Page 1 of 5 12345 LastLast
Results 1 to 25 of 108

Thread: U.S. DoT Issues Final Rule - Air Travel with Musical Instruments

  1. #1
    Registered User Steve Sorensen's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Santa Clarita, CA
    Posts
    2,339

    Default U.S. DoT Issues Final Rule - Air Travel with Musical Instruments

    U.S. Department of Transportation Issues Final Rule Regarding Air Travel with Musical Instruments

    WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Transportation today issued a final rule to implement section 403 of the FAA Modernization and Reform Act of 2012, which requires that U.S. airlines accept musical instruments as carry-on or checked baggage on commercial passenger flights, provided that certain conditions are met.

    “At DOT, we know how important instruments are to musicians and are committed to doing everything we can to ensure that they are not damaged while being transported on airlines,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx. “This final rule implements the statute, and it will go a long way towards keeping instruments safe when they fly – from allowing them in the cabin if there’s space for safe stowage, to letting passengers buy a seat for certain large instruments.”

    The rule requires that each U.S. carrier subject to this regulation 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 a closet, or under the seats, in accordance with FAA safety regulations and the carrier’s FAA-approved carry-on baggage program.

    Carriers must allow passengers to stow their small musical instruments in an approved stowage area in the cabin if at the time the passenger boards the aircraft such stowage space is available. Under the rule, musical instruments as carry-on items are treated no differently from other carry-on items and the stowage space should be made available for all carry-on items on a “first come, first served” basis. Carriers are not required to give musical instruments priority over other carry-on baggage, therefore passengers traveling with musical instruments may want to buy the pre-boarding option offered by many carriers to ensure that space will be available for them to safely stow their instruments in the cabin.

    For some musical instruments that are too large to fit in the cabin stowage areas described in the carrier’s FAA-approved carry-on baggage program (e.g., an overhead bin or under a seat), it is sometimes possible to secure them to a seat as “seat baggage” or “cargo in passenger cabin.” Carriers are required to carry large musical instruments in the cabin if the passenger wishing to carry the instrument in the aircraft cabin has purchased an additional seat to accommodate the instrument and the instrument is contained in a case or cover to avoid injury to other passengers, the weight of the instrument does not exceed 165 pounds or applicable weight restrictions for the aircraft, and the instrument can be stowed in accordance with the requirements for carriage of carry-on baggage or cargo established by the FAA. Carriers are not required to provide for this process in their carry-on baggage programs; however the Department encourages carriers that do not currently allow such stowage to amend their programs to allow it, provided that all safety requirements are met.

    Carriers are required to accept musical instruments in the cargo compartment as checked baggage if those instruments comply with the size and weight limitations provided in Section 403 and the FAA’s safety regulations.

    The final rule applies to scheduled and charter flights in domestic or international transportation operated by U.S. carriers, regardless of the size of the aircraft they operate. The rule also applies to persons not directly involved in the operation of an aircraft who sell air transportation services to the general public other than as an authorized agent of a carrier.

    This final rule is issued without notice and comment from the public as it simply implements the statutory requirements. The rule will take effect 60 days after its publication in the Federal Register. The final rule is available on the Internet at www.regulations.gov, docket DOT-OST-2014-0231.

    In addition to issuing this rule, the Department has also created a webpage (http://www.dot.gov/airconsumer/air-t...al-instruments) that provides useful tips and information for consumers on how to prepare for air travel with musical instruments. The Department also sponsored meetings to provide representatives of musicians and airlines an opportunity to discuss the difficulties musicians face when traveling by air. DOT may conduct additional such meetings to further explore ways to better assist musicians and airline personnel ensure the safe carriage of musical instruments.

    ###

    DOT 112-14

  2. The Following 19 Users Say Thank You to Steve Sorensen For This Useful Post:

    + Show/Hide list of the thanked


  3. #2
    Registered User foldedpath's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Pacific Northwest, USA
    Posts
    5,106

    Default Re: U.S. DoT Issues Final Rule - Air Travel with Musical Instrume

    Thanks for this post.

    Reading through it, it doesn't seem like there is any significant change to the status quo. There is no extra protection in this ruling just because it's a musical instrument, which I suppose some of us were hoping for. OTOH, they do have to be fair to other passengers too, and many other professions and hobbies involve traveling with valuable and fragile objects.

