Taking a flight with a musical instrument can be nerve-racking. There are a number of ways for your precious gear to be damaged, be it by air pressure and temperature changes, or the risk of it being manhandled or even lost by unbaggage handlers.
Flying with a guitar can be especially daring as they can sometimes be too big for carry-on baggage and often require DIY protection methods like loosening the strings and wrapping a T-shirt around the head. Thankfully, Japan Airlines (JAL) has heard these worries and responded by lending out a protective case for your beloved acoustic or electric.
The new feature was announced in the “With our Customers” section of the airline’s Japanese customer service webpage. It begins with a customer’s inquiry:
“When I leave my guitar at the counter, there are cases available for small instruments like a violin, but unfortunately there are none that can fit a guitar. Could you begin using a case that fits a guitar at airports?” (Female, 30s)
To which JAL replied:
“At JAL for outgoing instrument service, we offer small and large instrument cases to support our customers on trips with important instruments.
Now in response to customer feedback we have dispatched guitar sized cases (137cm x 44cm x 21cm) to all airports offering domestic flights. Until now, in such a case you would have to check it as fragile baggage, but from now you can ask for our guitar-exclusive case. JAL will continue to provide you with the best possible service in the future.”
The box dimensions seem to accommodate most guitars and bases in either soft or hard cases. If you do want to take advantage of these boxes JAL recommends checking ahead because there are a limited number available.
It’s a great service, and thanks to it you can now hire Mr. Sato to come play at your weddings or funerals anywhere in the country! (Skip ahead to 0:50)