I need your help, Internet.
In just a few short hours my son (The Teenager) will be boarding a plane, headed for Mexico City. (sob) We’re having an argument right now and I KNOW THAT I AM RIGHT ON THIS. I need your help because The Son thinks I’m crazy and is like “MOM YOU JUST DON’T UNDERSTAND!”
He’s taking his guitar with him. He can’t take the guitar as carry on, so he will check it in. I am telling him that he should NOT take his very new, very expensive (to us) guitar because THEY WILL THROW IT AROUND AND NOT TREAT IT VERY NICELY AND I CAN NOT AFFORD TO SPEND ANOTHER $500 TO BUY YOU A NEW GUITAR. I’m all “just take your old one, that way you don’t possibly damage the new one.” And he’s all “but MOM! The old one sounds TERRIBLE!” And I’m all “I understand that, but your new one will sound terrible too IF IT IS BROKEN DUE TO BEING THROWN AROUND WITH ALL OF THE OTHER LUGGAGE!” And he’s all “MOM! You’re too paranoid! Nothing is going to happen to it!” And I’m all “I WILL NOT LET YOU GO ON THIS TRIP IF YOU DO NOT STOP ARGUING WITH ME!” (Obviously, I am SHOUTING A LOT TODAY BECAUSE WHY DON’T TEENAGERS LISTEN TO THEIR PARENTS?)
Here is where you come in. If you have ever had an experience of luggage being damaged, or, you know, your guitar being broken by an airlines (It would be so awesome if someone did have a story like that to tell!) I beg of you to leave a comment here for my son to read. Even if you’ve not had that experience, will you please tell him that HE SHOULD LISTEN TO HIS MOTHER BECAUSE I AM RIGHT?
Thank you.
this post will self destruct the minute he agrees to take the old guitar. Thank you in advance for your help.


  1. Sylvia

    Has your son not seen that United Breaks Guitars?
    In the spring of 2008, Sons of Maxwell were traveling to Nebraska for a one-week tour and my Taylor guitar was witnessed being thrown by United Airlines baggage handlers in Chicago. I discovered later that the $3500 guitar was severely damaged. They didnt deny the experience occurred but for nine months the various people I communicated with put the responsibility for dealing with the damage on everyone other than themselves and finally said they would do nothing to compensate me for my loss. So I promised the last person to finally say no to compensation (Ms. Irlweg) that I would write and produce three songs about my experience with United Airlines and make videos for each to be viewed online by anyone in the world. United: Song 1 is the first of those songs.

  2. Kristen

    Sweetie, not having teens myself, the best instinct I have is to let him take it and then let him suffer the natural consequences. It won’t trouble YOU when his new guitar is all effed up – it’ll bother him. And suck that he’ll have to wait for a new one until he can buy it for himself.
    Cut yourself some slack honey *hug*

  3. mckenzie

    let’s just say several times while flying the friendly skies my luggage has been lost. On one such occasion it was returned to me TWO WEEKS LATER in such bad condition that I could no longer use the bag and the contents of the bag had tire marks on them. And the kicker is EVERY time the airline has lost my luggage my flights were direct flights!

  4. Rachel

    Uhh, absolutely take the OLD guitar. I got a suitcase back once that was all slashed (and completely unusable after that). While not all airport employees chunk luggage around like it’s a game, enough do that he should keep his precious expensive guitar at home!

  5. Heather

    Sorry.. mom is right.. things come out missing.. ppl go thru will either be damaged or u will never see it again..leave it home~~~

  6. Annika

    I would never take a musical instrument on an airplane unless I could carry it on. I totally understand where he is coming from, and my mom instinct is even saying that it is his guitar and he should make his own decisions (and deal with any consequences) but the part of my that was raised by a musician is like HELL NO THAT GUITAR DOES NOT GET CHECKED.

  7. Krisha

    My husband works for an airline (won’t name names but the initials are AA…..Ha). We fly all the time and I would NOT take the guitar……I love the airline but you never know what can happen. My husband always thinks twice about his golf clubs and they are a lot more sturdy then a guitar. I feel for him, but Mom, you win on this one!

  8. beanery

    I bought brand new luggage for a trip and when it came off the conveyor at baggage claim, it was filthy and torn (good thing it was cheap luggage). I don’t know what the hell those guys do to checked luggage, but it’s nothing nice. If you care about your guitar and have any respect for your parents hard-earned money, leave it at home.
    Also, are you sure there’s no way you can take it as a carry on? That would be the best solution.

  9. Nancy P

    I just saw a video about this very thing! A musician did a you-tube song about United breaking his quitar. Don’t take the good one!
    Also, just the other day my 21 year old ADMITTED to me that I am always right. Mom’s just know these things. Trust me.
    Nancy P

  10. jen

    hi teenager,
    you should take the old guitar. the airline might be nice with it, but i’d be more worried about transporting it around mexico, depending on where and how you are traveling. there isn’t a lot of extra room on buses, and the roads can be really bumpy. you won’t have nearly as much time to play it as you think you will anyway, and you’ll be less worried than you will be if you take the nice guitar. recently my laptop screen got busted while i was traveling, and i really wish i would have left it behind instead of spending a night being sad about the screen cracking.
    have a great time! i went to mexico city when i was your age — there is so much to see and learn. take pictures!

  11. Maggie

    Oh yes, definitely take the old one. If it was a domestic trip, I might think differently, but it’s honestly not worth the risk of taking the new one! I’ve had brand new suitcases come back to me ripped, with stains & even one time when the pully-handle would not go up. And that’s just a suitcase, the likes of which they throw around every day. They are not gentle with stuff; they just want to get all the luggage on as quickly as possible so they can get to the next plane and keep things moving. I was a teenager not so long ago, and Y’s teenager? I’m telling you, bring the old one for your Mother’s sanity & so you aren’t disappointed…you won’t regret it!!
    (Story: I wanted to bring my brand-spanking-new uber-comfortable running shoes to Hawaii, but I brought my old stinky ones…I know it doesn’t have anything to do with the luggage handling, but the old shoes? So wet & red (from the red dirt there & walking THROUGH streams while hiking to zip lining), that I left them in the hotel room when we left. And I was SO happy that I’d done that–and that my shiny new comfortable running shoes were waiting for me when I got home 🙂 Bring the old guitar, thank your Mom when you get home. In 10 years you will begin to realize that she’s a pretty smart woman, and actually DID know what she was doing while raising you, afterall. And that is when you treat her to a spa day and/or vacation just because she deserves it :))

  12. Heather

    As the Momma of said teenager- you actually get the say! It’s a privilege to go away, not a guarantee. And, if he is a true musician, he will understand that a trip like that had the potential to render his very new, very expensive guitar, utterly useless.

  13. Maggie

    I now feel silly for even bothering to post that comment before reading that article & listening to the song, because if he doesnt GET IT from that? I don’t know what will convince him!

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