We’ve all witnessed this scene before; a crowded flight in the process of boarding and there’s some worried musician dealing with their cello, banjo or guitar in the overhead bin. As the storage space gets gobbled up then comes the meeting between flight attendants, the ground crew and the player. Most often the reality is; the musician is going to have to have the baggage guys put that treasure down below. Well-off musicians have always been able to pay for their favorite ax flying next to them by buying a seat for that priceless Stradivarius cello or Les Paul electric guitar. But what happens to the regular guy or gal flying with their special instrument? Until now it’s been a very stressful process for the traveling musician. (I couldn’t resist including Dave Carroll’s hilarious video) Too be fair, most baggage handlers go out of their way to be gentle with someone’s prize instrument in the hold. But accidents happen and it can be traumatic for a player to have their “baby” ruined during a flight. So the agruments continue at the gate and in the cabin over available space. But now the Transportation Department has issued a very specific new rule that comes to grips with players carrying on-board there instruments. The T.A. has said that starting in March airlines MUST treat instruments just like any other passenger carry-on bag. The American Federation of Musicians which spearheaded the new rule says that there are 127,000 working musicians in the U.S. and nearly 6 million music students. For all of them it’s about time the arbitrary exclusion of violins, saxes and guitars at the gate comes to a end. Here’s the link to the NY Times article about the regulations for traveling musicians.