Airlines That Allow Guitar Carry-on: Rules You Must Know!

airlines that allow guitar carry on

I cannot imagine a day without my six strings; wherever I go, my guitar follows. That is why I prefer my guitar to fly with me. I prefer to carry it as a ‘carry-on’ rather than ‘checked baggage’. Why? Because it’s way safer with me, of course. Airlines have strict rules and regulations regarding carry-on or checked items; on top of that, different airlines have different rules.

If you do not comply with the rules, you may not be able to carry the guitar onboard, or it may get damaged on the way. The purpose of this article is to serve as a ‘handbook’ on airlines that allow guitar carry-on and other rules involving checked baggage and seat purchase to fly with a guitar. Hence, you get to know which airline allows carry-on and the relevant rules you must know.

From my experience flying with a guitar, I have found some zone-specific rules, and there are airline-specific variations to them. If you need to travelling with your guitar, there are some obvious rules to follow. This article takes you through all you need to know about carrying a guitar on an airplane. So, fasten your seat belt and hang tight!

How To Carry A Guitar On An International Flight

The Department of Transportation and Flight Aviation Administration recognize that airlines can allow guitars as checked baggage and carry-on items onboard. Let’s find out the ways you can carry the guitar:

  • Carry-on: Stowing the guitar in the overhead bin/compartment
  • Checked baggage: Checked baggage goes under the aircraft with suitcases   
  • Seat Purchase: Purchasing a separate seat to make room for your guitar  

Whether you carry on or check-in as baggage, there are strict provisions. ‘Carry on’ requires you to follow some rules; if you opt for ‘checked baggage’, there are size and weight restrictions, and additional fees are applicable. ‘Carry on’ rules vary depending on airlines, vacant space availability, your guitar’s size, the case, and the overhead bin size. Guitar carrying policies are different for airlines around the world. I have included zone—and airline-wise rules that keep you ahead in prepping for flights!

How To Use This Article

You may not be keen to know all the airline’s rules. I am not going to bore you with that. Keeping your particular need in mind and making things easier for you, I have structured the handbook so that you don’t have to go through the entire article to find any specific rules.

HOW TO USE: find the table of content below, then jump into your desired zone, such as “European Airlines Guitar Carrying Policy“. Then, search for an airline such as “British Airlines” to get the airline-specific rules you may need to know. If you want to get an overall idea of airline rules, I suggest reading out the whole or a part of the handbook per your need.

North American Airlines Guitar Carrying Policy:

Delta Airlines

travel with guitar case
  • Guitar as Carry-On: ALLOWED  
  • Carry On policy: A guitar is acceptable as a free-of-charge carry-on bag on Delta. It fits in the overhead bin or dedicated storage locations in the cabin. If there is no vacant overhead bin space available for your guitar, the option is to check your guitar at the gate.
  • Guitar as Checked Baggage: ALLOWED  
  • Checked Baggage policy: Checked baggage dimensions should not exceed 150 inches or 381 cm (length + width + height), and the weight limit is 165lbs or 75 kg.
  • Cabin Seat Purchase: ALLOWED  
  • Cabin Seat policy: The airline cordially allows you to stow your guitar in a passenger seat if your guitar’s weight does not exceed 165 lbs (75 kg). The guitar must be packed in a guitar case so that no injury occurs to any passenger and be secured by a seatbelt. Rules suggest it should not restrict access to the cabin’s emergency or regular exits or aisle and should not obstruct the passenger’s view of the seatbelt, with no smoking or exit signs.

American Airlines  

  • Guitar as Carry-On: ALLOWED  
  • Carry-On policy: You can take a guitar as a carry-on item if you can make space in the overhead bin. You can also carry it under the front seat if it fits. 
  • Guitar as Checked Baggage: ALLOWED  
  • Checked Baggage policy: You can check the guitar as baggage. The maximum size dimension is 150 in or 381 cm, and the weight limit is 165 lbs or 75 kg. If the baggage exceeds the size and weight limit, you can ship it via cargo. Standard checked bag fees will be applicable for up to 50 lbs or 23 kgs, and 126 in or 320 cm and additional fees will be applicable if they exceed the size and weight dimension. 
  • Cabin Seat Purchase: ALLOWED  
  • Cabin Seat policy: If the guitar does not fit as a carry-on, you can buy an additional seat for the same price as adult fare plus taxes or carrier fees. You will get a bulkhead (divider) window seat and not in any seat placed in the emergency exit row or next to your seat. The weight range for extra seat purchases is 165 lbs. or 75 kg.

Southwest Airlines  

  • Guitar as Carry-On: ALLOWED  
  • Carry On policy: Your guitar can be onboard if it fits in the overhead bin or under the seat, and with the condition that there is space available while onboard with the guitar.
  • Guitar as Checked Baggage: ALLOWED  
  • Checked Baggage policy: Southwest allows one free-of-charge checked bag for any musical instrument. The guitar should be in a hard case unless the airline won’t take liability if damage occurs. The size dimension should not exceed 150 inches; the weight should not exceed 165 pounds, including the case.
  • Cabin Seat Purchase: ALLOWED  
  • Cabin Seat policy: If your guitar does not fit in the overhead bin or under the seat onboard, you can purchase a seat that does not block any “exit” or “no smoking” signs and must be secured with a seatbelt. The guitar is usually stowed in the first row and a seat closer to the window. A reservation with a ticket purchase is required. The additional seat that accommodates the guitar will be equivalent to the child’s fare. Please note that instruments like double bass must be transported as checked baggage with oversized or overweight charges exceeding size dimensions of 62-150 inches and weighing between 51-165 pounds. 

