Travelling with a guitar can be a stressful experience especially in flights.
If you intend on carrying a guitar in a flight in India, you need to know about the rules and necessary precautions to keep your guitar safe.
The fact of the matter is that the safest option is to carry your guitar in cabin/hand baggage.
The bad news is that airlines will not officially allow you to carry any musical instrument which is beyond the allowed dimensions of cabin luggage.
However, the good news is, that some airlines often unofficially permit you to travel with your guitar in cabin baggage. Not only that, the security staff also do not usually object.
But, you can never be sure and that’s the problem. Let’s go over the rules of each airline in India with regard to carrying a guitar in their flights (domestic).
Carrying a Guitar in Air India Flights
The rules of Air India for musical instruments are very clear. They are permitted in check-in baggage only.
This is what Air India has to say officially on their webpage http://www.airindia.in/special-baggage.htm
As experienced personally, Air India is very accommodating and has allowed me to carry the guitar in cabin baggage every time that I have traveled.
I have traveled three times without any problems. I have never informed them in advance either.
So, carrying a guitar in a flight of Air India is definitely an option worth considering.
Carrying a Guitar in Jet Airways Flights
Carrying a guitar in a Jet Airways flight can be an expensive affair. You may have to book an extra seat for it.
The rules of Jet Airways on musical instruments as given on their webpage https://www.jetairways.com/EN/MU/TravelInformation/Baggage/special-baggage.aspx
So, carrying a guitar in a flight of Jet Airways is not a good option.
Carrying a Guitar in Indigo Airlines Flights
We could not find any specific rules with regard to carrying musical instruments on the Indigo website for flights in India.
However, this twitter conversation with Indigo can make things, a little more clear.
Indigo permits to carry a guitar in the cabin luggage as long as the total weight is within 7 kgs.
Hence, carrying a guitar in a flight of Indigo Airlines is definitely an option worth considering.
Carrying a Guitar in Spicejet Flights
Spicejet officially permits musical instruments like a guitar in cabin baggage only. Here is a screenshot of the rules on the Spicejet webpage http://www.spicejet.com/Tnc.aspx
So, carrying a guitar in a flight of Spicejet may not be a good option.
Tips for Carrying a Guitar in Flight in India
Having reviewed the rules of various domestic airlines, the best option appears to be Indigo.
Be sure to carry a soft case or a gig bag for your guitar like the one below.
If you don’t have a soft case, you can buy one HERE.
All other airlines officially will not permit you to carry your guitar in cabin baggage. Jet Airways are the strictest whereas Air India are lenient.
Either way, it is best to contact the airline by email or social media so that you have a written response from them.
So, in case an airline permits you to carry your guitar in cabin baggage and the staff of the airport refuses you, you can present them with a print out of the reply of the airline as evidence.
If you still not sure, carry your guitar in a hard case or decide not to travel with it at all!