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US Instrument Carry-on Laws Latest on Instrument Carry-on Air travel laws and rules:
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I am pleased to announce that on December 30, 2014 the United States Department of Transportation released the long awaited final administrative rule which fully implements section 403 of the FAA Reauthorization Act of 2012 – the law authorizing musical instruments as carry-on baggage onboard US air carriers. This historic accomplishment was led by your Union and made possible through efforts by Members of Congress who are longtime AFM allies, and officers and rank and file members of Local 161-710, Washington, DC. We were also assisted by the Department of Professional Employees, AFL-CIO and by many of our music industry partners.
I am currently analyzing the rule in order to bring you a concise, comprehensive explanation of these new policies and how they affect you. Look for that analysis soon at and in the February edition of the International Musician. However, I’d like to bring to your attention several important points that I believe are worthy of your immediate attention.
• Airlines are required to allow small musical instruments, such as a violin or guitar, to be carried into the cabin and stowed in approved stowage spaces, if available, and/or under the seat.
• Once safely stowed, airlines cannot require passengers to remove their instruments, even if space taken by their instrument could accommodate one or more other carry-on items.
• Airlines cannot charge an additional fee for instruments as carry-on or checked baggage other than any standard fee imposed by the carrier.
• Airlines are now required to train air crews, gate agents, counter agents and baggage personnel concerning appropriate procedures necessary to comply with all FAA musical instrument transportation policies.