United Airlines  

  • Guitar as Carry-On: ALLOWED 
  • Carry On policy:  Musicians can carry a guitar on board. You can put the guitar in the overhead bin or under the seat if other passengers do not already fill it up.
  • Guitar as Checked Baggage: ALLOWED 
  • Checked Baggage policy:  Yourguitar’s measurements must be between 63-115 inches (length + width + height), and the weight limit is 50 pounds. If the dimension is exceeded, please contact United Airlines. Extra charges apply if there are two pieces of baggage. A handling charge of $ 25 applies if the size or weight limit is exceeded.
  • Cabin Seat Purchase: NOT ALLOWED
  • Cabin Seat policy: United Airlines does not accept guitars as cabin-seat baggage. However, customers can carry them as “carry-on” cabin baggage items. 

SkyWest Airlines  

measuring guitar case
  • Guitar as Carry-On: ALLOWED  
  • Carry-On policy:  SkyWest Airlines is among the airlines that allow carry-on and onboarding of one guitar and a small personal item, provided that your guitar fits overhead bins or under the seat. SkyWest is among the airlines that allow guitar carry-on. It allows 50 passengers to carry one personal item onboard the SkyWest Airlines aircraft. There is no weight limit applicable for carry-on baggage.
  • Guitar as Checked Baggage: ALLOWED  
  • Checked Baggage policy:  SkyWest Airlines charges extra fees if it exceeds the size dimension of 115 cm. Additional charges are applicable for excess baggage depending on the number of bags, size, weight, and quantity, and the costs vary based on region. For details, please contact the airline. The airline recommends packing the guitar in a flight case for safety purposes.

JetBlue 

  • Guitar as Carry-On: ALLOWED  
  • Carry-On policy:  The opportunity for carry-on baggage is based on a first-come, first-serve. If you are late, then you may have to gate-check the guitar.
  • Guitar as Checked Baggage: ALLOWED
  • Checked Baggage policy:  You can add up to 2 checked bags. It is highly recommended that your guitar, including the case, meets the checked bag size and weight requirements. Size dimension applicable: 381 cm overall or 165 pounds. The standard fee is $65 (if it’s your 1st or 2nd checked bag) or $180 (if it’s your 3rd).  You will be charged if your guitar (including the bag) exceeds the size measurement or weight limit for the overweight or oversized bags.
  • Cabin Seat Purchase: ALLOWED  
  • Cabin Seat policy:  You can purchase an extra window seat for the guitar if it is too large to carry on. Make sure it does not have sharp edges and is secured with a seat belt. The weight limit is 165 pounds for extra seat purchases.

Alaska Airlines  

  • Guitar as Carry-On: ALLOWED  
  • Carry On policy:  Alaska Airlines is among the airlines that allow guitar carry-on. They allow a “small musical instrument,” which includes a guitar as a carry-on bag with you or under the seat. The standard size limit is 22″ x 14″ x 9″. or 45 inches linear. If your guitar does not comply with these dimensions, you can still stack your six strings in the overhead compartment as long as it fits comfortably. 
  • Guitar as Checked Baggage: ALLOWED
  • Checked Baggage policy:  The guitar must be packed in a proper case, AKA flight cases with TSA locks. Standard fees apply if the baggage measurement exceeds 156 cm and the weight exceeds 50 lbs. Contact the airline for details.
  • Cabin Seat Purchase: ALLOWED  
  • Cabin Seat policy:  If your guitar is larger than the standard dimension for carry-on and does not fit in the overhead bin, you can buy a separate seat to accommodate it. Note that you cannot book cabin seats online. We suggest you book at the earliest time possible.

Air Canada  

  • Guitar as Carry-On: ALLOWED  
  • Carry On policy:  You can onboard your guitar as a carry-on if it complies with the approved dimension limit by Air Canada, which is 118 cm, including wheels and handles. However, getting your guitar on board is possible even if it exceeds carry-on size requirements by a small margin, but only under the condition that it fits in the overhead bin. Depending on the size and dimensions, the guitar you keep while onboard is subject to the carry-on baggage allowance.  
  • Guitar as Checked Baggage: ALLOWED  
  • Checked Baggage policy:  As checked baggage, the guitar must be packaged appropriately in a guitar case for air travel AKA flight cases.  
  • Cabin Seat Purchase: ALLOWED  
  • Cabin Seat policy: A cabin seat purchase is an excellent option if you want to onboard your big guitar that exceeds the carry-on limit. Air Canada offers 50% off on its usual fares. Note that the maximum weight of the guitar should not exceed 162.5 cm in size dimension or 80 lbs. in weight.