    It looks like the only absolute guarantee that you can fly with an instrument in the cabin still remains buying a seat for it. The document suggests that you can increase the chances of getting it into the cabin safely if you buy a pre-boarding pass at extra cost, so you have a better chance of getting a guitar stashed in a cargo locker or finding space in an overhead bin for a mandolin or fiddle. But that's not a guarantee, and not all airlines offer a pre-boarding option

    The size restrictions for carry-on are still restrictive enough that any airline can refuse a carry-on at the gate, if it doesn't measure up to the maximum limits. That probably applies to pre-boarding passes too.

    Maybe if they'd let us play a little tune at the gate to ease the nerves of the other passengers before boarding, we'd get some extra consideration...

  4. #3

    Default Re: U.S. DoT Issues Final Rule - Air Travel with Musical Instrume

    Here's an old story I've had bookmarked for a while, now's my chance to use it!

    Japan Airlines offers free guitar boxes to ease travelling musicians’ worries

    At JAL for outgoing instrument service, we offer small and large instrument cases to support our customers on trips with important instruments. Now in response to customer feedback we have dispatched guitar sized cases (137cm x 44cm x 21cm) to all airports offering domestic flights. Until now, in such a case you would have to check it as fragile baggage, but from now you can ask for our guitar-exclusive case.
    http://en.rocketnews24.com/2013/09/0...cians-worries/

  5. #4
    Registered User Chris "Bucket" Thomas's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    Va. Beach, VA
    Posts
    596

    Default Re: U.S. DoT Issues Final Rule - Air Travel with Musical Instrume

    It still means that if you are late in boarding that it can be "gate checked". This is, in effect, what nearly every airline has been doing for the past few years.
    Chris

    2007 Gibson F5-L Fern
    1919 Gibson A-0
    2019 Black A4
    BlueRidge BR140
    http://www.youtube.com/user/ChristopherSThomas
    http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1188214780

  6. #5
    NY Naturalist BradKlein's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Lehigh Valley - Pennsylvania
    Posts
    2,091

    Default Re: U.S. DoT Issues Final Rule - Air Travel with Musical Instrume

    I don't see how musicians can hope for much more than the rules above. Guitars, of course are BIG and it would be a huge cost to absolutely require the airlines provide cabin space for them under all circumstances and at no charge. Still should be a great help regarding mandolins and violins. And will probably help with guitar size instruments which will sometimes fit in a garment locker, if not in any in-cabin storage. Cellists are realistically going to have to buy a seat, or stow below.
    BradKlein
    Morning Edition Host, WLVR News
    Senior Producer, Twangbox®
    Twangbox® Videos

  7. #6
    Registered User Ivan Kelsall's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Manchester - Lancashire - NW England
    Posts
    14,187

    Default Re: U.S. DoT Issues Final Rule - Air Travel with Musical Instrume

    The ruling,regardless of any shortcomings that have been outlined above,is significantly better than any ruling that we have within the EU (European Union),where the carrying onto the aircraft of any instrument is a matter of luck ie. if you get away with it ok,if not ....... !
    I've mentioned on here several times the ludicrous ruling that we have in the EU. According to the EU ruling,hand luggage of a total volume of 2.3 cu.ft is allowed to be carried aboard an aircraft,but a Travelite case which is approx. 1.17 cu.ft in volume,isn't allowed to be carried aboard an aircraft because it's 'overlength'. The fact that it's a full 1 cu.ft. + smaller, isn't taken into account. Something's wrong there (IMHO),
    Ivan
    Weber F-5 'Fern'.
    Lebeda F-5 "Special".
    Stelling Bellflower BANJO
    Tokai - 'Tele-alike'.
    Ellis DeLuxe "A" style.

  8. #7
    ~~~~~~~~~~ Paul Haley's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Lincolnshire England
    Posts
    79

    Default Re: U.S. DoT Issues Final Rule - Air Travel with Musical Instrume

    EasyJet in the UK allows mandolins as hand baggage even if they are notionally too long. Others are just awkward and unhelpful.
    Paul Haley

  9. #8
    Gibson F5L Gibson A5L
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Posts
    2,372
    Blog Entries
    1

    Default Re: U.S. DoT Issues Final Rule - Air Travel with Musical Instrume

    Thanks for the post Mr. S. ........ I'll carry on with my Calton cased instruments and pay the pre-boarding fees " Just in case".....R/
    I love hanging out with mandolin nerds . . . . . Thanks peeps ...

