They may even be up for a jam session. Well, at least if you encounter the TSA blogger charged with offering advice to traveling musicians.
“Prior to the TSA I was a singer-songwriter and traveled the world with my band,” says the author of a helpful TSA blog post about traveling with musical instruments. He says he’s a big fan of psychedelic music, adding a note of surrealism.
“Every type of musician travels with their ‘axe,'” TSA’s Blogger Bob notes. “Our officers see every type of instrument imaginable and successfully screen them daily. Pan flutes, sitars, dulcimers, theramins, you name it …”
(We’re suddenly reminded of the curious story of a guitarist who checked her instrument after loosening the strings, as is widely recommended for packing guitars for travel. Upon arrival, she opened the case and found the guitar had been perfectly tuned.)
Transportation Security Administration horror stories abound, but it’s vaguely comforting that the security folks are reaching out to musicians.
Here are some of Bob’s hints for flying with your instruments:
Another TSA officer added a noteworthy tips in the comments: “I see musical instruments come thru all the time and the only time we have to do extra screening is when the owner has placed other items into the case with the instrument.” For example, the TSA will not let you take string cutters through security. (Elsewhere, the TSA blog tells of the time some genius used his guitar case to transport a pair of swords.)
Blogger Bob offered his tips in 2009, and since then 75 comments have been affixed to the post. Not surprisingly, many of the commenters are suspicious or downright hostile. (“Why do they have to touch a violin anyway?”)
Judge for yourself: Check out the TSA musical instruments blog post.