EU will consider proposals to allow musical instruments on planes

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Proposals to ensure fairer treatment of musicians travelling on planes with instruments will be considered by the European Union’s parliamentary body.

The proposals are part of a wider set of plans to revise air passenger rights. If accepted, the changes would mean that air carriers “must accept smaller instruments into the passenger cabin” and “must clearly indicate the terms and conditions for the transport of larger instruments in the cargo hold”.

This follows years of campaigning from the Musicians' Union and International Federation of Musicians (FIM) about the problems resulting from the lack of an international uniform policy for carrying instruments on planes.

At the moment, each airline can set its own rules about musical instruments.

The plans will be presented to the European Parliament next week when a final decision will be made.

John Smith, general secretary of the MU and president of FIM, said: “I am delighted that the European Parliament looks set to adopt this proposal, which will make such a difference to working musicians.

“The MU has been lobbying on this issue for years and actually reached an agreement with the Department for Transport in 2006, but we have long been saying that it is only by working at a European and international level that we can successfully tackle this issue, as the problem is much broader than just UK airlines.”

He added: “The problem has always been that existing law allows each airline to set their own policy regarding musical instrument, and this proposal would bring much needed uniformity and fairness to the whole sector.”