How to pack a cello
starring Joan Balter, Robin Bonnell, and cello & travel case
B. Stack photos (c) 2001
tune the strings down a half step (yes, that’s all!)
You can use rolled up underpants and t-shirts but be certain you have enough in your suitcase in case the cello is delayed!
Airport security considers it their right and duty to unpack and repack cellos.
Traveler must insist on clarifying that underwear is a technical material, and on supervising all repacking.

See also: eHow: How to Pack a Cello for Airplane Flights

Care & Repair of Cellos: How to Ship Your Cello Safely By Erin Shrader and Joan Balter

Joan Balter packing cello
It is not wise to use plastic foam touching varnish. Cotton is great!

Joan Balter Pads Shoulders
Joan pads shoulders to absorb shock and reduce jiggle--but not too tight!

Balter protects cello face
protect face in case of neck and fingerboard collapse

Balter wraps bridge
Wrap bridge so that if strings loosen and bridge falls over, it won’t damage face. Sometimes the bridge is further reinforced with corrugated
cardboad with additional pieces at right-angles at the base.

Balter wraps tail
If strings loosen and bridge falls over, tail won’t damage face if it is padded.

Robin secures neck
Robin says you should think of it as a neck scarf or a cervical collar.

Robin wraps scroll
Robin says pad that pretty scroll
and Bon Voyage!

And if you are Melissa Blue Chu, even your packed case is cute!