Musicians planning to travel abroad will be disappointed to learn that the government will not be changing rules to force airlines to allow them to carry large instruments on to planes.
The news comes after the coalition was petitioned to make changes to the law to stop items worth thousands of pounds being damaged in luggage holds.
Currently, passengers are advised to get in contact with respective airlines to find out their policy as they may need to make extra arrangements, such as buying an additional seat.
The Incorporated Society of Musicians has previously campaigned for all carriers to be forced to adopt a minimum standard agreement to allow musicians to carry an instrument as an additional item of hand luggage on flights, if the item is guitar sized or smaller.
Having gained the support of 28 MPs, the topic was debated in the House of Lords in a discussion led by Liberal Democrat peer Lord Clement-Jones.
Lord Clement-Jones told peers: “There are terrible cases where valuable and cherished instruments are smashed in the holds of aircraft as result of musicians not being able to take them on board with them.”
However, in response, Earl Attlee dismissed the concerns that had been raised by musicians and those working in the industry adding that airlines will continue to be free to set their own policies regarding instrument travel.
He said: “The musician and his instrument are as one and if they lose their instrument, if it’s damaged, then their ability to perform at the highest level is severely reduced.
“My department is well aware of the issue but if airlines want to acquire a bad reputation with musicians then they can do so, but it is at their own risk. A difficulty is, if we regulated, we would get the lowest common denominator and it might discourage the industry from coming up with an innovative solution.”
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