Now that you have a pretty good chance of carrying your guitar case onto your flight, let’s talk about some other ways to keep your baby safe.

Detune your guitar before takeoff?

You’ll find a lot of debate about whether you should detune the guitar before hitting the skies. (Taylor Guitars, for one, says no; others say yes.) Plane cabins are pressurized, which is the only reason we can still breathe when we get up in the air. But does that pressurization actually affect the guitars? If you poke around in online discussion groups—always a risk when that so-called expert maybe is just someone with a real strong opinion, you know?—you’ll find a lot of debate.


What we do know is that temperature changes can screw with your guitar, and if you’ve ever wished for one of those scratchy, nasty blankets in your seat while you shivered or wiped sweat from your forehead when you stalled on the runway too long, you know how conditions on a plane can go from boiling to freezing in the time it takes from wheels up to cruising altitude.


Whether or not cabin pressure affects the guitar, your guitar will be touched by those temperature changes, so anything that takes pressure off the guitar head and neck is worth a little extra time. So we say go ahead—detune the guitar to alleviate that pressure, and look for a case that really protects the head and neck of the instrument.

Should your case pull double-duty as a carry-on?

You’ll find a lot of advice advocating for leaving any extras out of your case when you actually get airborne.


And it’s not a bad idea: Even stowed in the overhead bin, cases can shift. So you’ll want to pop out any unnecessary stuff that could move around–those string cutters, for one. Let your case do the work it was designed for.


The Hungate Gig Case was designed with this flexibility in mind. While there’s enough storage to carry both your accessories and personal stuff, the storage compartments can pop in and out of your case depending on where you are and what you need.


And removing the storage has no effect on the case’s integrity; it’ll still take care of your guitar just when you need it to. (Like around the time the pilot announces turbulence and you suddenly have other thoughts on your mind.)


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Photocredit: Falk Lademann