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MU Update on British Airways Instrument Policy (January 2018)

The Musicians’ Union (MU) has been having fruitful discussions with British Airways, who are actively seeking workable solutions for guitars and larger instruments.

Published: 26 January 2018 | 12:00 AM Updated: 28 April 2021 | 4:29 PM

Our previous update stated: “For some members, recent developments will be welcome news as British Airways have actively stated that musicians can ‘take small instruments in the cabin as part of (but not in addition to) your free hand baggage’  

“British Airways specifically mentions violas and violins, and state that they recognise the damage that can be done by temperature and pressure when carrying items in the hold. They also ask that passengers with instruments board early in order to accommodate their instruments in the lockers.”

The current British Airways policy on guitars is that they go into the hold unless you have bought an extra seat for it 24 hours in advance, if available. An exception may be made at airport check-in on direct long-haul flights that are not full and in cabins where space is more available, but this can never be guaranteed and unlikely to be available at Heathrow or Gatwick, so be prepared to put your guitar in the hold or buy an extra seat for it in advance. 

The even more acute stowage problem comes with short haul flights on smaller aircraft, however British Airways continue to actively seek solutions.

The MU has been invited to meet with BA. We will be meeting with the airline to discuss the problem and options that will improve the experience for musicians travelling with BA. 

In the meantime, access the BA policy

If you anticipate flying with a larger instrument that exceed the 80cm in length criteria, do contact the airline in advance to discuss the options that are open to you at this current time.

Find out more  via British Airways

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