  10. #9
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Edinburgh
    Posts
    11

    Default Re: U.S. DoT Issues Final Rule - Air Travel with Musical Instrume

    Quote Originally Posted by Paul Haley View Post
    EasyJet in the UK allows mandolins as hand baggage... Others are just awkward and unhelpful.
    I have had no trouble carrying my mandolin on British Airways. One trainee attendant at a gate felt safer checking with a colleague. The immediate reply was that there was no problem.
    Alastair

  11. #10
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Location
    PA
    Posts
    377

    Default Re: U.S. DoT Issues Final Rule - Air Travel with Musical Instrume

    Both times when I have traveled with my Duff F5 the airline either initially or at the gate required me to check it - it is larger than carry one, albeit by inches but that was that. So off it went into the hold with me praying it showed up at the other end. Nerve-wracking.
    2006 Duff F5
    2006 Gibson Original Jumbo Historic Collection
    80 year old fiddle of undetermined ancestry

  12. #11
    Registered User Ivan Kelsall's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Manchester - Lancashire - NW England
    Posts
    14,187

    Default Re: U.S. DoT Issues Final Rule - Air Travel with Musical Instrume

    From AN BRown - "I have had no trouble carrying my mandolin on British Airways". Try telephoning any of the 3 Irish airlines flying to the Irish Republic via Manchester - Ryanair / Aer Lingus & Aer Arran & you'll find out that they will not allow a mandolin to be carried on board in any sized case that isn't as per their allowed size. I note that British Airways are now flying to Dublin & i have to admit that i haven't contacted them. Ryanair went so far as to offer me the chance to buy a seat for my mandolin at a cost of £74.
    Still,the ''allowed'' luggage size is as per the diagram.If you infringe any of the 'set dimensions',you could be refused permission to take it on board,so don't take you previous experiences for granted.
    Paul - It's not so much that others are 'awkward & un-helpful'' - they are abiding by the rules.If others decide that they'll 'bend the rules',that's their decision,
    Ivan
    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	bag.Dims. 22 x 18 x 10 (Medium) (2).gif 
Views:	744 
Size:	53.4 KB 
ID:	128370
    Weber F-5 'Fern'.
    Lebeda F-5 "Special".
    Stelling Bellflower BANJO
    Tokai - 'Tele-alike'.
    Ellis DeLuxe "A" style.

  13. #12
    Registered User brent1308's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Brooklyn, NY
    Posts
    155

    Default Re: U.S. DoT Issues Final Rule - Air Travel with Musical Instrume

    This should trump some of the ridiculous baggage dimension requirements by some airlines (AA for example), allowing a mandolin to be carried aboard where it otherwise wouldn't fit the requirements. This also finalizes the FAA Modernization and Reform Act of 2012, which, although people had been printing it out and showing to airlines as proof that they could carry aboard, was not effective until this rule was finalized.

  14. #13

    Default Re: U.S. DoT Issues Final Rule - Air Travel with Musical Instrume

    I have flown Delta twice this year across the US, including at Christmas time, and had no problem putting my mando in the overhead storage. One attendant offered to put in in the closet up front. The rules posted on their website seem very close to these. But just to be safe I took my old Seville instead of my lovely new Breedlove.
    We may go to Greece this year, and I want to buy a Balalaika there. It'll be interesting to see how hard it is to get home...

  15. #14
    Unfamous String Buster Beanzy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Cornwall & London
    Posts
    2,767
    Blog Entries
    4

    Default Re: U.S. DoT Issues Final Rule - Air Travel with Musical Instrume

    The fact that a 46x56cm case has a longest plane dimention in excess of 72.4 cm which your Travelite only overshoots by about 1cm, so would probably fit on the diagonal in 3D seems to have passed them by Ivan.
    Maybe if you put the mandolin in a bigger case than your Travelite but 46x56x25 they'd let you carry it on? ........... I feel a Victor Meldrew phrase coming on.
    Last edited by Beanzy; Jan-05-2015 at 9:20am.
    Eoin



    "Forget that anyone is listening to you and always listen to yourself" - Fryderyk Chopin

  16. #15
    ~~~~~~~~~~ Paul Haley's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Lincolnshire England
    Posts
    79

    Default Re: U.S. DoT Issues Final Rule - Air Travel with Musical Instrume

    Good to know - thanks
    Paul Haley

  17. #16
    Registered User Martin Jonas's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Location
    Northop, North Wales
    Posts
    6,267

    Default Re: U.S. DoT Issues Final Rule - Air Travel with Musical Instrume

    Quote Originally Posted by Paul Haley View Post
    EasyJet in the UK allows mandolins as hand baggage even if they are notionally too long. Others are just awkward and unhelpful.
    Some EU airlines do have explicit rules. I travel Germanwings (the low-cost arm of Lufthansa) quite often between Germany and the UK, and their policy is:

    "Q: Can I carry musical instruments in the cabin as hand luggage?

