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airline travel with an accordion

I will be traveling from the Midwest to the Southwest via air and spending a week in the back country doing an archaeological survey. I will have camping gear some of which I carry on as it would be hard to replace. My question, has anyone checked an accordion and was it in a case or was that case inside other (large duffle) luggage. Is it possible to carry on 2 items if one is a musical instrument? I have seen how luggage is tossed around on the tarmac and have had some dammage to pretty sturdy pieces.
Does anyine have a 9 button and is it enough smaller to make it worthwhile to get one for travel? Need some advice here.

Re: airline travel with an accordion


I was just looking into this question, as I have a trip coming up. If my memory is correct, the American Airlines website said you could take a musical instrument as a carry on, as long as the case was less than 45" total (l + h + w); but that the other carry on would have to be something like a briefcase, purse, small book bag, etc. I do have a 9 button, and it is a good bit smaller than my 10 buttons, but I'm not sure if it would make much difference travel wise - you're still dealing with the same issue of protecting an instrument from careless baggage handlers. Hope that helps. Scott

Re: Re: airline travel with an accordion

I believe your accordion will be okay, however you may need to demonstrate to security The Crowley Two-Step. Just make sure you don't travel with a triangle. If so, make sure the striker is packed separately from the primary instrument. Good luck.


Re: Re: Re: airline travel with an accordion

I carry mine in a soft case and it fits under the seat of every plane I've been on including puddle jumpers. Hope this helps.

Re: airline travel with an accordion

I just got back from a trip to/from Louisiana from SFO. Had a rather large fiddle case with triangle and striker in the case pocket and an accordion in a soft case as carry-ons, plus a small purse. Didn't have a problem at all - well, it's no joke about being asked to play a song at security, but that's more a curiosity thing, not a security concern. Oh, and on the flight from Lafayette to Houston on the way back, there was a band from Mali beginning their trip home from Festival International and they had some really big instruments all as carry-ons and had no problem - each instrument ended up strapped in by seatbelt in empty seats. I wouldn't want to check an instrument through as luggage because of handling concerns and temperature exposure.
Can't answer your question about 9-button vs. 10-button accordions.

Re: airline travel with an accordion

Hi Leslie! I don't know what kind of case you have, but I always carried mine on in the soft case I have. I DID check it once, in the soft case IN a suitcase, and it was fine after I warmed it up a bit. Something happens in the cold down under the plane, just like in cold weather, where the reeds stick or something and you need to play it a bit to get it to stop honking and making terrible wheezing sounds. My dad used to check his in anvil cases, and never had any problems, but now he carries them on if he can. If you have a soft case and can't carry it on because of your camping gear, I suggest you gate-check it, so at least it will go right on top of everything else.

Then again, I don't know what kind of accordion you have. Cajun accordions can hold up to anything, including someone my dad's size standing on them.

Re: Re: airline travel with an accordion

He made that one specially for standing on it I guess?
Was it a red one?
I have one of your dad's, Sarah, and sure wouldn't dare to stand on it. Too precious

About soft cases, I have a soft case for records Disc Jockeys use. A cajun accordion fits in exactly. For the stops I made an extra protection. I can even leave them in playing position. Perfect and heath protected as well. I think the size is o.k. Price was around 50 euro, so not so cheap as the Igloo brand fish bait coolers.

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No, you can totally stand on it! (Please--not for performance tactics but for demonstration of their strength only ) Yep, the red one. Saw the vid? With the sheep ____?

That soft case was WAY expensive. The ones my dad sells are similar, though, I'm guessing, but I don't know the price. They're made by Peavey for DJ equipment or something like that and come with these velco-edged pieces that he tapes together. You put that on top of the accordion once you put it in the bag and that protects the stops.

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I'm still looking for a case for my D accordion. But Importing from the US is also expensive (unless it can be folded).
By the way, if you wish I'll send you a picture of my case.


Re: Re: Re: Re: airline travel with an accordion

just wanted to pass along some info related to travel with an instrument...

You may carry one (1) musical instrument in addition to 1 carry-on and 1 personal item through the screening checkpoint. This is a TSA Screening Policy. Airlines may or may not allow the additional carry-on item on their aircraft. Please check with your airline before you arrive at the airport.

Security officers must x-ray or physically screen your instrument before it can be transported on an aircraft.

Security officers will handle musical instruments very carefully and will allow you to be as involved as possible in any physical screening.

Re: airline travel with an accordion

Not sure if it was just that one airline I was on, but the last time I traveled with my anvil case, I could not fit it under the seat in front of me. I just sort of hid the fact that it wasn't fitting very well, and made like my knee in my face was really comfortable, but I wasn't going to put it anywhere else (not sure if it fits in overhead).

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