Hawaiian Airlines  

going to airport with guitar case
  • Guitar as Carry-On: ALLOWED  
  • Carry-on policy: Your guitar must fit under the seat, in front of you, or in the overhead bin. The overall dimension of the bag should not exceed in length 45 inches or an overall dimension of 114 cm, and the weight limit is up to 25 pounds or 11 kg. You can get onboard your guitar as the allotted carry-on bag regardless of size if it fits in the storage location and space available upon boarding the aircraft.
  • Guitar as Checked Baggage: ALLOWED  
  • Checked Baggage policy:  Your guitar will be counted as checked baggage with the condition that it must not exceed the standard baggage size or weight requirements. The approved highest size dimension of the guitar is 150 inches (381 cm). Ensure that the guitar’s weight must not exceed 165 pounds or 74.5 kg. Your guitar should be packed in a case, preferably a hard case, and ensure that all the six strings are loosened before the packaging.  For overweight or oversize guitars, charges are applicable.
  • Cabin Seat Purchase: ALLOWED  
  • Checked baggage policy:  Turkish Airlines approves baggage checked in for overweight and oversized baggage that you cannot take as a carry-on. The cost varies on fare type and route.

Frontier Airlines

  • Guitar as carry-on: ALLOWED
  • Carry-on policy: You can get on board with your guitar based on space availability and whether it fits in the overhead baggage. If the guitar does not fit or there is no space left, it will be checked as baggage. Note that you can hold Frontier Airlines if lost or damaged, except according to the Montreal Convention, the airline will not be liable for damages or loss.
  • Guitar as Checked Baggage: ALLOWED
  • Checked Baggage policy: If there is a lack of space in the overhead bin or your guitar does not fit in, the guitar flies as checked baggage, with regular charges based on the selected fare option. The checked baggage allowance is up to 100 lbs, including the case. If the allowance is exceeded, additional charges are applicable. According to the Montreal Convention, the airline will not be liable for damages or loss.
  • Cabin Seat Purchase: ALLOWED  
  • Cabin Seat policy:  If there is a lack of space in the overhead bin or your guitar does not fit in, you can purchase a seat too for your guitar with regular charges based on the selected fare option. The standard allowance is 213 cm and 100 lbs.   

Spirit Airlines  

  • Guitar as carry-on: ALLOWED  
  • Carry-on policy:  Spirit Airlines is among the airlines that allow guitar carry-on; they allow taking a guitar as a carry-on. If the carry-on guitar fits into an overhead bin or under-seat space, it is good to fly with you. Any guitar exceeding these dimensions will count as checked baggage.
  • Guitar as Checked Baggage: ALLOWED  
  • Checked Baggage policy:  Spirit Airlines accepts up to five checked bags per ticket purchase. A guitar as a checked bag is accepted up to 381cm in overall dimensions and 165 lbs in weight. I recommend packing it in a hard case for safety issues.
  • Cabin Seat Purchase: ALLOWED  
  • Cabin Seat policy:  You can buy an additional seat for your six strings, provided that it complies with the specified weight dimensions (165 lbs.) and is fastened with the seat belt. It would be advisable to make reservations in advance with payment of the applicable fare. The guitar must not block necessary placards or signs.

Allegiant Airlines  

  • Guitar as carry-on: ALLOWED  
  • Carry-on policy:  If dimensions are within 114 cm, you can happily fly with the guitar as a carry-on. As per size dimension is concerned, It must fit in the overhead bin. 
  • Guitar as Checked Baggage: ALLOWED  
  • Checked Baggage policy:  The maximum weight limit for checked baggage is up to 40 lbs. The size dimension limit is 203 cm. All checked baggage is subject to charges as applicable. Note that no guitar weighing more than 99 lbs is acceptable as a checked bag.   
  • Cabin Seat Purchase: ALLOWED  
  • Cabin Seat policy: Allegiant accepts seat purchases for guitar. Allegiant Air website suggests as follows: Allegiant accepts seat purchases for guitar. Allegiant Air website suggests as follows:  “Passengers wishing to secure a musical item, a child restraint device for an infant, etc., must purchase an additional ticket.”  

Republic Airways  

  • Guitar as carry-on: ALLOWED  
  • Carry-on policy:  A passenger can take a carry-on musical instrument onto the aircraft without charge, provided that the baggage dimensions do not exceed 129 cm. The guitar is usually stowed under a seat, overhead bin, or approved compartment.
  • Guitar as Checked Baggage: ALLOWED
  • Checked Baggage policy:  Check-in for guitar should be at least 30 minutes prior; for international flights, check-in time should be at least 60 minutes before departure. The weight limit is 50 lbs, and the size limit is 157 cm linear. The rules say you should write your name, address, and telephone number over the guitar case. It is the responsibility of the passenger to onboard the guitar.   
  • Cabin Seat Purchase: ALLOWED  
  • Cabin Seat policy:  The republic Airline charges 100% of the full adult fare for an extra cabin seat for your guitar. Note that you cannot check in any more baggage under the Cabin Seat Baggage ticket. Your guitar needs to be in a hard case. You will carry it yourself and be responsible for any damage or loss. A seatbelt must secure your guitar case that should not block any aircraft signs, nor it should extend on the isle.    

