Flying with a Musical Instrument Part 1: Be Prepared

flying with a musical instrument

Flying with a musical instrument can be difficult, especially if you play a larger instrument that can’t come onto the plane with you. Making sure you have a good case and the proper insurance coverage can ensure a relaxed and stressless travelling experience. In this first part of her two-part series, Donna explains how to be prepared when you are about to fly with your instrument.


Instrument Insurance

If you don’t already have your instruments, expensive mouthpieces and other equipment you need to perform insured, you are doing yourself a huge disservice.

If you own a home, you could add your equipment to your homeowner’s insurance as a separate rider. Be sure to speak with an insurance representative to see what is covered.”


Instrument insurance is really important, especially if you are traveling. Having your instrument covered in case of any in-flight or other damage is always good to consider. As Donna mentions, most home insurance companies will allow your instrument to be covered under your homeowner’s insurance. There are many companies that specialize in instrument insurance as well.

Donna also expresses the importance of having a safe case and properly packing your instrument:


Packing Equipment Securely

There are many choices of secure cases for each instrument. The most important point is that your instrument fits securely in the case and that there is no wiggle room. Any extra space will allow the instrument to move and could result in bent keys or the body of the instrument being bent.”


As is mentioned above, you want to make sure that your instrument fits snugly in the case. Wiggle room can cause damage to the instrument, such as bent keys or dents. You should also travel with a hard case, as Donna goes on to mention in the full article. Soft cases and gig bags don’t provide a protective outer layer for the instrument, and it is unlikely that the instrument will survive a flight in one of these cases undamaged.

Donna Schwartz is a professional musician, educator, speaker and podcast host in the Los Angeles area. She teaches online courses for Jazz Improvisation, Getting a Killer Saxophone Tone, Practicing Smarter and many more. You can contact Donna on her website,

To read all of Donna’s tips on preparing for flying with a musical instrument, please visit

Be sure to check back next month for Donna’s second part in this series: Flying With Your Musical Instrument Part 2: Advice for the Day Of

Cassidy is the Digital Marketing Manager at Making Music and has recently begun her career in the music industry. In May 2017, she graduated from the Crane School of Music with a double degree in Music Business and Music Theory. Upon graduating college, Cassidy did an internship with DANSR, Inc. in Illinois before moving to Southern California where she was the NAMM intern for six months. Her favorite instrument is the clarinet, but she also enjoys dabbling with guitar, piano, ukulele, saxophone, and flute.

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