Brits Want Consistent Musical Instrument Cartage Rules for Planes

Inconsistent policies and fees for musical instrument cartage leaves British musicians up in the air(Photo: Sean MacEntee (Flickr))
Inconsistent policies and fees for musical instrument cartage leaves British musicians up in the air(Photo: Sean MacEntee (Flickr))

The rules for air travel with children seem pretty clear: make sure their seat belts are fastened, and in the event of emergency secure your oxygen mask before tending to those of the kids.

But some British musicians are finding that the rules often blur from airline to airline when their travel companions are musical instruments.

Even though the British Musicians’ Union reached an agreement in 2006 with the U.K. Department for Transport to standardize policies and fees for instrument cartage on all British airlines, some musicians claim they still face inconsistencies that can hamper their travel schedules and budgets. Now musicians are calling for U.K. legislation to bring those inconsistencies to a halt, according to a report in The Stage.

Musicians’ Union general secretary John Smith told The Stage:

The main problem is the inconsistency between airports and airline staff. You might be allowed to take your instrument into the cabin with you at no extra cost, but then be charged an extortionate fee to put it into the hold on your return flight. This is particularly unfair given that most airlines allow sports equipment, such as skis, to travel for free.

Read more: Musicians demand clear rules on taking instruments on planes (TS)

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