5 Best Guitar Flight Cases to Buy [2023]

We all know how nerve-wracking it can be to hand over our axe to the baggage handlers or subject it to the perils of bumpy rides and turbulent journeys. To ensure peace of mind, we can’t afford to overlook the protector: a flight case. A guitar flight case is designed to deal with the rigors of air travel in mind and meets the strict requirements of airlines. But among numerous available options, how to find the best flight guitar case? Well, I’ve done the work for you and compiled a list of the 5 best guitar flight cases. These flight cases feature a durable exterior, impact-resistant materials, a plush-lined interior, and the most important thing: TSA-approved locks. With one of the best guitar flight cases by your side, you can be sure that the guitar is safe and won’t fall victim to any unnecessary inspections.

How To Choose The Best Guitar Flight Cases 

When it comes to protecting our instruments during air travel or any other kind of long-distance transportation, choosing the right case is crucial. You want a case that offers maximum protection, durability, and ease of use. Here are some key factors to consider when selecting the best guitar flight cases: 

Size & Fit: 

You need a flight case that fits your specific guitar like a glove. It needs to be snug enough to prevent any unwanted movement but not so tight that it causes damage. Measure your guitar’s dimensions and find a flight case that matches them perfectly. One rule of thumb while considering the fit is that the guitar and your guitar case should have a one-finger distance. 

How do you accurately measure a guitar? 

Length: Start by measuring the total length of your guitar from the tip of the headstock to the end of the body, including the strap button. Use a tape measure and ensure it follows the curve of the instrument. 

Width: Measure the widest part of the guitar’s body, typically around the lower bout. Again, use a tape measure and take notes. 

Depth: Measure the depth of your guitar’s body at its thickest point. It is usually around the centre or lower bout. Place the tape measure against the back of the body and extend it to the top of the arch. 

Headstock Height: Use the tape measure from the bottom of the neck to the top of the headstock itself. 

Sturdy Exterior:  

Choose a robust construction for your best guitar flight cases. Look for durable materials like ABS plastic. Having reinforced corners and metal hardware will give you added strength.  

What are the advantages of reinforced corners and metal hardware for your guitar? 

Reinforced corners provide added strength and impact resistance. So, the flight case can withstand rough handling and accidental drops better. It helps to minimize the risk of damage to your instrument. 

Metal hardware, such as sturdy latches and hinges, enhances the overall durability of the flight case. Metal components are less likely to break or wear out over time compared to their plastic counterparts. 

Interior Protection:  

The best guitar flight cases should come with plush, padded interiors that cradle your instrument with care. Soft lining materials like EPS foam provide a cushioned haven for your guitar and shield it from scratches and dings. 

Is the interior important if you take the guitar case as a carry-on? 

Absolutely! While you fly with your guitar as a carry-on, there’s always a possibility of turbulence or accidental bumps during the flight. A plush, padded interior with soft lining materials like EPS foam will help safeguard your guitar from any potential scratches or dings. Additionally, a well-cushioned interior will keep the instrument securely in place to reduce the risk of damage from movement. 

TSA-Approved Locks:  

Airport inspection can be a real headache, but fear not! The best guitar flight cases come equipped with TSA-approved locks so that TSA agents can open and inspect your case without damaging the lock.  

What are TSA-approved locks? 

TSA-approved locks have a special keyhole or combination mechanism that can be accessed using a master key or a specific combination code held exclusively by TSA agents. A TSA-approved lock enables them to inspect the contents of your guitar flight case during security checks at airports without breaking it. 

See Also: 9 Essential Things You Need In A Guitar Hard Case

List of the Best Guitar Flight Cases

1. Knox 39″ Hard Shell Guitar Case

Best Guitar Case For Air Travel

Specifications & Key Features


  • Material: Thermoplastic Polyurethane (TPU) 
  • TSA-approved lock: Yes 
  • Closure Type: Toggle 
  • Item Weight: 8.45 pounds 
  • Product Dimensions: 42 x 5.5 x 13.5 inches 

Key Features

  • Arch-topped plywood outer shell 
  • TSA locking latch    
  • Soft padding 
  • Thick plush lining 
  • Quality molded carry handle 

Born to protect, the Knox 39″ Hard Shell Guitar Case is designed to provide top-notch protection for your concert-size acoustic guitars, dobros, and resonator guitars while air traveling. This daredevil is built like a tank and comes with a very reasonable price tag! Its rugged arch-topped plywood construction and upgraded gold-quality latches and hinges provide a solid shield against the inevitable bumps and bruises that come while traveling. Get this monstrous case home, you won’t have to worry about accidental bumps or drops anymore. 

