New laws allow instruments on airlines
After almost a decade of lobbying the US congress, the American Federation of Musicians has succeeded in getting legislation passed which allows instruments to be taken on US air carriers as carry-on baggage. Previously, each airline had its own guidelines and regulations pertaining to musical instruments and it could be a bit of a lottery as to whether or not an instrument would be allowed onboard the aircraft. With the new legislation passed, any instrument that can be safely stowed in the overhead baggage or under the seat may be taken on board. Additionally, larger instruments such as cellos, that are too precious to travel in the hold, are now allowed seat assignments.
For guitarists, there is still no guarantee that their precious instrument will be allowed on board. Aircrafts can have different configurations for their overhead storage, and cabins with smaller drop down bins, or very small aircraft with narrow bins, will still be unable to stow guitars on board. You might get lucky with some space in a crew cupboard or perhaps your guitar can mingle with the designer clothes in a first class cupboard. For larger aircraft with ample overhead storage, guitarist can enjoy a new uniformity across all the airlines in accepting guitars as carry ons.
This is a great step forward for musicians of all types, and many can breathe a sigh of relief when it comes to air travel. Although, double bassists and tuba players may have to wait quite a bit longer to see any friendly skies smiling for them…