Frets in Flight, 2015

Here are the new U.S. Department of Transportation rules on flying with musical instruments. Sounds like carriers are required to check instruments.

The key passage, per the DOT site:

The rule requires that each U.S. carrier subject to this regulation allow a passenger to carry into the cabin and stow a small musical instrument, such as a violin or a guitar, in a suitable baggage compartment, such as the overhead bin or a closet, or under the seats, in accordance with FAA safety regulations and the carrier’s FAA-approved carry-on baggage program.

Carriers must allow passengers to stow their small musical instruments in an approved stowage area in the cabin if at the time the passenger boards the aircraft such stowage space is available. Under the rule, musical instruments as carry-on items are treated no differently from other carry-on items and the stowage space should be made available for all carry-on items on a “first come, first served” basis. Carriers are not required to give musical instruments priority over other carry-on baggage, therefore passengers traveling with musical instruments may want to buy the pre-boarding option offered by many carriers to ensure that space will be available for them to safely stow their instruments in the cabin.

Maybe we should do like my pal Shelley Doty recommends and carry a copy of this every time we check in for a flight.

kitty_plane

5 comments to Frets in Flight, 2015

  • smgear

    hooray? it’s always hit or miss, regardless of the current dot, faa, or airline guidelines. I’ve had a few flight attendants view the mere mention of the guidelines as an uncooperative act – regardless of how polite I was, or how right. So these days I only fly with beaters or with a flight case in the oversized hold.

    Side note, if any of you are flying into europe, make sure you have papers on your gear and don’t take any instruments that have rare/ currently protected woods. They will be confiscated.

  • Grant

    Thank you for sharing. And just in time for my flight on Sunday. I recently justified (to myself) the purchase of an old Steinberger with the argument that the case will fit in the overhead compartment. Now I only have to worry about someone thinking my svelte little case is for a gun or something..

  • Isidro

    I live in Spain, i never tried to travel with my guitars, but seeing the way some companies deal with regular stuff I guess this can be nearly impossible.

    Last year Guthrie Govan had to suspend a gig in the Canary Islands due to issues with that. Air Berlin personnel didn’t allow him to fly with his prototype guitar inside the cabin or let him buy an extra ticket.

    Scott Henderson posted another story about how his guitar was banned from flying in the cabin, he even show a copy of those rules to the airline’s personnel, but that wasn’t enough to allow his guitar fly with him.

    The saddest is that sometimes you see how some people travel with a suitcase and a handbag even bigger that the case and they can get into the plane without problems.

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