New regulations to ease travel with instruments

Posted on: January 14, 2015

In Monday’s (1/12) New York Times, Joe Sharkey writes, “The Transportation Department has issued a new rule that addresses a problem that many musicians have when flying with costly, fragile instruments like violins and guitars. Starting in March airlines will be required to treat such instruments just like any other passenger’s carry-on bag.… There are about 127,000 employed musicians in the United States, the department said, as well as about 5.8 million school-age musicians.… The new rule states that if a musical instrument otherwise complies with federal and airline policies for carry-on bags, it must receive the same ‘first-come first-served’ treatment as any other passenger bag. So if you stow your guitar in the bin, flight attendants cannot remove it and require you to check it, ‘even if the space taken by the musical instrument could accommodate one or more other carry-on bags,’ the rule says. A tuba in the cargo hold is one thing, but musicians who travel with smaller, stringed instruments are understandably anxious about entrusting them to a baggage handler.” The League of American Orchestras’ website has detailed information about the new regulations here.

Posted January 14, 2015