Flybe has backtracked on changes to its baggage policy for small musical instruments, following criticism that the rules would have a serious impact on touring musicians.
Musicians had previously been able to take a small musical instrument within the measurements of 100cm x 30cm x 30cm on board as cabin luggage, in addition to a small bag.
However, musician Sarah Watts last month highlighted that the policy had been changed and instruments were no longer allowed in the cabin unless they fitted within the standard cabin bag size of 55cm x 35cm x 20cm.
This led to criticism from musicians and the Musicians’ Union, who said the new policy was “to the detriment” of musicians, who are concerned about putting fragile and expensive instruments in the hold.
When approached for comment, Flybe said it had been enforcing the new cabin baggage policy since the beginning of 2019, but following feedback it will be reversing the changes.
A statement from the airline said: “We have listened to the concerns voiced recently by a number of musicians wishing to travel with those smaller instruments that do not necessarily conform to the stated cabin baggage sizes.
“To understand how we might fairly and safely accommodate their specific needs within the remits of our policy and the regulatory requirements to which we must comply, we have reviewed the situation.”
The statement added that the review has resulted in an amendment to its policy, allowing instruments within the measurements of 100 x 35 x 20 to be allowed on board as one item of cabin baggage.
However the policy says this is subject to there being space in the overhead lockers to accommodate the instrument and the instrument must have appropriate insurance.
National organiser for live performance at the Musicians’ Union, Dave Webster, said: “The Musicians’ Union is pleased that Flybe has responded favourably to our concerns on behalf of our members.”