You don't say, but I'll presume you are traveling inside the US. First, the box MUST fit under the seat or in the overhead. Depending on which airport you are departing from, you won't even be allowed to get into the security line if it won't fit in the sizing grid. Don't count on an overhead, either. Depending on the equipment the airline is using, it can be very tight. Also, unless you have boarding priority, you will likely find most of the overheads stuffed by the time you actually board. Next, you may be asked to remove the table from the box and prove that it will power up. That's a brand-new regulation for cell phones, tablets and computers for international travelers entering the US on non-stop flights, but the TSA being what it is, expect confusion at best and substantial intimidation at worst on anything they don't immediately understand no matter where you're going. Last, the airlines really do mean it now when they say one carry-on and one personal item and they can make you reconfirm box size at the gate. If the gate attendants don't like it for whatever reason, you table will go to gate check and there isn't a damn thing you can do about it. That means you have to make sure the table is well-packed and you have indelible labels on the box that can't easily be removed.
If at all possible, pack it very well and ship it fully insured with UPS or Fed Ex.
Best of Luck
With a situation like this, you never know what's going to happen. The TSA people are not the brightest. Get the right agent, and I can see you ending up on the 6:00 news. Any time I have to deal with any type of official, government or otherwise, I always assume the answer will be no, and expect the worst. At least with FedEx or UPS, you have a chance of getting the box there without any problems.
Thanks for thoughts.
I will fly US-US...
The turntable itself isn't big even with packaging.
I will simply feel safer about it if it's underneath the seat rather than shipping it.
I want to void driving 800 mi as well.
Beware, they are going to make you unpack it in the airport, especially if it's in an unmarked box. Take packing tape with you to repack it with on the spot.
I recently carried on a turntable on a flight to the CES Show. A good thing i had a record with me because TSA wanted to see if it was really a turntable. I put on Al Coltrane and to my surprise the TSA agent had seen him live and really loved the music. Needless to say I made it through OK.
Good luck with your trip.
I carried a McIntosh MC-225 tube amp on a flight one time from Atlanta to Philadelphia in 2008 or so. It was in a "custom" cardboard box with a lot of duct tape all over it. Very shady looking, but I had to go with what I had on hand at the time. My friend thought I was going to get a full body cavity search, but I decided to risk it anyway because I was already checking a C-20 preamp and didn't want to check this as I had no way to safely pack it for that. You want to know what happened? Absolutely nothing. They didn't even ask me what the hell it was and they sure didn't ask me to open it.
Another time, also from ATL to PHL, I carried on an Eminent Technology ET-2 tonearm. This time they made me open the box. They were not happy at all. Upon sending it through the X-ray machine:
"What's is it?" they said.
"A tonearm for a turntable," I said.
"Remove the instrument," demanded security (they were not happy!).
I slowly opened the box to reveal the arm. I don't think I even took it out. I guess they realized how delicate it was by the way I opened the box and decided that it could never be used as a weapon, I don't know. He certainly did not think, "Oh, yep, that's an ET-2 alright."
"Proceed," they said.
I was sweating bullets!
A turntable with a conventional arm is a little more recognizable, so I think you will be OK as you're sure it will fit in the overhead compartment or under your seat. The dimensions of these compartments are easy to find if you do a quick search online.
What day is your flight? I want to watch the news and see how this all turns out.
I bought a SP-10 Mk 2 while traveling and elected to bring it home on the plane rather than ship it. I already had one carry-on so packed it very carefully for checked baggage. I assumed it would be X-rayed and passed along.
However when I arrived home I found the box had been opened and everything removed. That was easy to see since it was not repacked carefully. Fortunately there was no damage. But if I had known I would have shipped it separately.
I'm still deciding on my flight.
I think I'll choose 8/15 RDU - MIA.
Ship the package UPS or FedEx to yourself to be picked up by you at the UPS or FedEx destination city. Pick it up then present your gift to your friend.
Please find me in the World News stopped by TSA and searched to almost a point of missing a flight to verify that it's record player...
Didn't see that one coming.
There was no TSA issues whatsoever. The issue was with AA plaine. I booked the flight knowing that I'll be traveling in Boeing 752 which is quite large plain with three seats on each side. On the entrance to the gate where you check for boarding pass, the crew had fitting slot and my luggage with packed turntable did NOT fit. I removed TT out from the luggage(was packed securely in carry-on luggage) and put into there my backpack carying turntable in my hands. When I stepped into the plane, I realized that the carry-on luggage space is substantially smaller than in those smallish Embryers or regional jets. It barely can fit the purse!
My flight back was in US-Airways A-319 which fit both: my carrier and my backpack with no issues.
I figure that AA pushes passengers to check their luggage larger than purse for extra $$. AA for me translates to a-a which means no go:-)
You left that out. I could have hold you to never fly AA. Or Delta.
If using a VPI Traveler table you shouldn't have any problems ; > )
I look a private jet with a preamp.
Cerrot, I was always fine with Delta. They throw the best rates to where I fly to often and they'll always check your cary-on FREE if it won't fit the bin above your seat or underneath.
AA is champion on smallest leg room, smallest space under seat and smallest cary-on bins and if it doesn't fit, you've gotta pay extra.
Ebm, which private jet comes with a preamp? I want one!