Congress Passes Bill Standardizing Airline Rules for Musical Instrument Storage
Traveling musicians got a big boost from Congress last month with the passage of a sweeping Federal Aviation Administration reauthorization bill that includes new universal standards for storing instruments in flight. Pending issuance of final regulations, the amended law will, among other things, allow travelers to carry aboard any instrument or related gear that can be safely stored in the cabin, rather than risk it being damaged in the plane’s cargo hold or during baggage handling.
Included as an amendment to section 403 (“Musical Instruments”) of the FAA Modernization and Reform Act of 2012 (H.R. 658), the bill provides airport personnel with specific guidelines for carry-on instruments — including when musicians may purchase a separate seat for an oversized or fragile instrument — as well as weight and size limits for storing a larger instrument in a plane’s cargo area.