Friday, February 10, 2012

Important Travel News - Instruments as Carry-ons Nationwide!

Important news hit the music world on Tuesday of this week - I just picked it up from and Tim Raab. Congress has legislated nationwide standards for airlines requiring that musical instruments be allowed as carry-ons providing they fit safely in the overhead bins or underneath the seats.

Flight Crews on flights to Ireland have been consistently fabulous about letting us bring all sorts of instruments on board, and YES, a heavy duty guitar flight case WILL fit in the overhead bin safely, with room for a fiddle case and even an accordion soft case and a concertina case! (Gary, Eric and I share a row and if we're lucky we can get all our instruments in one bin.)

American Flight Crews have been iffy at best. We fly Southwest when we can (despite the convertible roofs). They're consistently great with instruments. On the negative side, we had a flight on one of those tiny little commuter jets where we thought maybe we were lucky to have checked the 'zouk. The landing gear wouldn't come down and I joked to Eric (as we all realized that we'd just been circling Albany for 45 minutes to burn down the remaining fuel load) that at least we could slide down the runway on that case!

The best story we have though, is of a US Air gate attendant in Philly who literally held the plane and had them RE-open the door, so he could come ON the plane and remove Eric's guitar from the overhead bin on an 80% empty flight, simply because he told Eric the flight was full and he wasn't allowed to bring it on. If the flight had been full (i.e. if US Air had managed to get a flight into Philly on time for once), Eric would have gladly taken it to be gate checked. Instead, the guy had a fit, came on, grabbed the guitar, yelled at Eric, and took the guitar off to be loaded in the hold, or rather, thrown into the hold. Maybe now, after twelve years, I can fly US Air again.

Anyway, here's the link to the AFM's press release about the legislation!



1 comment :

  1. Grand news! I'll never forget the cranky flight attendant who called me "dearie" when doing a guitar-grab on a half empty flight to a gig in NYC.

    Or the fellow guitar player who had to duct tape his broken, baggage-checked instrument to perform at a festival we flew to in SC. Delta.

    My favorite positive memory is the good-natured female gate crew who let me take the guitar onto an LAX-Kahalui Maui flight after I smiled and said, "You know, if I had a husband I'd let you put a ticket on him, and baggage check him before I'd let the guitar go."

    It was one of those female to female moments. We laughed and laughed, and she said, "Have a great flight!"