Need for Government debate to discuss problems musicians have with airlines

Business of the House
11th January 2018

Kevin Brennan MP: Has the temporary Deputy Leader of the House seen early-day motion 775?

[This House notes with concern that airlines are increasingly requiring musicians to purchase a seat for guitars, and other musical instruments of similar size, or requiring that they be placed in the aircraft hold where temperatures are very low and damage may occur during transit; further notes the campaign led by the Musicians Union to show more consideration to musicians travelling with their instruments; and calls on the airline industry to adopt a code of practice to give musicians travelling with their instruments greater consideration, fair and consistent treatment, and peace of mind.]

I declare my interest as a member of the Musicians Union. Airlines are increasingly making life difficult for musicians who have guitar-sized and smaller musical instruments. Is it not time for the Government to have a debate about this, or at least to call in the airlines to talk to them about setting up some kind of code of conduct to ensure that our very talented musicians are not impaired in this way?

Paul Maynard MP (Government Whip): I know the hon. Gentleman has raised this issue before on a number of occasions. I have not yet got to the stage of taking my EDM book home with me for bedtime reading, but perhaps I should go down that path. As he knows, we have Transport questions on Thursday, which is a perfect opportunity to speak to the new aviation Minister to see what they have to say about this important issue. I recognise that this can be a real challenge, particularly for those with larger instruments.