The organization, which represents 72 musicians' unions worldwide, is calling for Europe to follow the example of the US, which earlier this year introduced a uniform musical instrument policy for airlines. Still, the American "passenger bill of rights" is not perfect. The bill has a stipulation for each carrier to judge whether each instrument is safe on the aircraft.
The incident which raised questions of how airlines set their own rules about which musical instruments are allowed on board happened with internationally known musician Paul Katz. He had problems flying with his 343-year-old cello for which he bought a separate ticket on a flight out of Calgary, Canada. He got through check-in, security and even pre-boarded the plane with his cello before he was told a regulation does not allow it on the plane.
Katz agreed to put his cello in baggage, but suffered through the entire flight.
Cellos are particularly problematic, not being able to fit in overhead bins and generally requiring their own seat, so this incident is not unique. A group of students from Poland returning home from Calgary I August were told their four cellos could not all take their paid seats on the plane because Air Canada had a policy of no more than two cellos per plane.