by Allistair Elliott, International Representative for Canada
After four years of lobbying the government of Canada, as well as meeting with airline councils, the Canadian Transport Agency, Minister of Transport, The Honorable Marc Garneau, and his staff at Transport Canada, I am pleased to share the news that, as part of the new Passenger Bill of Rights within the Canadian Transportation Act, we now have language in Canada with regard to musicians travelling with instruments on airlines in Canada.
Effective July 15, Air Passenger Protection Regulations within the Canadian Transportation Act included language to ensure that all air carriers must accept musical instruments unless security or safety is an issue.
The airline industry battled hard to avoid the new bill, however, Minister Garneau and his staff at Transport Canada held strong in favor of passenger rights. As such a small part of a major bill, we were thrilled to affect language and changes to the industry and find support from Minister Garneau in our efforts to better represent musicians travelling in Canada.
We have prepared a Canadian Flying Guide in both English and French, which can be found online at:
- www.afm.org/what-we-are-doing/travel-resources/afm-travel-kit/ under “Carry On Your Instrument” and “Carry On Your Larger Instrument” tabs
Each airline also will have clear guidelines published as part of their tariff. Under the law, all commercial airline carriers must accept musical instruments as checked or carry-on baggage, unless it is contrary to general terms and conditions in the carrier’s tariff with respect to the weight or dimension of baggage or because of safety or security.
Many thanks to President Hair and VPC Alan Willaert for their support and investment into lobbying the Canadian government on behalf of all musicians.