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Gator GC series cases rugged enough for a flight in the hold?

Postby jellyjim » Wed Mar 06, 2019 9:12 pm

Hello

Planning on fetching an electric guitar from Berlin to the UK. Flying EasyJet. They claim you can take a cased instrument up to 30cm x 120cm x 38cm into the cabin as your single allowed baggage item. I'm dubious so I want to work under the assumption it'll end up in the hold.

Does anybody have any experience of Gator GC series cases? I'm being specific as somebody can lend me one. A GC335. No doubt if fate wants to trash my guitar it will regardless but all things being equal, is this case up to snuff?

https://gatorcases.com/products/guitar/ ... se-gc-335/

"The GC-335 deluxe molded case is designed to fit Gibson 335® and Similar Style Semi-Hollow Guitars. Lined with plush fabric and outfitted with an EPS foam core, the case contours to the shape of the guitar and provides support to all the most delicate areas. The outer shell is molded from ultra-resilient ABS plastic, a semi-flexible material able to absorb impacts and endure the abuse of travel. Heavy-duty aluminum edging ensures a tight fit while lockable latches let you secure the case quickly and easily. For semi-hollow acoustic guitars and the Gibson 335®, the GC-335 is the only case you’ll ever need."

Thanks
Jim
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Re: Gator GC series cases rugged enough for a flight in the hold?

Postby Wonks » Wed Mar 06, 2019 9:25 pm

I've got one of those cases and whilst it's certainly robust, I'm not sure that a guitar inside it would not sustain damage if subject to the worst abuses of a moody baggage handler who decides to give it a good old throw to see if he can get it on a trolley.

TBH I don't think there are many flight cases that can withstand the worst mistreatment of baggage handlers.
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Re: Gator GC series cases rugged enough for a flight in the hold?

Postby jellyjim » Wed Mar 06, 2019 9:32 pm

Annoyingly EasyJet won't let you book a seat for a guitar or I'd do that. They only let you book for a cello! Or a cello case at least.

EasyJet is by far the cheapest and easiest for me. RyanAir will let you book for a guitar but they only fly from Stansted. I think Berlin is nearer tbh!

How robust? Could you stand on it?
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Re: Gator GC series cases rugged enough for a flight in the hold?

Postby Wonks » Wed Mar 06, 2019 9:47 pm

I certainly couldn't and leave it in one piece.
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Re: Gator GC series cases rugged enough for a flight in the hold?

Postby jellyjim » Wed Mar 06, 2019 9:48 pm

Wonks wrote:I certainly couldn't and leave it in one piece.

hmmpf ... thanks

what to do
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Re: Gator GC series cases rugged enough for a flight in the hold?

Postby jellyjim » Wed Mar 06, 2019 9:53 pm

A train?

Christ that'd take hours :headbang: :headbang: :headbang:
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Re: Gator GC series cases rugged enough for a flight in the hold?

Postby Wonks » Wed Mar 06, 2019 9:55 pm

Something heavy but with a large surface area should be fine to place on top, but heavy with a small area where the force is much greater - too much give in the top - especialy with the greater width of a 335 case.
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Re: Gator GC series cases rugged enough for a flight in the hold?

Postby jellyjim » Wed Mar 06, 2019 9:57 pm

Wonks wrote:Something heavy but with a large surface area should be fine to place on top, but heavy with a small area where the force is much greater - too much give in the top - especialy with the greater width of a 335 case.

Ok. So there's some 'give', it's not rigid? It's the luck of the draw!
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Re: Gator GC series cases rugged enough for a flight in the hold?

Postby blinddrew » Wed Mar 06, 2019 9:58 pm

Aaaaaactually, a few years ago I was heading from York to see my brother not far from Avignon. I worked out that it was only going to take half an hour longer door-to-door taking the train than it was to fly.
Depending on where you're starting and finishing, it might not actually be that much longer.


[EDIT sorry, got distracted halfway through, this was in response to the train comment.]
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Re: Gator GC series cases rugged enough for a flight in the hold?

Postby jellyjim » Wed Mar 06, 2019 9:59 pm

jellyjim wrote:A train?

