Click here to read the story from AFM Local 802 (NYC).
Traveling with an instrument has been daunting for a long time. The fear of being stopped somewhere between the ticket counter and the plane and told you have to check your prized (and very delicate) possession has been great. Hopefully a lot of that fear can be alleviated with the Congress’s passage of the new FAA bill. It appears that as long as your instrument will fit under the seat, in the overhead compartment, or in a storage locker in the cabin, you can bring it on with you. There is also a provision for larger instruments, but people wishing to travel with those instruments in the cabin would still be required to purchase an additional seat for that instrument.
This is all to be taken with a hint of caution, for now. On the page I linked to above, you can get a .pdf summary of the part of the bill that relates to instruments. In that summary, there’s a section at the bottom that says:
“Not later than 2 years after the date of enactment of this section, the Secretary shall issue final regulations to carry out subsection (a).”
Subsection (a) is the part of the bill that describes the policy for bringing and stowing instruments in the cabin of a plane. This is a victory for working and traveling musicians everywhere, but it may be a while before we are guaranteed this right.