Travel with a Musical Instrument? Fill Out This Survey to Improve Domestic and Foreign Travel


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The American Federation of Musicians (AFM) is gathering data for their efforts to improve travel conditions for musicians traveling with instruments both in the U.S. and internationally. They're asking all musicians, not just AFM members, to respond in order to address your experience with international travel certificates and “musical passport" programs as well as domestic travel with musical instruments as carry-on items. Given some of the horror stories we've heard over the years, filling out the survey should be well worth your time.

The American Federation of Musicians is a membership organization for musicians in the U.S and Canada addressing a variety of collectives issues of concern.

One big issue they're working on involves difficulties facing musicians who fly with instruments. Though domestic issues tend to focus on physical treatment of instruments, international issues are more complicated as agreements related to the materials used in instruments, especially those crafted before such agreements existed, have caused some instruments to be seized by customs.

Here's more from AFM via the survey intro page:

“Questions posed in this survey tool are designed to help the AFM glean data that may lead to a smoother travel experience for musicians and also to glean data vital to our government relations advocacy and research work."

“The union is currently engaged in direct talks with the federal government relating to CITES (the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora) treaty regulations regarding musical instrument international travel certificates and 'musical passport' programs."

“Just to note, CITES is an international agreement between governments. Its aim is to ensure that international trade in specimens of wild animals and plants does not threaten their survival. Our survey is also focused on the February 25, 2014 Director’s Order No. 210 issued by the US Department of the Interior-US Fish and Wildlife Service which steps up enforcement of African elephant ivory relating to importation of this material into the United States."

“In addition, we seek additional domestic data about travel issues encountered by musicians traveling with musical instruments as carryon baggage on domestic airlines."

You can find out more about international travel and registering your instrument here.

And do be sure to fill out the survey and support positive action on these issues.

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