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AnahataNada

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Reply with quote  #1 
Hello,

Does anyone have experience bringing a travel sitar on-board a plane as a carry-on? I'm curious to know if any of the major airlines (UA, AA, etc) would permit one as carry-on luggage since the dimensions don't conform. I have a Hiren Roy travel sitar, which is slightly larger than the standard travel sitar. I'd appreciate any feedback. Thanks!
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Tomek Regulski

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Reply with quote  #2 
I did this a few times maybe 7 years ago, and it worked great, as the travel sitar fits in most overheard bins. However, it seems like lately flights are often completely full, and overhead space is limited/closely monitored, so it has seemed a bit more risky in my mind. I know some flights have a coat closet or something, where it could be kept upright, but I feel like that's also not the safest bet in terms of guaranteeing they will have space for it. Even back then, flight attendants always gave me a bit of a look like "yeah OK... I just hope there's room for everyone..."

On the other hand, I have had great luck with gate-checking lately - even with my full-sized instrument! Bringing it right up to the gate, letting them know it's a fragile instrument and that I'd like to gate check it. They put a tag on it, I bring it down the corridor and leave it just outside the plane door, so that someone can hand-carry it to where it will be stored. 

At my destination, it was one of the first pieces of luggage off the plane, and was once again hand-carried up to the plane door, so I could grab it as I exited. No conveyor belts, no being driven around the airport, etc. They even didn't charge me a fee to check it this way (although technically they can charge $25 or $50 or something like that, but I would gladly pay it for this kind of service)! This was Delta airlines - they were great about it every time. 

Hope this helps!
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cwroyds

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Reply with quote  #3 
Yeah, gate check is the way to go, if they don't let it on board. 
In the 1980s I used to take two guitars, a violin, and a viola with me on the plane.
These days they get squirley about large instruments.

When I take my Hiren Roy with me, in fiberglass case, I take it out to the gate and ask for a gate check. 
They put a tag on it and hand carry it down to the plane. 
On the other end, I wait outside the door of the plane with parents waiting for strollers, and they hand deliver the sitar to me. 
No worries. 

The dangers come from checking it in at the ticket counter and letting them drag it through the airport, just to have some jackass throw it on a conveyor belt multiple times. 
I have seen instrument fly through the air onto the belt that goes up to the plane. 
The guys on the ground do not care.
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Lars

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Reply with quote  #4 
On most of the newer planes a studio sitar shouldn't be a problem and they fit easily in an overhead if you get there soon enough. HR studio is a little bigger but give it a try, can always gate check it. Pack it well just in case.

Lars

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Nick Proctor

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Reply with quote  #5 
Hiren Roy made travel sitars ?!?!?!
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cwroyds

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nick Proctor
Hiren Roy made travel sitars ?!?!?!


https://www.musiciansmallusa.com/hiren-roy-travel-sitar/

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Nick Proctor

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Reply with quote  #7 
MMMM Just an ordinary sitar with guitar main string headstock.
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cwroyds

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Reply with quote  #8 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nick Proctor
MMMM Just an ordinary sitar with guitar main string headstock.


It is sort of halfway between a regular sitar and a flat travel sitar. 
It has a gourd, but it is cut short at the back and has a flat back. 
It is a little smaller than a regular sitar. 

The thing is that without pegs sticking up, and with the flattened gourd, the case is a lot smaller than a regular sitar case, making it easier to travel with. 
It is also much closer to a regular sitar in tone. 
Most flat travel sitars don't have a great tone. 

Personally I think they did a good job balancing a nice sounding sitar with a smaller design that is good for travel. I would rather have one of these than any regular travel sitar. I always planned on getting one, but as they are pricey, I never got one. 
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sason

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Reply with quote  #9 
I have an "old" (not the new ones with the ugly pickup) Rikhi Ram travel sitar. With a soft case, it is a bit bigger than the maximum dimensions of a carry on bag. I never take it as a carry on bag because I am afraid that they will not let me take to the plane (in that case what I could do? leave it of one of the benches in the airport?). I have also a hard case for it and I put it inside a big check-in bag.

When I first put my hands on this travel sitar, I was very surprised from its sound quality. Of course, it is not like the sound of the regular ones, but the sound is quite good and loud (without any electronic amplification).
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