Air Canada Revises Policy on Musical Instruments
Tales of musicians, their travels and their instruments don't always have a happy ending, sad to say. Air Canada has been on the receiving end of a number of high profile complaints including Hamilton musician Stephen Fearing (Blackie & the Rodeo Kings) and his 2014 Twitter war over a lost (temporarily, luckily) guitar and Bryan Adams' recent inquiries over black magic marker on his guitar last summer.
Still, it looks like the airline is getting the message and recently came out with revised guidelines for instruments.
• You can view the full guidelines here.
The important points are as follows:
• Instruments that otherwise meet the guidelines for carry-on luggage can be brought in the cabin and stored in the overhead compartment or under the seat in front of you.
• String instruments (e.g. guitars, violins and violas) can be carried on board - even if their dimensions slightly exceed the carry-on size limits.
• The airline now offers a 50% discount off any fare, including the lowest available one, to customers who would like to purchase a seat to accommodate their musical instrument in the same cabin that they are booked in.
• If you’re traveling with a musical instrument as carry-on, you will now be invited to board the plane during pre-boarding in advance of general boarding so you’ll have a little more time to store your precious possession in an overhead bin close to your seat. If you need help with this, a flight attendants will be happy to assist.
This looks to be one of the more liberal policies anywhere in the world. In contrast, US carriers were only just mandated to allow musicians to carry smaller instruments - including guitars - in the cabin as checked luggage. Qantas doesn't allow any guitars in the cabin and beware of Lufthansa, where musical instruments need pre-registration and where extra fees apply.
A parody of the bad old days - https://youtu.be/oY-IkxbjdVA But those days are over musical friends!