European Airlines Guitar Carrying Policy:

Lufthansa Airlines  

guitar case and luggage
  • Guitar as carry-on: ALLOWED  
  • Carry on policy:  You can carry your guitar free of charge, but the size must be within 118 cm in linear dimension, and the weight should not exceed 175 lbs. The guitar should find its place if the overhead locker space is available and your guitar fits in.
  • Guitar as Checked Baggage: ALLOWED  
  • Checked Baggage policy:  You can check your guitar as long as it is within the baggage check-in dimensions. The standard baggage weight limit is 70.5 lbs, and the size limit is 292 cm. Lufthansa charges flat rates if it exceeds the required weight and or dimensions. If the number of bags exceeds, Lufthansa charges an additional fee for the second checked baggage (size dimensions up to 50 lbs / up to 158 cm).  
  • Cabin Seat Purchase: ALLOWED  
  • Cabin Seat policy:  If the guitar size with the case exceeds the dimension limit of 55 x 40 x 23 cm, you can purchase an additional seat. The cost varies based on the type of seat you are buying. The approved dimension for cabin seat purchase is 155 x 42 x 25 cm if it stands in the cabin. It is 110 x 42 x 50 cm if strapped to a seat. The airline allows weight up to 165 lbs. for cabin seat purchases.

British Airways  

  • Guitar as carry-on: NOT ALLOWED  
  • Carry on policy:  You cannot carry the guitar on a British Airways aircraft. The only option left is to buy an extra seat for your guitar.
  • Guitar as Checked Baggage: ALLOWED  
  • Checked Baggage policy:  The baggage checked with British Airways is not possible online. Your guitar must be appropriately packed, preferably in a hard case, unless they won’t accept it. The acceptable weight limit is 50 lbs. if it exceeds charges applicable up to 99 lbs. If you don’t buy a seat for the guitar, it will be counted as checked baggage and part of the free checked baggage allowance. If you don’t pack your guitar in a hard case, it can only travel with you if you buy an extra seat.  
  • Cabin Seat Purchase: ALLOWED  
  • Cabin Seat policy:  Note that you need to onboard before others to ensure your guitar is secured and fastened. Note that the dimension limit for cabin seat purchase must not exceed 140 cm in height and 230 cm in linear measurement. Note: You can only carry your guitar as a cabin baggage allowance for business class ticket purchases.   

Virgin Atlantic Airways

  • Guitar as carry-on: NOT ALLOWED  
  • Carry on policy:  If your guitar fits in overhead storage without much struggle and the maximum size dimension of your guitar is 115 cm, you can carry on your guitar. Note that the maximum weight limit is 22-26 lbs.
  • Guitar as Checked Baggage: ALLOWED 
  • Checked Baggage Policy: You can check your guitar as baggage by paying a checked baggage allowance or an additional fee. Secure the guitar by providing a baggage belt. You can check in 1 bag with a max weight of 50 lbs, a max size dimension of 90 x 75 x 43 cm for flying as limited for an economy class ticket. You must pay an additional fee if it exceeds your fare-based baggage allowance. For the premium ticket, the baggage allowance is two pieces of baggage. Max dimension: 90 x 75 x 43 cm (35.5 x 29.5 x 16 ins) Weight limit of each: 50 lbs. For the upper-class ticket, the baggage allowance is 3 pieces of baggage. The maximum dimension: 90 x 75 x 43 cm (35.5 x 29.5 x 16 ins), weight limit for each is 70 lb. 

Note: The ideal time for baggage check is 2 hours before you fly.

  • Cabin Seat Purchase: ALLOWED  
  • Cabin Seat Policy:  Virgin Atlantic allows, at most, two guitars on board if you book seats for them. You can only buy window seats, not those that might block the aisle or necessary signage. You must secure it with the seatbelt. The maximum size they accept is 165 lbs or 75 kg. The approved center of mass is 30 cm, or 12 inches, on top of the seat cushion.

Air France  

Waiting for Boarding with Hard Case Guitar
  • Guitar as carry-on: NOT ALLOWED  
  • Carry-on policy: Air France is not among the airlines that allow guitar carry-on.
  • Checked Baggage: ALLOWED  
  • Checked Baggage policy:  If your guitar exceeds 300 cm in size or 70 lbs in weight and is considered a standard checked baggage item with additional costs added to the ticket price. A variation applies depending on the fare type. Contact the airline for details. Additional charges are applicable if your guitar exceeds the number, size, or weight allowance for your fare type. The guitar must be protected by a hardshell case and get approved as checked baggage.  
  • Cabin Seat Purchase: ALLOWED  
  • Cabin Seat policy: If the size dimension exceeds 115 cm and the weight limit exceeds 45 lbs you need to purchase a cabin seat for your guitar. Note that you must submit the request at least 48 hours before departure. An additional seat fare is applicable. The weight of your guitar must not exceed 99 lbs. Note that the guitar requires solid hard case packaging with round edges.   

Royal Dutch Airlines  

  • Guitar as carry-on: NOT ALLOWED  
  • Carry-on policy:  A smaller guitar approves as a piece of hand baggage. You can get onboard the guitar only if it fits in the overhead bin.
  • Guitar as Checked Baggage: ALLOWED  
  • Checked Baggage policy:  As checked baggage, the guitar should weigh less than 50.5 lbs or 23 Kg for economy class and less than 70.5 lbs or 32 kg for Business Class, to carry a musical instrument free of charge checked baggage. Make sure the guitar must be packed in a hard case. The airline does not take any liability for damage if otherwise. Additional charges are applicable if the guitar exceeds the approved size and weight dimension. Suppose your guitar weighs more than 70.5 lbs or 32 Kg for business class or measures more than 300 cm or 118 inches. You must make a reservation as early as possible and pay additional fees.
  • Cabin Seat Purchase: ALLOWED  
  • Cabin Seat policy: extra seat purchase is possible if your guitar does not fit in the overhead bin or under the seat. The size of the guitar should not exceed 140 cm in size dimension and should not cross the weight limit of 100 lbs. Book the seat in advance to make your guitar fly as a carry-on item.

