Boy, all these horror stories!
Hope I never have to ship my amp (AL80A).
If I did, I would use the Model 1620 Pelican Case
I bought for it when I took it to Africa. I went to
a specialty custom foam place, removed the soft open cell foam,
and had it replaced with much, much stiffer closed cell
"foam". For the front panel they made a custom 3" thick
piece with cutouts for the knobs. I put in a piece
of wood to keep the transformer from shifting and
of course removed the tube. After the initial security
inspection the airlines let me padlock the Pelican case.
I carried the tube and a spare in a soft foam filled
tackle box inside my carry on. The only place they
opened it or even asked me what they were was
in Singapore. These days, being glass, I don't
know if they would even let them on the plane.
Of course the airlines have their moments too.
At LAX the amp case came down the carousel
with the 4 big red "This End Up" signs upside down!Of course this WAS all Pre 9/11 travelling.
I think if I tried that today I'd get pulled out
of line and have some 'splaining to do.
I don't think they'd give me any Excess Baggage
Waivers this time either!