Instruments on Planes

Latest advice and guidance

Before travelling with musical instruments we recommend musicians check the current policy of the airline they are travelling with and, where possible, secure confirmation in writing from the airline that their instrument will be allowed in the cabin with them.

Our latest report on instruments on plans is included as a download below.

Last campaign update: easyJet keep their musician friendly rules despite change rules for other baggage

In 2011, easyJet announced a more musician-friendly hand baggage policy. Following discussions with the ISM, they expanded their hand baggage size for musical instruments to 117cm in length, allowing instruments such as violins, trumpets and guitars in the cabin as part of the hand baggage allowance.

In May 2013 easyjet announced that their baggage rules were changing. However, they have again confirmed to the ISM that their musical instrument rules will remain musician friendly and currently, the permissible dimensions are 120cm x 30cam x 38cm. However, beyond this, only cellos are allowed in the cabin if an extra seat is purchased and we are seeking to rectify this policy decision to allow larger instruments in the cabin.

BA meet the ISM after calls for a musician-friendly policy

A change in the wording of their hand baggage policy means that British Airways’ (BA) appear to no longer guarantee that instruments such as violins and guitars can be carried as hand luggage and placed in overhead lockers. BA have reported that the original wording was a mistake but have now agreed to meet the ISM to discuss the issue in detail following our campaign which was reported in Music Week and the Telegraph and on our website.

ISM publishes report calling on Government to regulate airlines

As we speak to BA about adopting a musician-friendly hand-baggage policy, we have now published a report into the hand-baggage policies of UK based airlines - including a league table - with Valerie Vaz MP who has highlighted the campaign in Parliament. The league table was put together based on information available to professional musicians and airlines' replies to Valerie Vaz MP.

Musicians frequently encounter great difficulty when attempting to travel with their musical instruments which are often very fragile pieces of equipment. The ISM petition, with over 4,150 signatures, revealed thousands of incidents of mistreatment at the hands of airlines and an Early Day Motion supporting the instruments on planes campaign was signed by 28 MPs.

We are working with Valerie Vaz MP to call on the Government and the EU to regulate airlines where possible to allow small instruments in the cabin following similar legislation being passed in the US in support of musicians.

Previous campaign success with easyJet

Further information