Swiss International Airlines  

  • Guitar as carry-on: ALLOWED  
  • Carry-on policy: If your guitar does not exceed the standard dimensions of 118 cm or weighs 17.5 lbs, it’s approved as carry-on. If it exceeds, buying an extra seat is an option for you.
  • Guitar as checked baggage: ALLOWED  
  • Checked baggage policy:  Swiss International Airlines approves baggage checked in for overweight and oversized baggage that you cannot take as carry-on. The cost varies on fare type and route. 
  • Cabin Seat Purchase: ALLOWED  
  • Cabin Seat policy:  Extra seats cannot be purchased online. It’s better to book it in advance. The cost of an extra seat is equivalent to the ticket price.  

Aeroflot  

Guy staring at his phone carrying his guitar gig bag
  • Guitar as carry-on: ALLOWED  
  • Carry on policy:  You can carry one piece of guitar, size limited up to 135 cm, and the weight limits up to 22 lbs.  If the limitations exceed, it requires prior approval from the airline authority. 
  • Guitar as checked baggage: ALLOWED  
  • Checked baggage policy:  As checked baggage, you can take on board two pieces, up to 50 lbs per piece. Aeroflot accepts the responsibility for the safety of your guitar with a baggage tag.   
  • Cabin seat purchase: ALLOWED  
  • Cabin Seat Policy: Aeroflot approves cabin seat purchases for your guitar with charges applicable. A guitar with a case within the size dimension of 215 cm and a weight up to 176 lbs. can get a seat to fly your guitar. Contact the airline if the size dimension or weight limit exceeds.

Turkish Airlines  

  • Guitar as carry-on: ALLOWED
  • Carry on policy:  You can take a guitar on board as “carry on” free of charge on Turkish Airlines. If the size dimension exceed 118 cm and weigh 158 lbs, charges applicable. Make sure you make a reservation before 48 hours.
  • Guitar as checked baggage: ALLOWED  
  • Checked baggage policy: You must put your guitar in a durable hard case before checking in as baggage.  
  • Cabin seat purchase: ALLOWED  
  • Cabin seat policy:  You are allowed to purchase an extra seat for your guitar. Contact the airline for details.

Austrian Airlines  

  • Guitar as carry-on: ALLOWED  
  • Carry on policy:  If the guitar, including the case, does not exceed the overall dimension of 118 cm and has a maximum weight of 17.5 kg, you can get on board with the guitar. A seat purchase is the only option if the guitar is bigger and heavier than that.  
  • Guitar as checked baggage: ALLOWED   
  • Checked baggage policy:  If the guitar is within the size dimensions 292 cm linear and weighs within 70.5 lbs. the guitar can be checked as baggage. The baggage charges vary based on route and your free baggage allowance. If the bag exceeds 70.5 lbs and size dimension 292 cm, special conditions are applied. Contact the airline for more details.  
  • Cabin seat purchase: ALLOWED  
  • Cabin seat policy:  100% of the ticket price will apply for seat purchase. Note that an additional seat cannot be purchased online. If the musical instrument surpasses the seat’s size, the only option is to fly it as checked baggage.  

Asian Airlines Guitar Carrying Policy:

Qantas Airlines

Guitar Case Checking in Airport
  • Guitar as carry-on: ALLOWED  
  • Carry on policy:  A guitar can be onboarded as carrying on if it does not exceed the weight limit of 15 lbs and the maximum dimension of 142 cm overall. A guitar is usually stored in the overhead locker. Qantas suggests onboarding as soon as possible to ensure your musical instrument secures its place in the overhead bin. Qantas Airlines is among the most guitar-friendly airlines that allow guitar carry-on.
  • Guitar as checked baggage: ALLOWED   
  • Checked baggage policy: Guitars are considered as checked-in baggage provided that it complies with the max size dimension of 158 cm and weight limit of 70.5 lbs. 

Note: Registered members of an affiliated musical association are allowed at most three checked baggage per musician. Musicians on domestic Qantas within Australia receive a complimentary one additional baggage allowance. 

  • Cabin seat purchase: ALLOWED  
  • Cabin seat policy: Purchasing an extra seat for your guitar is also an option. Contact the airline for detail regarding charges.  

Singapore Airlines  

  • Guitar as carry-on: ALLOWED  
  • Carry on policy:  Singapore Airlines has a standard cabin baggage allowance for every ticket purchase. If your guitar, including the case, does not exceed 115cm and does not weigh more than 15 lbs, it falls under standard baggage allowance, and you are allowed to carry it for flying with you.  
  • Guitar as checked baggage: ALLOWED   
  • Checked baggage policy:  Guitars exceeding the standard cabin baggage allowance (118 cm. in size dimension and 15 lbs. in weight) are considered for checked baggage and are subject to additional baggage charges. The size and weight limit for checked baggage are 158 cm and 70.5 lbs consecutively.
  • Cabin seat purchase: ALLOWED  
  • Cabin seat policy:  Additional seat purchase for your guitar is an option for you. The airline will securely fasten your guitar with the seat. Max size dimension and weight limit are as follows, size limit: 202 cm (linear) and weight limit: 88 lbs.   

