EU: End the misery of flying musicians

EU: End the misery of flying musicians


norman lebrecht

February 23, 2016

A petition has been launched this morning to persuade the European Union to oblige airlines to accept smaller musical instruments on board free of charge.

The US Congress has already passed this requirement into law. It’s time for the EU to be as fair to musicians as the US is.

The endless anxiety faced by musicians while waiting to board is demoralising, dehumanising and probably in violation of the EU charter of fundamental rights.

It is time to bring rogue airlines like Norwegian, Ryanair and Airberlin to book.

Read and sign the petition here.

katie melua

Reminder: These are the worst airlines for musicians to fly.


  • Peter says:

    The problem is that neither the petition or the EU amendment referred to therein refer to anything other than ‘musical instruments’. You simply cannot expect an airline to respond to a blunt piece of legislation that potentially obliges them to accept as hand baggage any instrument of whatever size. It may be the intent of the petitioners to persuade airlines to accept ‘smaller musical instruments’ as referred to in the text of this article, but that’s not what anything yet says. Contrast that with section 403 of the FAA Modernization and Reform Act 2012 which is very specific about weight and sizes of instrument and relevant permissions for their carriage – it’s not quite the musicians’ win-win it’s being held out to be.

  • Peter says:

    That quote in the picture is stupid. While I support the motion to regulate airlines against discriminatory carry on rules, air travel is not a basic human right. That spoiled kid in the picture is free to walk or use the horse carriage if she thinks 200 Euro more or less discriminate against her opportunities to perform abroad.

    Like Bach walked 300 miles to visit Buxtehude. Or like Mozart traveled for days by carriage to Paris.

    Actually it is THANKS TO airline companies in the first place, that we now have this huge working class jet set of traveling musicians who depend on this cheap modus of long distance travel.

    Get some reasonable perspective, people. Drop the self entitlement. Nobody owes you anything.

    • V.Lind says:

      Which of those modes of transport do you recommend to bring Itzhak Perlman to Berlin or London? Daniil Trifonov to New York?

      The petition will not determine the wording of any legislation. It will request and lobby for the principle to be accepted, and law-makers will meet with representatives of all sides to hammer out solutions — IF they take it on.

      Why is nobody leaning on IATA?