I brought my 24" uni from Poughkeepsie, NY to Williamsburg, VA and back with no
problems. This entailed a plane change in between destinations both times. To
Virginia I rode United Express; on my way back to school I rode USAir. To get to
Virginia I duck-taped it to the side of one of my bags and checked it. It made
it, but the tape was on its last legs. On my way back, I lashed it to my bag
with about 20 feet of cord. Solid as a rock, and no problems! So good luck
taking it to Rapid City; most people are just curious to see it, but if it’s
securely attached to your luggage you shouldn’t have any problems.