The plush lining and soft, padded interior provide a cozy nest for your guitar. The interior ensures a snug fit and prevents any unnecessary movement or jostling. The foam is soft and supportive. The TSA-approved locking latches, designed to be recognized and opened by TSA agents when necessary, ensure that your belongings remain secure and offer peace of mind during your travels. 

The quality molded handle will let you carry the case comfortably for a long time without worrying about discomfort or strain. Besides, the accessory compartment has ample space for all your guitar essentials. Overall, the extraordinary protection, high-quality latches and hinges, locks, and lucrative price point make it the best guitar flight case on my list. 

  • Durable construction 
  • High-quality interior 
  • TSA-approved locking latch 
  • Budget-friendly price 
  • Comfortable carry handle 
  • Quality latches and hinges 
  • Spacious accessory compartment 
  • The metal latch inside doesn’t align 

Buy This If 

You are looking for a robust flight case for your acoustic on a budget. The Knox 39″ Hard Shell Guitar Case ticks all the box (high-quality exterior, interior, TSA-approved lock) you can ask for at a comfortable price tag. 

Don’t Buy This If 

Your acoustic’s size is more than 39″. The Knox is only suitable for acoustic guitars sized less than 39″.  

Models Fit: 

This model fits concert size acoustic guitars, dobros, and resonator guitars 

2. SKB Acoustic Guitar Case (3I-4217-18)

Best Acoustic Guitar Case for Air travel

Specifications & Key Features


  • Material: Polypropylene, Rubber 
  • TSA-approved lock: Yes 
  • Closure Type: Toggle 
  • Item Weight: 22 pounds 
  • Product Dimensions: 46.5 x 21 x 8.5 inches 

Key Features

  • High-quality polyethylene outer-shell 
  • TSA locking latch    
  • Automatic ambient pressure equalization valve 
  • Plush lining 
  • Quality injection molded manufacturing

The SKB Acoustic Guitar Case is the epitome of durability and protection for acoustic guitars. This military-grade waterproof case is crafted from high-quality polypropylene copolymer resin. Talk about durability! Not only that, but they are also waterproof, thanks to their gasket-sealed design that keeps water and dust out of your acoustic. You can even submerge the case in the water! The plush lining and high-quality foam cradle your guitar snugly, and open spaces along the neck keep it safe. 

The rubber cushion grip handles are comfortable to hold, and moving the guitar case couldn’t be easier with the quality wheels. The TSA-approved latch system ensures that your case stays securely closed during travel. 

Did I mention the automatic ambient pressure equalization valve? This nifty feature takes care of any pressure changes and keeps the guitar safe from the elements, such as UV rays, corrosion, solvents, and fungus. Need a storage compartment? There are two in this guitar case! 

  • Impact-resistant exterior 
  • Corrosion, fungus, UV, solvent resistant 
  • Complete gasket sealed 
  • Molded hinges 
  • Easy to carry 
  • Spacious accessory compartment  
  • TSA-approved latches 
  • Overpriced

Buy This If: 

If you’re looking for a highly durable and waterproof acoustic guitar case for air travel.  

Don’t Buy This If: 

You are looking for a budget-friendly option. Gator Cases Molded Flight Case (GTSA-GTRELEC) can be a better budget-friendly option that comes under $200. 

Models Fit: 

Designed to fit most acoustic guitars. 

3. Fender Deluxe Molded Acoustasonic Guitar Case

Best Acoustasonic Guitar Case for Air Travel

Specifications & Key Features


  • Material: Polyester 
  • TSA-approved lock: Yes 
  • Pattern: Solid 
  • Item Weight: 12.85 lbs 
  • Product Dimensions: 41.25 x 15.75 x 5 inches 

Key Features

  • ATA molded military-grade polyethylene outer shell 
  • TSA locking latch    
  • Custom-fit 
  • Extended reach protective neck cradle 
  • Ergo-grip injection molded handle 
  • Rugged injection molded polyethylene feet 

The Fender Deluxe Molded Acoustasonic Guitar Case is built to last, using ATA molded military-grade polyethylene. It’s tough as nails, ready to handle any rough treatment that comes in the way. This is one of the best guitar flight cases designed for protecting your Stratocaster/Telecaster style electric guitar.  

