Air Travel With Your Rhema Guitar
Get to your seat early. Airlines will now allow you to take a smaller instrument, such as a violin or guitar, on board as carry-on baggage, so long as there’s room for said instrument in the overhead storage racks or under your seat at the time of boarding. Storage is provided on a “first come, first serve” basis.
Store away your instrument ASAP. You shouldn't be asked to remove your instrument from the plane once it has already been safely stored on board.
Don’t pay any additional fees. The airline should not charge any additional fees for bringing an instrument on board as carry-on baggage other than a standard carry-on fee charged by the carrier.
Preparing Your Rhema Guitar For A Flight
Your Rhema Guitar should be in a good quality hard case such as the Hiscox Pro II that we supply as a standard.
Remove all other items from the case. Don’t give security a reason to search your case, they won't be as gentle as you’d like and you could end up with a few extra scratches, dings, or a dropped instrument. Also objects can come loose and rattle around while you are in the air.
Your instrument should fit snugly in its case. Gently pad any little gaps with soft fabric, socks and towels are perfect. However, don’t add too much extra pressure as that could cause harm, but add enough to prevent the instrument from moving around.
Loosen the strings of your instrument for flight the same as shipping via any common carrier. Even though, stringed instruments are designed to withstand string tension, it is better to play it safe and further protect your investment by detuning at least two full turns of the tuning machine heads on each string. As long as your guitar isn’t strapped to the wing of the airliner, your instrument is being transported in a pressurized, reasonably climate-controlled environment.
Important Information Regarding Humidity
Accepting that knocks, bangs and general physical abuse create the most trauma for musical instruments. Stringed instruments have an even greater, unseen enemy via excess amount of HUMIDITY or excess lack of it. Plywood instruments (typical of ALL factory made guitars) are generally more stable in regard to movement. However, solid woods from which most professional quality hand crafted instruments are made, respond remarkably quickly to changes in humidity (some species more than others). All natural wood acts like a sponge, sucking in moisture when humidity levels are high and effortlessly releasing it when humidity levels drop. It is this release of moisture from the wood that creates the greatest danger and, if not checked, will result in the wood shrinking and cracks appearing at points of highest stress.
Air Temperature Is Not Your Biggest Enemy – Humidity Is!
Straight forward physics tells us that warm air carries more moisture (therefore higher humidity) than cold air, but the world’s weather systems are much more complex than that. Two of the driest places on earth are, the Sahara Desert and the middle of the Antarctic – opposite ends of the temperature spectrum but, for different reasons, incredibly and destructively dry.
The Midst Of A Continental Mass Tends To Be Dryer Than Coastal Areas.
If you are traveling across continents, know the relative humidity of each destination. If your instrument has been stable for a while in a relatively dry climate (i.e. less than 45% relative humidity) and you travel to an area of high humidity (i.e. greater than 60% humidity), the instrument will swell a little but should hold together. If your instrument has been stable for a while in a higher humidity climate (i.e. above 50% relative humidity) and you travel to a dryer area, it will release moisture and thus it will shrink. If this is not properly compensated for it can shrink and you do stand a chance of it cracking. Rhema Guitars are created in a humidity controlled environment at a constant of 45% - 50%.
Keep Your Rhema Guitar Properly Humidified
There are a number of proprietary humidifiers available which either sit inside the instrument or inside the case. These are simply small sponges in a variety of forms held in different types of housings. The best varieties are designed to release moisture in a controlled fashion, thereby keeping the relative humidity properly balanced around your instrument.