Flying can be quite frustrating for DJs. Recently I did research on everything you need to know for traveling with your gear.
So can you bring DJ equipment on an airplane?
Yes, you can bring DJ Equipment on an Airplane. If you stick to the prerequisites of dimensions and weight. DJ equipment is either allowed as check-in luggage or as carry-on luggage. For carry-on luggage the default international dimensions are 21" x 14" x 9" and for weight 15lbs.
I will explain everything you should know when flying with your musical gear starting off with a simple packing list. I have also made a custom calculator to calculate if your DJ Deck will be allowed as carry-on luggage.
Not forgetting your stuff is just as important as having no issues at the airport. I have made a simple packing list for you to quickly check if you have packed everything and if you are ready to go.
Until 2015 airlines had their own policy on carrying your musical gear. Until then it was very hard to travel sometimes. Luckily The Department of Transportation has issued a new rule to implement section 403 of the FAA Modernization and Reform Act of 2012. which means musical instruments can travel by consumer airplane in carry-on luggage or as check-in luggage. This was viable in domestic flights and international flights from the United States. A few years later the FFA has checked if the implementation was successful and the implementation is now successful. Airlines agree to musical equipment being check-in luggage or being carry-on luggage if they meet the requirements and if there is not too little space.
Most airlines even accept renting another seat for your DJ Gear. Of course, you have to carry it in the seat on your own but 2 small bags should be doable.
Ideally, you should put your DJ equipment in a carry-on bag. This way it is safer and less prone to the damage done by cargo handlers. This also means you have direct sight on your equipment which makes sure it does not get stolen. Another overlooked benefit to having your DJ controller on you if that you could practice your set with your laptop, headphones and DJ controller. It also means you will have a less boring flight since we all know how exhausting long flights can get. For my recommended storage you can check out my recommended DJ equipment page about DJ equipment storage.
I have made a custom calculator you can use to calculate if your luggage is allowed as a carry-on bag comparing 170 (international) airlines.
Can I get stopped by the douane? Yes, and you most likely will be stopped sometime when traveling with your musical gear. Since you have a DJ controller it is very normal for you to have a laptop, USB-sticks and more with you. That is totally normal and they will most likely just ask you to open your bags with your equipment. They are interested in seeing your equipment and they will ask you what all the electronics are for. When you just tell them you are traveling as a DJ they will be satisfied and tend to be more interested in you than your equipment in a positive way.
Can I rent my musical accessories at the place of destination?
Yes, you can rent all your gear locally if you are near a large city. The cost of booking an extra seat and/or extra luggage space could be more expensive than just hiring the gear at your flight destination. The rental companies may even have your identical equipment but they should at least have similar equipment which you will be able to play on. Apart from that this could be less expensive it is also a safer option since your DJ gear does not get used, and will not damage in the traveling process. Also, most of the gear you hire is insured in some way so damage will not cost you the full amount.