The real costs of flying with a guitar.

At Ciari Guitars, we often are asked the question, “Why not invest in a hard case instead?” We’ve taken the time to analyze the real costs of flying with a guitar.

Gig bags, hard cases and overhead bins

Average cost of a gig bag: $50-$100
Average cost of a hard guitar case: $150-$300
Will these fit inside an overhead bin: maybe?

Gig bags, which are usually lightweight and easy to carry, include padded compartments made from soft material like nylon. Hard shell cases are molded guitar cases made from more durable materials like wood and vinyl. Prices, sizes and shapes for gig bags and hard cases vary, as do the shapes and sizes of overhead bins on airplanes.

For frequent travelers, the cost of a gig bag or a hard case is just the beginning. The expenses that musicians will incur when traveling with an electric guitar are steep and are likely to increase each year. Traveling musicians will be wise to consider the long-term costs, not to mention the headaches, associated with traveling with an electric guitar.

Carrying-on a full-sized guitar — Priority boarding strategy will be required

Average cost for priority boarding: $15-$25 per flight

Many brave souls choose to forgo checking instruments to insure against damage or loss in baggage handling. There’s quite a bit of strategy and planning that goes into carrying-on a guitar and none of them are foolproof.

Unfortunately, it’s not promised that there will be space in the overhead bins and many musicians will be forced to gate check their instruments before boarding. While this scenario isn’t ideal, it’s still preferable to checking the guitar altogether, paying the fees and waiting at baggage claim after a long flight.

The perfect strategy would require carrying the guitar (and all other belongings) through TSA, boarding the plane first, finding enough overhead bin space for a full-sized guitar and taking a seat before everyone else boards the plane. Murphy’s law tells us that this probably isn’t going to happen.

In the world of Basic Economy tickets—fees are inevitable

American/Delta/United Domestic checked baggage fees: $30 for first checked bag, $40 for the second, $150 for the third.

With air travel, there are fees associated with everything. For traveling musicians who check guitars, there will be extra costs for each and every flight. There will be the checked bag price and additional charges for oversized baggage and overweight baggage. Finally, airlines will require a signed limited liability release form, which will protect them in the event of damage or loss to an instrument.

Believe it or not, some airlines suggest that musicians purchase an additional seat (applicable adult fare, taxes and fees required) to accommodate their instruments. This costly choice is probably the least desirable option for frequent travelers and these extra expenses will add up quickly, even for short flights.

Ciari Guitars—never pay extra airline fees again

It might be surprising to learn that it’s actually cheaper, in the long run, to invest in a premium travel guitar with a $3000 price tag, rather than opting to purchase a hard case and pay baggage fees (or purchase an extra seat!) for each and every future trip.

There’s something to be said for a premium travel guitar that’s so convenient, it fits inside a backpack and can easily be stowed in the overhead bin or underneath an airplane seat, at no additional cost. Ciari Guitars has invented the solution for traveling musicians. Guitarists will never have to worry about overhead bin space, exorbitant fees or damaged instruments ever again.

The Ascender is TSA-compliant, carry-on that makes air travel stress free, forever.

Musicians will no longer have to pay endless fees just so that they can make music on the road. There’s no need to wait in long lines or strategically plan each step of the boarding process. Simply grab your Ascender and go.

If you’re a frequent traveler and guitar player and have been waiting for a solution to guitar air travel, we encourage you to try the Ascender, available exclusively on

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