Air Canada introduces new luggage regulations for musicians

October 05, 2015


Roamie Allen’s guitar case. Credit: Brandon Wallis.

If you’ve ever been a touring musician who’s needed to transport your gear through the sky (or just a person with an instrument getting on a plane) you probably know what a headache it is to get it from point A to point B. Either you have to check it, which results in paying more money (instruments are often oversize, and so cost even more than checking regular luggage), or you’ve maybe had to deal with Air Canada’s incredibly bizarre regulations regarding carrying on instruments.

If this is you, dear music enthusiast, there’s good news! Air Canada has just changed those regulations, to be a tiny little bit better. Now, musicians will be able to buy a second seat just for their instrument at half the price of a regular seat. This applies to all published fares. But if you want to sit in business class (let’s get real, how many musicians get to fly business class nowadays?) your instrument has to sit by itself and be lonely in economy. Also, musicians who can’t shell out the extra money for a second seat (that’s pretty much all of them) will be able to pre-board and store their instrument safely before everyone else gets on and takes up that valuable instrument space.

While it’s certainly a step in the right direction, it’s not a very big step. Remember, this issue is big enough that even Buffy Sainte-Marie spoke out about it when she was recently presented with the Polaris Music Prize, mentioning she once had to pay an airline in Asia over $1,000 to check her gear. The majority of musicians who haven’t reached the same level of success as Sainte-Marie, might find that these restrictive regulations make it harder to expand their reach. But who knows? If more musicians became pilots, like Iron Maiden’s Bruce Dickinson, maybe we wouldn’t be talking about this.


Iron Maiden’s airplane. Photo: John McMurtrie.


In Other News:

  • CIMA and BuzzAngle Music are bringing Canada their first ever Indie Music Charts.
  • Jian Ghomeshi has pled not guilty to sexual assault charges.
  • The Ottawa Sun fights back against Mark Kozelek’s accusation that “The Ottawa Bluesfest Is Run By Inbreds”.
  • A LOT of new tracks from Toronto’s PARTYNEXTDOOR got dropped at Drake’s Beats 1 show.
  • Blue Jays fans are freaking out about some Taylor Swift curse (she recently played the Rogers Centre in Toronto).

About the Author

Matt Williams

Matt Williams is a writer and photographer. Born and raised on the Prairies in Winnipeg, he’s slowly made his way farther and farther east, spending a few years covering music in Toronto before running clear out of country and ending up on the shores of the Atlantic Ocean. In between, he’s made numerous detours, interviewing and photographing countless artists across North America and beyond. He heads up Amplify’s Instrumental series, where he talks with musicians about the relationships they’ve formed with their most important tools.

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