Congress passes legislation on musical instruments on airplanes

Posted on: February 10, 2012

Congress has passed the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Air Transportation Modernization and Safety Improvement Act, setting a consistent national policy regarding musical instruments as carry-on luggage on airplanes. The bill (H.R. 658), passed on February 6, includes a policy that allows all musical instruments on board that can fit into the overhead bin or beneath the seat of an airplane. For oversized instruments like the cello, musicians are permitted to either buy a seat on the airplane or check the instrument. Existing law had allowed each airline to set its own policy regarding musical instruments, and size requirements varied widely for carry-on and checked baggage. The legislation resulted from many years of lobbying by groups including the League of American Orchestras and the American Federation of Musicians. The FAA will soon begin the process of enacting and implementing the law and its new requirements. For more background on the bill, visit the League’s advocacy page.

Posted February 10, 2012