Air travel in America just got worse for musicians

Air travel in America just got worse for musicians


norman lebrecht

November 16, 2016

Reuters reports:

United Airlines will become the first big U.S. airline to limit low-fare customers to one carry-on bag that fits under a seat… United, the No. 3 U.S. airline by passengers carried …will also prohibit these travellers from carrying on bags that can only fit in overhead bins, and they will not accrue miles toward elite status.

The company expects the moves to add $4.8 billion to its annual operating income by 2020.

We‘ve added United to the list of airlines for musicians to avoid.



  • Paul says:

    You are putting the cart before the horse. They announced that they are adding a new fare class to attract budget travelers. There will be no assigned seats; these passengers will board after anyone else. It is permitted to bring one small personal item on board – it seems to me that violins, or many wind instruments – which are disassembled before being placed in their case – would qualify. If this is unacceptable, as it would be for many passengers who are not musicians, passengers could choose to travel in a higher fare class.

  • Laura says:

    Actually, the one bag rule carry on will only apply to those purchasing the Basic Economy Fare prices. Please read this article;

  • Chris says:

    The hyperlink of “airlines for musicians to avoid” takes us back to this page.

  • Robert Holmén says:

    It’s a fare for anyone who needs to bring almost nothing into the cabin with them.

    I’m not sure I’ve seen such a creature in my travels.

    • Cyril Blair says:

      Seems like it would only work for people flying for a one-night stayover. One change of clothes, pajamas if absolutely necessary, toiletries. A backpack can fit it all. I’ve done it.

      • Scott Fields says:

        These bargain-rate passengers can still check luggage at United’s usual rate. What they are giving up is the overhead space.

  • Perdita oboe says:

    Have we already forgotten “united breaks guitars…..”. Perhaps someone could arrange a new version for violin, in the style of Mozart. Presumably united have forgotten the years in which they were a business school case study in how to damage a brand through appalling customer service.