New Musical Instrument Carry-on Rules for Air Travel

After years of negotiating and lobbying, the AFM, in partnership with the airline carry-on coalition, marked the implementation of a final rule from the Department of Transportation regarding musical instruments as carry-on and checked baggage. The new rule was the result of legislative language included in Section 403 of the FAA Modernization and Reform Act of 2012. As of March 6, 2015, musicians are allowed to bring certain musical instruments in-cabin on US carriers. The rule clearly outlines carry-on and checked baggage procedures.

The AFM has developed two manuals to help musicians navigate the process: A Guide to Traveling with Musical Instruments can be found on by logging into “myAFM,” then clicking the “Document Library” tab, and opening the “Legislative Office” folder. This desktop copy was designed to help musicians members understand domestic carry-on requirements and regulations for traveling internationally with instruments that contain CITES related materials. In addition, a pocket-sized handbook, developed in cooperation with the Carry-on Coalition, can be downloaded at: