggest finding something that’s more durable and can handle being thrown around more (aka getting heavy). We also recommend that any case should feel sturdy enough so that when it’s closed, it doesn’t bounce open from light pressure.

What about my strings?

We get it, not everyone is a guitar player. But if you are, then you know one of the worst things about traveling with your guitar is that you have to take off all the strings before putting it in checked baggage.

But don’t worry – with a little help from these handy videos and tutorials, you can soon be playing your guitar on the plane like a pro. And we promise no matter how many strings are left on there when you arrive at your destination, they’ll be intact and playable again once you put them back on.

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Scroll through this post for helpful tips on what to do before, during, and after your flight:

A word of caution

Keep in mind that Delta cannot accommodate certain instruments as checked baggage. Instruments that exceed our carry-on regulations or are outside of the approved carry-on instrument list set forth by the FAA, TSA, and IATA will not be allowed onboard as checked baggage.

That said, if your instrument meets the requirements and you want to add it as an excess baggage item, there is a fee for this service. If you’re a Delta SkyMiles® Medallion® member with the right privileges, you can purchase an additional seat and put your guitar in the seat next to you!

How to bring guitar on delta flight FAQS

Can I bring my guitar on my Delta flight?

Yes, you can! We allow guitars as checked baggage, and they also fit in your overhead space.

What size is a guitar? Will it fit in the overhead compartment?

The space for a guitar is about 46 inches long with a width of around 22 inches. We recommend bringing your guitar in its hardshell case for protection.

How do I pack my guitar so that it arrives safe and sound?

Your best bet is to remove all the strings from the tuning pegs and place them in an envelope or baggie. Use bubble wrap around the neck of the guitar until it’s completely covered. Lastly, lay your instrument down on its back inside of your case and zip it up tight.


Delta flights are designed to be as hassle-free as possible. That means you can bring your guitar along, as long as it meets the carry-on guidelines and you follow these steps to make sure it’s safe and sound.

In addition to your guitar, you’ll need to bring a guitar case or gig bag, and make sure your guitar is in tune before you board your flight.

Once you’re at the airport, just follow the signs for the passenger drop-off area and check-in. The airline will have a special baggage drop-off for oversized items like guitars.

You’ll need to wait a few minutes for an airline representative to come and collect your guitar from you and then walk it to the baggage claim where the case will be weighed and tagged for its flight.