New Airline Rules for Traveling with Instruments

Good news for musicians traveling with instruments. Airlines are now allowing small instruments, such as guitars or violins, to be considered carry-ons that can be stored overhead or under seats. The instruments don’t get any special treatment, and are viewed like any other carry-on. First come, first serve for the storage space, just like any other bag stored above.

Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx said. “At DOT, we know how important instruments are to musicians and are committed to doing everything we can to ensure that they are not damaged while being transported on airlines.”

This is good news for many traveling musicians, and Ray Hair, president of American Federation of Musicians, said how travelers were being forced to follow arbitrary standards and practices when it came to instruments.

For those with larger instruments, they have the option to purchase another ticket to store the large instrument on the seat next to them, under the conditions that the instrument is strapped down securely and is not blocking any emergency exists.

This could cost airlines around $732,000 to adapt their current policies and spend close to $474,023 a year to train 132,200 workers on how to handle instruments. However, this new rule is anticipated to affect 127,000 processional musicians and 5.8 million school-aged children.

What does this news do for you? Do you travel a lot with an instrument? Do you have a horror story about traveling with your previous cargo? Leave a comment below and give us your thoughts.

Neil is the former Online Editor for Making Music Magazine and tested his skill with tickling the ivories once, but since having been part of the team at Making Music, he might give it a second try.

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