First, the good news: Air Canada recently announced a new program that provides musicians with discounted fares for purchasing an extra seat for an instrument along with advance boarding in order to facilitate finding room in the overhead for carry-on size instrument cases.
The details are available at the AirCanda.com website but here are the highlights:
Advance Boarding: At the airport, you will be invited to board the plane in advance of general boarding, between zones 2 and 3, so that you may have a little more time to store your musical instrument in an overhead bin close to your seat. Or you may board with zones 1 or 2 if you qualify for Priority Boarding.
Purchasing a Seat: If you wish to purchase a seat for your musical instrument, you will receive a 50% discount on any published fare (including the lowest available fare) to accommodate the instrument in the same cabin you are travelling in.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, there are plenty of provisos and guidelines plus AirCanada is not guaranteeing musical instruments can be accommodated on every flight but it’s a good start.
Now the bad news: according to a report in the 9/28/2015 edition of Violinist.com, USAirways insisted that violinist Rachel Barton Pine gate check her 1742 Guarneri del Gesú violin.
That didn’t happen.
Pine spent the evening, along with her husband and four-year-old daughter concourse camping until the next available flight the following morning.