Musical Instrument Carry On Law for Air Travel

Musical Instrument Carry On Law for Air Travel

Did you know there is a “Musical Instrument Carry On Law for Air Travel“? Well it turns out, there is. It’s called the Public Law 112-95, passed by the 112th Congress in 2012, and in short, it’s an appropriations bill for the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).

If you’re like me and wondering just exactly what effect an appropriations bill has to do with carry on instruments… keep reading.

It’s called the FAA Modernization and Reform Act of 2012″ and it doesn’t just authorize appropriations, it actually set some new rules and guidelines for travel.

Section 403 of this Act specifically deals with carry on instruments and it directly affects you if you travel with carry-on instruments, and you can carry on your instrument for FREE if you meet two requirements.

1. Your instrument has to be small enough to fit into the storage in the overhead compartment or below the seats.

2. There has to be room for stowage at the time you board the aircraft.

I’ve spoken to more than a few musicians and they all pay extra to carry on their instrument, and a few of them have said that they were charged before boarding.

The problem is, that’s illegal. They can only charge you if your instrument is larger than storage compartment size, AND if there isn’t enough room at the time you board.

So please, board early to make sure there is room, (no hanging out in the lounge chatting while everyone is boarding), and if your instrument is small like a guitar, for example, break it down if you can.

Definitely call ahead and ask for the sizes of their compartments to make sure your instrument fits.

Here’s the full legal statement (source below).

41724. Musical instruments

  1. IN GENERAL. —
    1. SMALL INSTRUMENTS AS CARRY-ON BAGGAGE. — An air carrier providing air transportation shall permit a passenger to carry a violin, guitar, or other musical instrument in the aircraft cabin, without charging the passenger a fee in addition to any standard fee that carrier may require for comparable carry-on baggage, if—
      1. the instrument can be stowed safely in a suitable baggage compartment in the aircraft cabin or under a passenger seat, in accordance with the requirements for carriage of carry-on baggage or cargo established by the Administrator; and
      2. there is space for such stowage at the time the passenger boards the aircraft.
    2. LARGER INSTRUMENTS AS CARRY-ON BAGGAGE.—An air carrier providing air transportation shall permit a passenger to carry a musical instrument that is too large to meet the requirements of paragraph (1) in the aircraft cabin, without charging the passenger a fee in addition to the cost of the additional ticket described in subparagraph (E), if —
      1. the instrument is contained in a case or covered so as to avoid injury to other passengers;
      2. the weight of the instrument, including the case or covering, does not exceed 165 pounds or the applicable weight restrictions for the aircraft;
      3. the instrument can be stowed in accordance with the requirements for carriage of carry-on baggage or cargo established by the Administrator;
      4. neither the instrument nor the case contains any object not otherwise permitted to be carried in an aircraft cabin because of a law or regulation of the United States; and
      5. the passenger wishing to carry the instrument in the aircraft cabin has purchased an additional seat to accommodate the instrument.
    3. LARGE INSTRUMENTS AS CHECKED BAGGAGE. — An air carrier shall transport as baggage a musical instrument that is the property of a passenger traveling in air transportation that may not be carried in the aircraft cabin if —
      1. the sum of the length, width, and height measured in inches of the outside linear dimensions of the instrument (including the case) does not exceed 150 inches or the applicable size restrictions for the aircraft;
      2. the weight of the instrument does not exceed 165 pounds or the applicable weight restrictions for the aircraft; and
      3. the instrument can be stowed in accordance with the requirements for carriage of carry-on baggage or cargo established by the Administrator.
  2. REGULATIONS. — Not later than 2 years after the date of enactment of this section, the Secretary shall issue final regulations to carry out subsection (a).
  3. EFFECTIVE DATE. — The requirements of this section shall become effective on the date of issuance of the final regulations under subsection (b).
  4. CONFORMING AMENDMENT. — The analysis for such subchapter is amended by adding at the end the following:

“41724. Musical instruments.”

Source: here

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