Where are we on air passenger rights ? Vote last Feb 5th 2014

The European Parliament has voted on 5 February 2014 on proposals from the European Commission to strengthen passenger rights, and after the proposed amendments of the  Transport commission of the Parliament (rapporteur MEP Georges BACH, Luxembourg).

The voted text mentions the case of musical instruments, among other amendments. Below is the extracts of the initial European Commission proposal amended by the Parliament.

Next step: Member States will meet in the Transport Council in June with a view to agreeing a position on the revision of the Air Passenger Rights Directive. The national transposition of this text will follow. We encourage each member to inform their MPs at national levels on the opportunity and importance of this renewed regulation.

First step : Proposal for a regulation by the European Commission. (extract below, when concerning instruments) See Original Proposal,

Second step: Revision by the Transport Commission of the EU Parliament (in bold, scratching the initial EU Commission Proposal)

” The proposal includes measures with regard to musical instruments. It compels air carriers to accept small instruments inside the passenger cabin, subject to certain conditions, and to clarify their rules with regard to the carriage of larger instruments in the cargo compartment (Article 2(4) of the proposal – Article 6e of the amended Regulation (EC) No 2027/97).(…)

Musical instruments should as far as possible be accepted as baggage within the  passenger cabin and, where this is not possible, should where possible be carried under the appropriate conditions in the cargo compartment of the aircraft. Regulation (EC)  No 2027/97 should be amended accordingly. (…)


Article 6d 1. Whilst air carriers have full commercial freedom to establish the conditions under  which they permit baggage to be carried, they shall clearly indicate, at booking and  at the check-in desks (including at self-service check-in machines), the maximum EN 28 EN  baggage allowance passengers are permitted to carry within the cabin and hold of the aircraft on each of the flights included within a passenger’s reservation, including any restrictions on the number of items that would be applied within a given maximum baggage allowance. Where additional charges are applied for the carriage of baggage air carriers shall clearly indicate details of those charges at booking and on request at the airport.

2. Where extraordinary circumstances, such as safety reasons or a change of the aircraft type since the booking was made, preclude the carriage in the cabin of items included in the carry-on baggage allowance, the air carrier may carry them in the hold of the aircraft, but at no extra cost to the passenger.

3. These rights do not affect the restrictions on carry-on baggage established by EU and international security rules such as Regulations (EC) No 300/2008 and (EC) No 820/2008

Article 6e 1. A Community union air carrier shall permit a passenger to carry a musical instrument in the passenger cabin of an aircraft subject to applicable safety rules and the technical specifications and constraints of the aircraft concerned. Musical instruments shall be accepted for carriage within an aircraft cabin provided such instruments can be stowed safely in a suitable baggage compartment within the cabin or under an appropriate passenger seat. An air carrier may determine that a musical instrument shall form part of a passenger’s hand luggage allowance and not be carried in addition to that allowance. When accepted for carriage within the aircraft cabin, a musical instrument shall form part of a passenger’s hand luggage allowance. The air carrier may determine that additional charges are to apply for hand luggage to be carried in addition to that allowance. 

2. Where a musical instrument is too large to be stowed safely in a suitable baggage compartment within the cabin or under an appropriate passenger seat, an air carrier may request the payment of a second fare where such musical instruments are carried as hand luggage on a second seat. Where a second seat is purchased an air carrier should make reasonable efforts to seat the passenger and the musical instrument concerned together.

Where available and if requested, musical instruments shall be carried in a heated part of an aircraft cargo hold subject to applicable safety rules, space constraints and the technical specifications of the aircraft concerned. Air carriers shall provide special tags to be clearly dispolayed on musical instruments to ensure that they are handled with the necessary care. Only instruments properly packaged in a rigid and/or hard shell container specifically designed for such items shall be allowed to be carred as aircraft cargo.An air carrier shall clearly indicate in its terms and conditions the basis on upon which musical instruments will be transported and the applicable charges.  including the applicable charges and the facilities for the carriage of musical instruments that are available on the aircraft concerned. Where a second seat needs to be booked pasengers shall be offered the possibility of booking that second seat online.


Edited by FEVIS / Editorial Board : directed by Jacques Toubon, the members of the FEVIS board and Catherine Desbordes, Deputy Director / Editor : Marie Hédin
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