Eva Air   

  • Guitar as carry-on: ALLOWED  
  • Carry on policy:  Guitars are approved as carry-on bag items. You can get on board with your guitar only if packed in hard cases with no sharp edges. Your guitar goes to the overhead bins or under the seats, provided that there is ample space to stow it. The guitar must be within the weight limit which is 15 lbs.   
  • Guitar as checked baggage: ALLOWED  
  • Checked baggage policy: a guitar can be checked as baggage if it does not exceed the size dimension and weight limit as per the airline policy. The maximum size dimension is 158 cm. linear and the weight limit is 70.5 lbs. Your guitar must be in a solid, hard case. The other conditions are that your guitar with the case does not obstruct any important signage, and is properly tagged as “fragile”.

Virgin Australia  

  • Guitar as carry-on: ALLOWED  
  • Carry on policy:  The guitar that meets the dimension limit of total linear dimensions of 142 cm and the weight limit of 15 lbs so that it can be onboarded as carry-on baggage. You must be prompt to get space in the overhead bin.  
  • Guitar as checked baggage: ALLOWED   
  • Checked baggage policy:  A guitar packed in a hard case is acceptable as checked baggage. The guitar must weigh within 70 lbs and should be within the size limit of 140 cm linear. If your guitar package is more than 70.5 lbs, it will fly as cargo.   
  • Cabin seat purchase: ALLOWED  
  • Cabin seat policy:  An additional cabin seat purchase is allowed. For information, please contact the airline.  

Thai Airways  

Thai Airways
Moscow, Russia – September 26, 2014: Boeing 777-300 HS-TJW of Thaiairway. Taxiing at Domodedovo arport.
  • Guitar as carry-on: ALLOWED 
  • Carry-on policy:  Each passenger can carry one piece of baggage that may include a small guitar if it does not exceed the dimension limit of 126 cm. Also, ensure that the total weight should not exceed 15 lbs. The carry-on baggage goes to the overhead bin or under the seat.
  • Guitar as checked baggage: ALLOWED   
  • Checked baggage policy:  Checked baggage weight limit for international flights is up to 110 lbs (max size dimension 158 cm and weight limit 70.5 lbs for to and from USA/Canada). The limitation and restrictions vary depending on the type of fare, route, etc. Baggage exceeding the free baggage allowance is subject to additional charges.  

Note: Baggage rules may vary if your journey involves multiple airline partners.  

Air New Zealand  

  • Guitar as carry-on: ALLOWED  
  • Carry on policy:  You can onboard your guitar as ‘carry on’ if it does not exceed size 118 cm (linear)and weighs no more than 15 lbs. If the size dimension and weight limit exceed, charges and restrictions apply as per the airline rules.  
  • Guitar as checked baggage: ALLOWED 
  • Checked baggage policy:  Any guitar with a case weighs less than 70.5 lbs, and the size dimension is within 158 cm; checked baggage is the option.   
  • Cabin seat purchase: ALLOWED  
  • Cabin seat policy:  You can buy an extra seat if you prefer. Ensure your guitar does not block important signage, cabin aisle, or emergency exit.  

Korean Air  

  • Guitar as carry-on: ALLOWED  
  • Carry on policy: Since your guitar is within the dimensions of 115cm, you can carry it in the cabin and store it in the stowing compartment or under the seat.   
  • Guitar as checked baggage: ALLOWED   
  • Checked baggage policy: As checked baggage, size dimension and the weight limit should not exceed 203 cm. and 70 lbs. Your guitar must be a securely padded hard case, preferably a flight case. The airline will not take the liability of damage if rules are not complied.  
  • Cabin seat purchase: ALLOWED  
  • Cabin seat policy:  You may also opt for an additional seat purchase if you prefer cabin stowage for your guitar. Standard rules such as must not block signage or emergency exit or cabin aisle applied.

All Nippon Airways

  • Guitar as carry-on: ALLOWED  
  • Carry on policy:  Travelers are allowed to onboard with a guitar. It depends on the availability of space in the overhead bin. You can stow it under the seat too. The maximum weight limit is 22 lbs., which includes other hand baggage. Size dimension limit is 115 cm. linear.   
  • Guitar as checked baggage: ALLOWED   
  • Checked baggage policy:  The airline allows baggage allowance for international flights up to 99 lbs per piece. A guitar that meet the size limit in total linear dimension 292 cm including wheels and handle can be taken as checked baggage. 2-3 pieces of baggage are allowed as checked baggage depending on the fare type.  
  • Cabin seat purchase: ALLOWED  
  • Cabin seat policy:  You are allowed to purchase an extra seat if the guitar does not fit in the overhead bin. Note that smaller aircraft may not allow cabin baggage.   

