Musicians win the right to carry instruments on planes

13 March 2013, 17:35 | Updated: 1 May 2013, 12:06

Being forced to buy seats for violins or risk putting them in the hold is soon to be a thing of the past for musicians, thanks to new EU Commission proposals.

Musicians wanting to travel with expensive instruments will no longer have to worry about taking them on planes, thanks to new EU Commission proposals due to come into force next year. As it stands, each airline can set their own policy regarding musical instruments, often resulting in performers being forced to stow expensive equipment in the hold, or having to fork out for an extra seat on the flight.

Since the policy in the US changed in February 2012, musicians and organisations have campaigned for similar changes in the UK. The proposed changes will allow musicians carry small instruments in the cabin with them, and require airlines to make their baggage restrictions clear at the point of booking as well as at the airport.

Speaking to The Telegraph, Deborah Annetts, Chief Executive of the Incorporated Society of Musicians (ISM), said she often received horror stories from professional musicians who were refused travel: "While we have had success with individual airlines such as easyJet, the proposal for regulations will come as music to the ears of many musicians travelling around the EU."

Other proposals include banning airlines from charging for making corrections to misspelt names on tickets within 48 hours of booking, and offering passengers greater assistance and compensation if their flight is delayed.