I’m working on my own performance (coming sometime soon), so I decided to take my guitar with me to a work convention. At this convention, there’s always a party where the participants have some fun and do a bit of karaoke, after a few drinks. I decided to take my guitar with me and perform a ditty or two.
When I went to check in my bag at the airline counter, the agent asked me to check in my guitar.
Calling all musicians: YOU DO NOT HAVE TO CHECK IN YOUR INSTRUMENT!
According to the FAA Modernization and Reform Act of 2012 section 41724 LAW.
“An air carrier providing air transportation shall permit a passenger to carry a violin, guitar, or other musical instrument in the aircraft cabin, without charging the passenger a fee in addition to any standard fee that carrier may require for comparable carry-on baggage, if
(A) the instrument can be stowed safely in a suitable baggage compartment in the aircraft cabin or under a passenger seat, in accordance with the requirements for carriage of carry-on baggage or cargo established by the Administrator; and
(B) there is space for such stowage at the time the passenger boards the aircraft.”
There it is. The law… signed by the President.
If you have an instrument that doesn’t fit in the overhead compartment (like a cello), you can buy a ticket for it. They cannot charge you an additional fee if it’s less than 165 pounds and is in a case.
Make sure you can board the plane EARLY. If you get to the gate early, the gate attendant will usually let you board early.
And make sure you print this section out and carry it whenever you travel.