The Flight Travel Ukulele has taken the internet by storm and is a great new option for ukulele beginners of all ages. Over the past few weeks I have had the opportunity to play, teach, and travel with this instrument, so here is my review.
You can hear a sound sample of it in this video:
Flight TUS35 Soprano Ukulele Unboxing and Playing Demo
As part of my review test, I wanted to know whether this ukulele would stand up to the rigorous inspection of international travel, thereby earning its status as a travel ukulele. I wondered if I would have any trouble bringing it on a plane with me as a carry-on. If I was allowed to bring it on board, would this soprano ukulele fit under the seat in front of me? Or would I have to put it in the overhead storage? For this trip I would be flying with budget airlines, which tend to have stricter carry-on baggage policies and less cabin space.
A few years ago, I tried flying with one of my tenor ukuleles. The staff at the ticketing counter held me back a few minutes while they decided if the ukulele was too big and needed to be checked in. I was terrified. The ukulele was in a gig bag, and I knew it wouldn’t survive having a suitcase land on it if it had to join the luggage in the bottom of the airplane. Reluctantly, the staff allowed me to take the ukulele on board. After that experience, I never took a ukulele with me again.
This would be the first travel experience with a ukulele since that time. With four flights to deal with, I was understandably a little nervous about what might happen next. On three out of the four flights I took, the airport staff allowed me to go through security screenings, no questions asked. On my last flight before returning home, a TSA agent stopped me and asked if I intended to take the ukulele as a carry-on item. After letting her know that I did, she pulled out her tape measure to make sure that its dimensions were within the airline’s guidelines. After determining that the ukulele was well within the dimensions required for carry-on items, she signaled for me to go through the metal detectors and passed the ukulele through the x-ray machine. It passed without any difficulty! I was so relieved. Once on board, the ukulele fit under the seat in front of me. After putting this ukulele to the test, I can say with confidence that this ukulele is travel-friendly.
Ukulele travel tip:
When you check into your flight, ask the ticketing counter to give you a carry-on approval tag. This tag will let other airport staff know that your ukulele meets the conditions of a carry-on item, and you’ll be able to go through security with peace of mind.
If you’ve ever traveled with a ukulele, you know that the instrument gets a lot of attention. On this trip, the Flight ukulele was no exception. While I was visiting the flower fields in Nokonoshima, I was stunned to see people approach me to ask about the ukulele. Everyone said they were initially intrigued by the instrument’s colour. Adults and children strummed the ukulele, took pictures with it, and asked questions about it. Many people were shocked to find out that the back of this little uke was made of plastic.
This soprano ukulele is made of mixed materials. The back, sides, neck, and fretboard are made from ABS plastic, but don’t let that turn you away from this great-sounding instrument. This ukulele packs a punch in sound, especially considering its size. The top and headstock are made of linden wood. The linden wood elements of the ukulele give it a more traditional look. The plastic components of this ukulele give it a unique and resonant sound while protecting it from changes in temperature and humidity. This ukulele has a sound all of its own. Watch the video at the top of this article to hear just how unique the sound is.
- Soprano size
- Aquila nylgut strings
- Linden wood top and headstock
- Satin finish
- Plastic back and sides
- Plastic neck and fingerboard
- Plastic bridge, nut, and saddle
- Slotted style bridge
- Open geared tuners
- Curved back
- Stylish gig bag included
- Multiple color options for the top
- Dark blue
After playing and traveling with the ukulele, I filmed a short review, which you can see here:
Written by Bernadette Etcheverry
Edited by Abe Deshotel
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