Christ that'd take hours :headbang: :headbang: :headbang:

Coach is ... 24 HOURS ... :headbang: :headbang: :headbang: ... I think I'd have an aneurysm!
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Re: Gator GC series cases rugged enough for a flight in the hold?

Postby Wonks » Wed Mar 06, 2019 10:07 pm

Case is basically a couple of mm of hard plastic, with some rigid foam behind it.
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Re: Gator GC series cases rugged enough for a flight in the hold?

Postby blinddrew » Wed Mar 06, 2019 10:44 pm

London to Berlin is between 9 1/2 hours and 12 1/2 hours by train.
Lot less stress than a flight...
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Re: Gator GC series cases rugged enough for a flight in the hold?

Postby The Elf » Wed Mar 06, 2019 10:54 pm

jellyjim wrote:Annoyingly EasyJet won't let you book a seat for a guitar or I'd do that. They only let you book for a cello!
Buy a cello case and pack it with bubble wrap...
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Re: Gator GC series cases rugged enough for a flight in the hold?

Postby ManFromGlass » Wed Mar 06, 2019 11:14 pm

I was just going to say - why not use a cello case? Would that look too suspicious if you don’t have a guitar case that fits? You won’t be dealing with US customs.
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Re: Gator GC series cases rugged enough for a flight in the hold?

Postby Wonks » Wed Mar 06, 2019 11:33 pm

Put stickers saying 'cello case' and 'Stradivarius - with care' on a normal guitar case.
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Re: Gator GC series cases rugged enough for a flight in the hold?

Postby Alba » Thu Mar 07, 2019 12:49 am

I think ideally you should go for an ATA approved case with TSA locks (the airlines have a special universal key for these if needed for security and what not) Gator do a range https://gatorcases.com/products/guitar/ ... sa-gtr335/

But I use SKB ones from Gear4... and they are fine and the buggers haven't smashed one of my acoustics yet https://www.gear4music.com/Guitar-and-B ... Guitar/4XE

I see that G4M... also do the Gator ATA TSA case https://www.gear4music.com/Guitar-and-B ... ic-Guitars Looks prety meaty but don't have one so can't really comment on the difference but I also note they don't have stock.
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Re: Gator GC series cases rugged enough for a flight in the hold?

Postby jellyjim » Thu Mar 07, 2019 12:54 am

Alba wrote:But I use SKB ones from Gear4... and they are fine and the buggers haven't smashed one of my acoustics yet https://www.gear4music.com/Guitar-and-B ... Guitar/4XE

Ok cool thanks, that's more promising. So you've made multiple flights with this case without incident? Where is that? US/Europe/globally?
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Re: Gator GC series cases rugged enough for a flight in the hold?

Postby Alba » Thu Mar 07, 2019 1:05 am

Antigua, Mauritius, Cuba, Sri Lanka, UK, Europe... not the US. Yes, and never had any problems. TBH I have other cases that I prefer as just cases, nicer looking, better compartments, lining and so on, groovier!! I think they're ugly and I hate the plastic... But for pure impact resistance and airline friendliness these ATA TSA cases are great and the airlines know them, they all look the same, stand upright etc with those moulded feet, soft grip handles.

I must say though that the Gator looks like a better case...
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Re: Gator GC series cases rugged enough for a flight in the hold?

Postby jellyjim » Thu Mar 07, 2019 1:09 am

Alba wrote:Antigua, Mauritius, Cuba, Sri Lanka, UK, Europe... not the US. Yes, and never had any problems. TBH I have other cases that I prefer as just cases, nicer looking, better compartments, lining and so on, groovier!! I think they're ugly and I hate the plastic... But for pure impact resistance and airline friendliness these ATA TSA cases are great and the airlines know them, they all look the same, stand upright etc with those moulded feet, soft grip handles.

Brilliant, thanks Alba.

It's specifically for a single flight to collect the guitar from Berlin but it's an expensive and entirely bespoke custom build. It's literally irreplaceable!
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Re: Gator GC series cases rugged enough for a flight in the hold?

Postby Alba » Thu Mar 07, 2019 1:11 am

Then get a custom Ali flight case for it. Its the only way to be sure. imho.
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