Japan Airlines  

  • Guitar as carry-on: ALLOWED  
  • Carry on policy:  You can get onboard your guitar with size and weight limits. Japan Airlines approves guitar within the weight limit of 22 lbs. and the size limit of 115 in linear dimension. You have to stow it in the overhead bin or under the chair. If the size or weight limit exceeds, it will count as checked baggage. Note that you must inform the airline you decided to hand carry a guitar.  
  • Guitar as checked baggage: ALLOWED   
  • Checked baggage policy: If your guitar does not fit in the overhead bin or under the seat, you can check it as checked baggage with size and weight limitations applied. Japan Airlines accepts checked baggage sizes less than 203 cm in linear dimension and less than 70 lbs in weight. Make a reservation at least 24 hours before you arrive at the airport 
  • Cabin seat purchase: ALLOWED  
  • Cabin seat policy:  You can purchase an extra seat for the guitar by paying a special fee. Contact the airline for fee details. After onboarded, make sure the guitar is fastened with a seatbelt. Note the rules say that the width of the baggage must not exceed 43cm or less.  

Cathay Pacific Airways  

Guy waiting in Airport with guitar
  • Guitar as carry-on: ALLOWED  
  • Carry on policy:  Your small guitar may take its place as hand baggage because it is packaged in a hard case and fits in the overhead bin. The maximum weight to be considered as hand baggage is 15 lbs, including the case; total dimensions should not exceed 156 cm.  
  • Guitar as checked baggage: ALLOWED   
  • Checked baggage policy:  If the guitar exceeds limits as cabin baggage must be checked in.
  • Cabin seat purchase: ALLOWED  
  • Cabin seat policy:  You can store your guitar in an additional seat if you purchase one, provided that it is in a hard case. The airline crew will fasten your guitar case with the seat and pack it in a canvas bag. For a cabin seat purchase maximum size dimension is 228 and weight limit is 70 lbs.   

Note: Book the additional seat for guitar at least three working days before your travel dates.  

Asiana Airlines  

  • Guitar as carry-on: ALLOWED  
  • Carry on policy: The guitar is within the dimensions (length, width, and height); less than 115 cm can carry onboard without charge. It would be best if you stowed in at the cabin or under the seat.
  • Guitar as checked baggage: ALLOWED   
  • Checked baggage policy:  The other option for transporting your guitar is to check it in as checked baggage. You must pack your guitar in a hard case, preferably a flight case, and stuff it with cushioning material. Excess baggage charges will incur if your guitar with case exceeds the size, weight, or baggage allowance limit free of charge.
  • Cabin seat purchase: ALLOWED  
  • Cabin seat policy:  Your guitar may find its place in the cabin seat as an additional purchase. The rule is the guitar should be shorter than 155 cm. You must make a reservation for the seat while booking one of yours.  

Hainan Airlines  

  • Guitar as carry-on: ALLOWED  
  • Carry-on policy:  For a musical instrument less than 115 cm in size, passengers can bring it into the cabin as a carry-on item and include it in the free baggage allowance. Musical instruments brought as carry-on items must be placed under the passenger seat or overhead baggage rack.   
  • Guitar as checked baggage: ALLOWED  
  • Checked baggage policy:  Hainan Airlines approves guitars as checked baggage if they are within the size limit of 100 cm and the weight limit of 110 kg. If the guitar exceeds the limit, it will fly as a ‘cargo’. The passenger must get on board in hard case packaging, preferably in a flight case.
  • Cabin seat purchase: ALLOWED  
  • Cabin seat policy:  If you prefer to fly with your guitar in the cabin, learn that buying a seat is approved by Hainan. The guitar must be in a hard case. The cabin baggage weight limit is 158 kg for domestic flights, and a size dimension not exceeding 200 cm is ideal. For international flights, the cabin baggage weight limit is 165 kg. Note that if the size dimension exceeds 200 cm, there will be additional seat charges, which is equivalent to an adult fare.

China Southern  

  • Guitar as carry-on: ALLOWED
  • Carry-on policy: The carry-on guitar is in the overhead bin or under the seat. Make sure your guitar does not obstruct emergency exits at any cost. Those seated near the emergency exit must keep their guitar baggage in the overhead bin. Your carry-on guitar is subject to weight, number, or volume restrictions.

Rules are listed below: 

Types  Travel Classes Maximum Number of Pieces Maximum Weight of Each Piece Maximum Dimensions per Piece
Domestic flights First Class 2PC 11 lbs The sum of the external dimensions of each piece of baggage can be no greater than 115 cm. (45 in)
Business Class 1PC
Premium Economy Class
Economy Class
International/Regional Flights First Class 2PC
Business Class 1PC
Premium Economy Class
Economy Class

Note: Any baggage exceeding the above weight limits; the number of pieces or volume will be considered checked baggage.  

  • Guitar as checked baggage: ALLOWED  
  • Checked baggage policy: baggage weight and size limitations are as follows- 
Types  Routes Maximum Weight of Each Piece Maximum Dimensions per Piece
Domestic flights $30  110 lbs  The dimensions of each piece must not exceed 40*60*100 cm 
International/regional flights The U.S.A. routes are involved 99 lbs 158 cm 
The U.S.A. routes are not involved 70 lbs
  •  Note: Southern China Airlines charges the bulky package by kilogram at a rate of 1.5% of the total adult one-way economy class ticket price applicable on billing. 
  • Cabin seat purchase: ALLOWED
  • Cabin seat policy:  You can book a seat to transport your guitar. If the baggage exceeds 55cm×40cm×20cm in size, the passengers should purchase CBBG tickets, if you want to purchase seats for your guitar. For cabin seat purchases, the weight limit is 165 lbs and size limit is 225 cm. The guitar must be appropriately packed, preferably in a hard case. 