Fender Acoustasonic Guitar Case also has a TSA-approved center locking latch. So, your guitar and its accessories will remain safe, free from prying hands and potential mishaps. Plus, the plush polyester interior with an extended-reach protective neck cradle ensures a snug fit for your instrument, providing an extra layer of shock resistance.   

Transportation becomes a breeze with the comfortable handle of this hard case. The rubberized feet on the hinged edge keep the case upright and balanced on the ground, so you can confidently put it down without worrying about it toppling over. 

  • Durable outer shell 
  • Plush lining 
  • TSA-approved locking system 
  • Rubberized feet  
  • Ample storage 
  • Storage pocket is under the guitar bed 

Buy This If 

If you are looking for a miliary-grade exterior and EPS foam interior for your Stratocaster/Telecaster-style electric guitars. 

Don’t Buy This If 

You prioritize getting the accessories from the hard case easily. You can choose Gator Cases Molded Flight Case, one of the best guitar flight cases for Strat/Tele that has easy access to the compartment. 

Models Fit: 

Designed to fit Fender Stratocaster and Telecaster style electric guitars. 

4. Gator Cases Molded Flight Case

Best Acoustic Dreadnought Guitars Case for Air travel

Specifications & Key Features


  • Material: Polyethylene 
  • TSA-approved lock: Yes 
  • Closure Type: Toggle 
  • Item Weight: 5.6 pounds 
  • Product Dimensions: 44.3 x 18.1 x 7.6 inches 

Key Features

  • ATA Roto-molded polyethylene outer-shell 
  • TSA locking latch    
  • EPS foam 
  • Thick black plush lining 
  • Ergo-grip injection molded carry handle 
  • Extended reach neck cradle 

Gator Cases Molded Flight Case is an exceptional choice to protect your dreadnought-style acoustic guitar with solid construction. This hard case boasts a robust shell made of heavy-duty polyethylene, designed to withstand external pressure and shield your dreadnought from any potential damage or loss. The reliable latches further enhance security, giving you peace of mind. The Gator Flight Case also comes with its TSA-approved locking system. The locks are user-friendly, so you can easily access the guitar. 

Inside the case, you’ll find a plush interior with heavy padding of EPS foam. This cushioning absorbs shocks and prevents impacts from reaching your guitar. The thick padding ensures your instrument remains secure and stable during transit. 

Additionally, the case includes a neck cradle, providing extra support and stability to the guitar’s neck. Inside the guitar case, you’ll find ample storage space to accommodate various accessories. The storage compartment has a lid. 

  • Durable construction 
  • Thick padding 
  • Ergo-grip carry handle 
  • TSA-approved locking system 
  • Ample storage with a lid 
  • A bit heavy 

Buy This If 

If you own a dreadnought-style acoustic guitar and looking for a heavy-duty flight case. 

Don’t Buy This If 

You prioritize a lightweight flight case over other features.  

Models Fit: 

Designed to fit dreadnought-shaped acoustic guitars.

5. MONO M80 Vertigo Electric Guitar Case

Best Electric Guitar Gig bag for Air travel

Specifications  & Key Features


  • Material: Polyester 
  • TSA-approved lock: No 
  • Closure Type: Zipper 
  • Item Weight: 3 pounds 
  • Product Dimensions: 5 x 17 x 45 inches 

Key Features

  • Top-loading design 
  • Hybrid case design with ABS head and body impact panels 
  • Water-resistant  
  • Industrial rubber sole and piping 
  • Custom molded rubber outsole 
  • Headlock neck suspension system 

MONO M80 Vertigo is designed for air travel, meaning it’s a gig bag meant to withstand the rigors and turbulence of long flights. Its unique “Top-Loading” design allows you to easily slide your guitar in and out. You no longer need to be struggling with the zippers. One of the standout features of this gig bag is its impressive shock-absorbing molded rubber outsole. Moreover, the innovative Headlock system secures your guitar’s neck and headstock, providing a cushioned suspension. You don’t need any strapping, just zip the case up, and the bag’s top section clamps down over the neck and holds it firmly in place. 

The gig bag is constructed with heavy-duty materials that are both water-resistant and durable. The reinforced EVA padding and plush lining ensure your electric is snug, no matter how bumpy the ride gets. The exterior pocket offers ample storage space for accessories like cables, picks, and even your lucky guitar strap. 

