Instruments on planes | Rating of airlines

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Air company policies where transporting musical instruments is concerned are often unfavourable to musicians. Certain companies, however, welcome musical instruments on board in good conditions. This is particularly the case where US-based companies are concerned which, since 2015, have to respect the new FAA regulation stipulating that any instrument that can be placed in a luggage compartment or under the seat in front of the passenger must be accepted on board.

These criteria are also those selected in the proposed modified European regulation 2027/97, at the request of FIM (unfortunately, for the time being, this regulation is not backed by the European Council, which is why we are asking you to sign our petition).

In order to help musicians scheduling travelling by plane with their instrument to identify the airline carrier best suited to their needs, FIM is making available a list of main airline companies, indicating each time what is the company’s policy and allocating a rating depending on the rules it applies for transporting musical instruments.

Companies respecting FAA criteria are shown with a green badge (best rating)

The information proposed stipulates the rules applicable for transporting instruments
– as hand luggage,
– on an extra seat,
– in the hold.

Companies respecting FAA criteria are shown with a green badge (best rating).

Those who apply the same size restrictions to musical instruments as they do to ordinary hand luggage are rated in red (lowest rating). Those who make provision for more favourable size limits are rated amber (intermediate mark).

Badges are allocated on the basis of information available on the websites of companies concerned. We try to keep this information updated but occasionally it may happen that changes are not noted in real time. Consequently, each sheet also contains a link to the company’s dedicated website page.

FIM also intends making a distinction between airline companies which go beyond simple regulatory obligations and offer musicians a particularly favourable service. To this end, a prize will be awarded each year to the company judged to be the most welcoming for musicians.

We also propose that musicians who wish to share their in-flight experience, whether this be good or bad, fill out a feedback form on our website to help us enrich our documentary base.

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