Jetstar  

  • Guitar as carry-on: ALLOWED 
  • Carry on policy:  If your guitar weighs less than 7 kg and does not exceed the size of 144 cm, It can fly with you in the overhead bin. Moreover, It will be part of your carry-on baggage allowance.  
  • Guitar as checked baggage: ALLOWED 
  • Checked baggage policy: If the guitar, including wheels, handles, and packaging, exceeds 100 cm in length and weighs more than 15 kg, it must travel as checked baggage. For checked baggage, the size limit is 100 cm and the weight limit is 70 lbs. If the baggage is oversized and overweight, charges apply. Your guitar must be strapped to a seat securely and appropriately packed.
  • Cabin seat purchase: ALLOWED  
  • Cabin seat policy:  For larger guitar sizes, you can purchase a seat additionally; standard charges are applied depending on fare type and guitar size, and weight. 

Middle Eastern Airlines Guitar Carrying Policy:   

Qatar Airways

Qatar Airways

  • Guitar as Carry-on: ALLOWED
  • Carry on policy:  You can get your musical instrument on board up to a length limit of 120 cm. You can take up to 2 items based on your fare type.
  • Guitar as Checked Baggage: ALLOWED 
  • Cabin seat purchase: ALLOWED  
  • Cabin seat policy:  As a fragile instrument, your guitar may find its place in the cabin by purchasing an additional ticket. The maximum weight limit is 165 lbs, and the maximum length is 120 cm. If it weighs more than 165 lbs, you can buy up to 3 seats to accommodate it with charges.  

Note: Your guitar should be adequately packed. Qatar Airways do not accept liability for fragile baggage with fragile contents.  

Emirates Airways  

  • Guitar as Carry-on: ALLOWED  
  • Carry on policy: a guitar is allowed to the cabin with you. It would be best if you stowed the guitar in the overhead bin.
  • Guitar as Checked Baggage: ALLOWED  
  • Checked baggage policy:  Guitars are accepted as cabin baggage. The weight limit is 70.5 lbs, and the size dimension limit is 300 cm.   
  • Cabin seat purchase: ALLOWED  
  • Cabin seat policy:  The guitar is approved as a fragile instrument, and if you can accommodate it in a cabin seat.  

Etihad Airways  

  • Guitar as Carry-on: ALLOWED  
  • Carry-on policy:  Guitars that meet cabin baggage dimensions are allowed on board for free. The maximum weight limit is 15 lbs, and the size dimension is 115 cm. 
  • Guitar as Checked Baggage: ALLOWED  
  • Checked baggage policy:  The best way to fly with guitar at Etihad, as check baggage, make sure it is securely packed, does not cross the weight limit of 70.5 lbs, and max dimension of 300cm.  
  • Cabin seat purchase: ALLOWED  
  • Cabin seat policy:  You can also purchase an additional seat to accommodate your guitar inside the cabin.  

Saudia Airlines  

  • Guitar as Carry-on: ALLOWED  
  • Carry-on policy:  Saudia allows carry-on of the guitar if it meets a size dimension of 115 cm and a weight limit of 26 lbs.  
  • Guitar as Checked Baggage: ALLOWED  
  • Checked baggage policy:  Saudia allows your guitar as checked baggage. The guitar must be appropriately packed, preferably in a hard case. The airport authority will check on the weight to ensure it can be a part of the free checked baggage allowance for excess baggage. If your guitar crosses the size dimension of 158 cm and the weight limit of 70.5 lbs, it will be subjected to extra baggage fees.

Egypt Air  

  • Guitar as carry-on: ALLOWED  
  • Carry-on policy:  Carry your guitar packed in a hard case as carry‐on baggage if it complies with size and weight requirements (weight limit: 17.5 lbs. and size limit: 118 cm) based on fare types. 
  • Guitar as checked baggage: ALLOWED  
  • Checked baggage policy: Your guitar is approved as checked baggage considering its size, shape, weight, and length. Your guitar may fall within the free baggage allowance based on your fare type. Please check that before. If the guitar exceeds the size dimension of 203 cm and the weight limit of 70.5 lbs, additional fees will be applicable. The guitar should be in a hard case, preferably a plastic molded flight case.  
  • Cabin seat purchase: ALLOWED  
  • Cabin seat policy:  You can purchase a seat for your guitar. The instrument must be secured, and only window seats are approved to fly a guitar, not in the row around the aisle.  

Disclaimer: All rules are subject to change or updating by the airline authorities. The information in this article may seem incomplete due to the unavailability of data from any airline authority. This article aims to give an overall idea of airline rules for flying with a guitar (carry-on and other arrangements). For more precise information, we suggest contacting your airline or visiting the official site while preparing.

Final Thoughts  

I hope the information above keeps you a step ahead in preparation for a flight. A departing tip: take many pictures of your guitar so that if any damage occurs through baggage mishandling, you can claim damage if needed. Remember to measure the size and weight of your guitar and contact the airline if you are confused about how you want to fly with it. I hope you can fly on airlines that allow guitar carry-on; wouldn’t it be best if it could fly alongside you? Otherwise, you must consider taking the precautions necessary to fly the guitar safely as a checked item.

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