  • Durable materials 
  • Convenient top-loading design 
  • Plush lining 
  • Lightweight 
  • Excellent protection for the guitar’s neck 
  • Ample storage 
  • Not suitable for checking in as baggage 

Buy This If 

If you are looking for a gig bag that provides exceptional protection for your Stratocaster or Telecaster-style electric guitar in air travel. 

Don’t Buy This If 

You’re looking for a hardshell case to ensure the utmost protection for your instrument. Only a hardshell case like Gator Cases Molded Flight Case can provide that kind of information. 

Models Fit: 

Designed to fit most electric guitars. 

USA Popular Airlines Carry-On Information 

Alaska Airlines: The carry-on bag size limit is 22(L)x14(W)x9(H) inches at Alaska Airlines. But they permit passengers to bring on board a single musical instrument that exceeds the standard size restriction. It can be securely stored in the overhead compartment or under the seat. 

American Airlines: American Airlines allows bringing musical instruments as carry-on items. However, these instruments must be either stored in the overhead bin or kept under the seat in front of the passenger. 

Delta Airlines: The dimensions of a carry-on bag must not surpass 22(L)x14(W)x9(H) inches or 45 linear inches at Delta Airlines. However, they make an exception for musical instruments that can fit in the overhead compartment or under the seat. So, if your guitar can meet these requirements, you’re good to go. 

JetBlue Airways: They also allow small musical instruments to be carried on board, provided space is available in the overhead bin or under the seat during passenger boarding. However, if you have a large-sized instrument, such as a double bass or a cello, you will need to purchase an extra seat for it. Remember, the instrument, including its case, must be under 165 pounds.  

Southwest Airlines: Even if the dimensions of your case exceed the maximum size limit of 24(L)x16(W)x10(H) inches, you can still bring the guitar case as carry-on baggage if the instrument can fit in the overhead bin or be placed under the seat. Southwest does not accept musical instruments in cases that exceed 150 linear inches or weigh over 165 pounds. 

How To Pack Guitar For Air Travel? 

Loosen The Strings: 

When preparing your guitar for its airborne adventure, give the tuning pegs a little twist to loosen the tension on the strings. Changes in temperature and air pressure during flights can wreak havoc on the guitar’s neck. Loosening the strings allows the neck some breathing room, reducing the risk of any unwanted warping or damage. 

Pad It Up: 

To ensure maximum protection, wrap your guitar in a soft cloth or bubble wrap before placing it in the guitar case. These will act as an extra cushioning layer to shield your instrument from any bumps or jolts along the way. Pay extra attention to the vulnerable areas, such as the headstock and bridge. Adding extra padding around these areas will keep your guitar as snug as a bug in a rug. 

Lebel The Case ‘Fragile’: 

When it’s time to hand over the guitar to the airline staff, be sure to label the guitar case as “fragile.” While it may not guarantee extra gentle treatment, it certainly increases the chances of your guitar being handled with a little more care. 

Final Words 

When it comes to safeguarding your guitar from the perils of travel, a high-quality flight case is your knight in shining armour. They provide a fortress of security and ensure your instrument remains safe and sound throughout the journey. Whether you’re a touring maestro, a gigging guru, or simply a guitar aficionado who wants the best protection while traveling, all you need is a high-quality flight case. Before you hit the road, choose any of the best guitar flight cases, follow the airline’s guidelines, pack the guitar properly, and you’ll be good to go. 


Can I carry-on a guitar in case of a plane? 

Yes, you can carry-on a guitar in case of a plane if it fits in the overhead bin. Many airlines allow passengers to bring a musical instrument as a carry-on if it is properly packed and follows the guidelines.   

Do I need a TSA approved guitar case? 

It is always best to avoid caution and use a TSA-approved case during a flight. It will ensure that TSA agents won’t damage your guitar case while inspecting. Whether a TSA-approved guitar case is a “must have” depends on the airline you are flying with. Some airlines, such as Delta and United, require all checked luggage to have TSA-approved locks. Other airlines, such as Southwest, allow you to use any type of lock if it is not a combination lock. 

Are guitars allowed in airports? 

Yes, guitars are allowed in airports. In fact, you can fly with a guitar as a carry-on or as checked baggage. All you need to do is follow your airline’s guidelines for carrying a musical instrument. 

Do guitars get damaged on planes? 

Yes, guitars can get damaged on planes. The most common causes of damage include rough handling by baggage handlers and changes in temperature and pressure that occur during a flight.

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