The days when a musician could carry his instrument as cabin luggage are gone. You have to check it in at the gate. Unfortunately, airlines have policies that prevent musicians from traveling with their instrument.
Here are 4 tips when flying with your instrument:
1: Know your rights
As of March 2015, musicians are allowed to carry small instruments onboard if there is storage space available. These instruments include violins, guitars, saxophones etc. So, according to these new regulations, your instrument is now considered as normal carry-on luggage.
2: Think about booking an extra seat
You can book another seat as “seat baggage”. Most airlines will accept large instruments like cellos or double basses. In fact, doing so will prevent the payment of airport fees etc. This is truly worth considering if you are booking ahead of time.
One reason why airlines do not allow instrument as cabin luggage is because the cases might be bulky. You can consider purchasing compact cases that a number of companies have on offer. One recommendation is to not use a soft gig bag because if they do choose to check it in, your instrument will not survive the trip.
4: Avoid traveling with other musicians if you can help it
It’s not a good idea to travel with other musicians as this will draw attention to the group. Try and separate yourself from the group if you can. Also, remember that if you are traveling during the holidays, airline personnel will be stressed and so they can be less lenient than they will be otherwise.