The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) has issued a new rule that finally allows musicians to bring their small musical instruments into the cabin. Previously, musicians had been subject to varying size and weight rules for instruments for years.
Recognizing the need for a change in policy, the DOT spoke with various musician institutions, airline representatives and industry associations over the past year to identify the main issues and develop an effective solution.
After many discussions, the final rule was finalized and put into effect in February. The new rule requires that carries must 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 under the seats in accordance with FAA safety regulations.
The new DOT rule also covers larger instruments such as tubas weighing up to 165 pounds. Travelers are now able to purchase a seat if they want to carry-on a larger instrument, but the instrument must be tied down without blocking emergency exits or signs for other passengers.
To help clarify the new rule and avoid any further confusion, the DOT has created an entire page on its website, highlighting useful tips and information for consumers on how to prepare for air travel with musical instruments.
If you plan on bringing a musical instrument onto your next flight, be sure to familiarize yourself with the revised rules and regulations. And from all of us at GSP, break a leg at your next gig!