Musicians are a step closer to being able to travel unimpeded throughout Europe with their instruments following a European Parliament vote in favour of a revision of Air Passenger Rights. The vote, which took place on 5 February, would mean that ‘the 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.’ The proposal must now go before the European Council.
The application is the result of a petition for legislation to clarify rules, launched by the Musicians’ Union and International Federation of Musicians, and signed by more than 40,000 people.
‘I am delighted that the European Parliament has voted in favour of this proposal, which will make such a difference to working musicians,’ said MU general secretary and FIM president John Smith. ‘The issue has always been that existing law allows each airline to set their own policy regarding musical instruments, and this proposal would bring much needed uniformity and fairness to the whole sector.’
Airline cabin luggage restrictions have long plagued string players, as evidenced by the French string quartet, Quatuor Voce, who were requested to remove their instruments from their cases before taking them on board a flight in December.