    A: Yes, musical instruments may be carried on board as hand luggage as long as they are no larger than a guitar and are packed in a soft case.
    "

    My mother has travelled with a bowlback mandolin in a hard case a couple of times on Germanwings, without problems. Their reference to a "soft case" is a bit awkward: do they mean a gig bag, or will a case cover over a HSC be OK? A gig bag is fine if you are certain that you can take it as hand luggage, but obviously means that you don't have the option of checking the instruments if the gate staff are unhelpful.

    Martin

  18. #17

    Default Re: U.S. DoT Issues Final Rule - Air Travel with Musical Instrume

    If those paragraphs of text at the top just read:

    Quote Originally Posted by DOT translated by human
    All musical instruments will be subject to the exact same rules applying to any other carry-on baggage, and no special treatment will be offered for those carrying musical instruments whatsoever.
    the meaning would be the same, but it would be 100 times clearer what they were saying.

  19. #18
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Conneaut Lake, PA
    Posts
    4,148

    Default Re: U.S. DoT Issues Final Rule - Air Travel with Musical Instrume

    Years ago there used to be a company that made a violin case specifically for air travel that met dimension requirements for carry on. Basically a Hill style case with no accessory compartment and no place for bows. The theory was that the accessories and bow, with the bow in a tube and on the diagonal, could fit in the regular luggage. I have looked for these cases and cannot find them anywhere anymore. But I remember them well. There even used to be a special case for instrument dealers that held four violins in a carry on sized case. Only violins, nothing else. Seems like a special mandolin case could be designed. If there was a market. Guitar, well not much we can do there except get a Voyage-Air.

    I think I'll just stay home!
    Don

    2016 Weber Custom Bitterroot F
    2011 Weber Bitterroot A
    1974 Martin Style A

  20. #19
    Registered User Bill in Tennessee's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2014
    Location
    Knoxville TN
    Posts
    2

    Default Re: U.S. DoT Issues Final Rule - Air Travel with Musical Instrume

    Over the past 5 years (since I took up the mandolin), I've had very little trouble carrying my mandolin on aircraft of all kinds, from 747s down to little puddle-jumper local flights, they always fit in the overhead bins. TSA seems to be on board with mandos and I see other musicians carrying their instruments in various airports from ATL to the tiny little St. George, UT, airports. The only "problem" I had once was with a semi-drunk, boisterous passenger who somehow managed to push and drop my mando out of the overhead bin when he was rummaging around in his own case, but fortunately it was in a hardshell case and was not damaged when it hit the arm rest of the seat beneath it, although the wood in the case did splinter a bit. A quick suggestion that he was an idiot was enough to make him quieten down and sulk through the remainder of the flight...where do these people come from?!

  21. #20
    Registered User rubydubyr's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2014
    Location
    TX
    Posts
    597

    Default Re: U.S. DoT Issues Final Rule - Air Travel with Musical Instrume

    I've been reading this thread with interest. I don't travel a lot anymore, when I do, I also take an air flight if the drive would be more than a day. Considering, that unless you are willing to shell out the bucks for a business class ticket (gasp) the airlines pack you in like sardines, so the plans for U.S. high speed rails make more and more sense. The downside is most of the plans are way out in the future like 15 or more years out. Of course, that won't help for transatlantic travel.
    If I miss one day’s practice, I notice it. If I miss two days’ practice, the critics notice it. If I miss three days’ practice, the public notices it.
    Franz Liszt, 1894

  22. #21
    Registered User foldedpath's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Pacific Northwest, USA
    Posts
    5,106

    Default Re: U.S. DoT Issues Final Rule - Air Travel with Musical Instrume

    Quote Originally Posted by OldSausage View Post
    If those paragraphs of text at the top just read:

    Quote Originally Posted by DOT translated by human
    All musical instruments will be subject to the exact same rules applying to any other carry-on baggage, and no special treatment will be offered for those carrying musical instruments whatsoever.
    the meaning would be the same, but it would be 100 times clearer what they were saying.
    Exactly. It's written in a way that suggests they're trying to accommodate musicians, but there is actually no accommodation except for a guarantee against discrimination as long as the case fits each airline's standards for carry-on luggage. It's political-speak.

    My Pegasus case is about as small as you can get a hardshell case and still offer good protection, yet at 30.5" L and 14.5" wide, it's larger than the allowed dimensions for most airlines that actually specify a size limit like American Airlines and Southwest, according to this page linked from the DOT site:

    http://airlines.org/blog/instrument-...for-musicians/

    Airlines like Delta and United that have more vague limits might accept it depending on available space ("items must easily fit into the overhead bin or other approved storage location in the cabin, based on available space at the time of boarding.")

    I think what many of us were hoping for, was a single rule that we could rely on, print out, and wave in the face of the boarding staff if they refused our cases. But it's still down to individual airline policy after all, and maybe we're better off not having definite size limits that would probably be the result of a single rule.

  23. The following members say thank you to foldedpath for this post:

    Beanzy 

  24. #22
    MandolaViola bratsche's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Location
    south florida
    Posts
    2,819

    Default Re: U.S. DoT Issues Final Rule - Air Travel with Musical Instrume

    Quote Originally Posted by rubydubyr View Post
    I've been reading this thread with interest. I don't travel a lot anymore, when I do, I also take an air flight if the drive would be more than a day.
    Been reading with interest, too, just marveling that I once put up with air travel at all (and that was in what some would now call the "good old days"). But back then, I still thought road trips were way too adventurous for a gal to go alone - until I actually made one for the first time. Now, I'll gladly drive for 2 days and spend the night in my truck, rather than take a 3 hour flight. My reasons actually have little to do with musical instruments, but mostly I'm just more crowd-averse as time goes by. Plus driving neatly solves the problem of how to get around after I've gotten to where I'm going.

    bratsche
    "There are two refuges from the miseries of life: music and cats." - Albert Schweitzer

    GearGems - Gifts & apparel for musicians and more!
    MandolaViola's YouTube Channel

  25. #23
    Martin Stillion mrmando's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Location
    Seattle
    Posts
    12,496

    Default Re: U.S. DoT Issues Final Rule - Air Travel with Musical Instrume

    Quote Originally Posted by multidon View Post
    Years ago there used to be a company that made a violin case specifically for air travel that met dimension requirements for carry on. Basically a Hill style case with no accessory compartment and no place for bows. The theory was that the accessories and bow, with the bow in a tube and on the diagonal, could fit in the regular luggage.
    The BAM backpacker violin case came with a bow tube, since the case itself was too short for a full-size bow. Don't know if that's the one you mean. I have one of the viola cases, but it actually has internal bow spinners as well as a tube.
    Emando.com: More than you wanted to know about electric mandolins.

    Notorious: My Celtic CD--listen & buy!

    Lyon & Healy • Wood • Thormahlen • Andersen • Bacorn • Yanuziello • Fender • National • Gibson • Franke • Fuchs • Aceto • Three Hungry Pit Bulls

  26. #24
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Conneaut Lake, PA
    Posts
    4,148

    Default Re: U.S. DoT Issues Final Rule - Air Travel with Musical Instrume

    No, not the Bam Backpacker. I looked into that and it exceeds the dimensions. Bam does make one called the High Tech Overhead that is specifiacally designed to meet carry on regulations but it is pricey at just under 600 dollars. The one I am remembering was more like a traditional Hill style and was under 200. You used to see it listed in catalogs all the time, but it has been several years since I've seen it. I guess it isn't made anymore. I wasn't traveling myself but I was shopping for a student. She ended up going to Ireland and back with her regular case, which exceeded regulations. She had no problems.

    The regular type of shaped mandolin cases don't exceed regulations, do they?
    Don

    2016 Weber Custom Bitterroot F
    2011 Weber Bitterroot A
    1974 Martin Style A

  27. #25
    bass player gone mando
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    Brooklyn and Rhinebeck NY
    Posts
    439

    Default Re: U.S. DoT Issues Final Rule - Air Travel with Musical Instrume

    I am planning to take the plunge next week and fly with a mando for the first time - in a soft gig bag. I have to measure and see about the dimensions, but it's certainly smaller overall than some of the fairly outrageous stuff that people carry on. If I am interrogated, I will play "I'll Fly Away" for the authorities (as an instrumental, since the lyrics would get me banned).
    Collings MT O
    Collings MF5 0
    Weber Gallatin Mandola
    Weber Bitterroot Mandola
    Weber Sage Octave

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •