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Federal Register / Vol. 80, No.

2 / Monday, January 5, 2015 / Rules and Regulations 163

pieces of carry-on baggage but the a seat that will be used to transport a and we recognize that carriers cost in
airline charges a fee for a second piece. musical instrument as cargo in the transporting baggage and cargo is
If a passenger with a musical instrument passenger cabin, carriers must not directly related to its size and weight,
already has one piece of (free) carry-on assign a seat where the instrument may consistent with the clear intent of the
baggage, the airline is permitted to obscure other passengers view of safety Act, we conclude that carriers may
charge its standard fee for a second signs that are required to remain visible. impose the same checked-baggage
piece of carry-on baggage even if the In the event a passenger purchases a charges that apply to other checked
second piece is a musical instrument. seat for his or her musical instrument baggage of that size and weight. If a
and it is later discovered that the musical instrument exceeds the size or
Transporting Large Instruments as
location of the assigned seat is such that weight limits in the carriers free
Carry-On Baggage
the musical instrument may obscure baggage allowance but does not exceed
For some musical instruments that are other passengers view of the seat belt the size or weight limits of Section 403,
too large to fit in the cabin stowage areas sign, no smoking sign, or required the carrier may assess the same over-
described in the carriers FAA-approved exit signs, carriers should work with the size and over-weight charges that are
carry-on baggage program (e.g., an passenger to determine if any other applicable to other checked baggage that
overhead bin or under a seat), it is available seat in that class of service can is over-size or over-weight.
sometimes possible to secure them to a safely accommodate the musical
seat as seat baggage or cargo in instrument. Good Cause for Issuing Rule Without
passenger cabin as regulated by 14 CFR Because carriers must comply with a Prior Notice and Comment
121.285. As FAA Advisory Circular number of safety requirements, we
12129B: Carry-On Baggage (AC121 encourage passengers purchasing a seat Section 553 of the Administrative
29B) and relevant FAA safety for a large musical instrument to Procedure Act (5 U.S.C. 553) provides
regulations do not mandate that a carrier provide advance notice to the carrier that when an agency, for good cause,
must allow in their carry-on baggage that the seat is being purchased to finds that notice and public procedure
programs the stowage of a large carry-on transport an instrument and to follow are impractical, unnecessary, or
item on a passenger seat, we do not that carriers policies regarding the contrary to the public interest, the
require in this final rule that those transportation of the musical instrument agency may issue a final rule without
carriers whose programs do not provide in the cabin. Carriers whose carry-on providing notice and an opportunity for
such stowage amend their programs to baggage programs allow such stowage public comment (5 U.S.C. 553(b)(B)).
allow it. should ensure that their reservation The Department has determined that
We do, however, encourage these agents and airport agents are trained to there is good cause to issue this final
carriers to consider modifying their provide appropriate seat assignments to rule without notice and an opportunity
programs to allow the stowage of large the passenger and the instrument to for public comment because such notice
musical instruments at passenger seats, ensure compliance with safety and comment would be unnecessary.
provided that all safety requirements are requirements, and that their crews are This rule implements Section 403 of the
met. Some of the safety requirements trained and have the appropriate FAA Modernization and Reform Act by
have already been incorporated in restraining device for securing the incorporating the statutory language
Section 403 and this final rule, such as instrument to the seat. virtually verbatim and without
the requirement that the instrument With respect to the cost to a passenger interpretation. Since the Department is
must be contained in a case or covered to transport a musical instrument on a exercising no discretion in issuing this
as to avoid injury to other passengers, passenger seat, assuming all of the rule, public comment is unnecessary.
and the requirement that the instrument safety requirements are met, carriers
including the case or covering cannot Regulatory Analyses and Notices
cannot charge the passenger more than
exceed 165 pounds or the applicable the price of a ticket for the additional A. Executive Order 12866 (Regulatory
weight restriction for the aircraft. Other seatfor example, by adding on a fee Planning and Review) and DOT
safety requirements contained in FAA specifically for transporting a musical Regulatory Policies and Procedures
regulations that carriers must follow instrument. However, this does not
when transporting a musical instrument preclude carriers from charging The Department has determined that
at a seat include that the item is standard ancillary service fees. For this action is not a significant regulatory
restrained to the inertia forces in 14 CFR example, to the extent carriers charge a action within the meaning of Executive
25.561; it is properly secured by a safety fee for an advance seat assignment, and Order 12866, and within the meaning of
belt or other tie down having enough the passenger requests advance seat the Department of Transportations
strength to eliminate the possibility of assignments for him or herself and for regulatory policies and procedures. The
shifting under all normally anticipated the instrument, the carrier may charge Department is issuing a final rule to
flight and ground conditions; it does not the advance seat assignment fee for each implement section 403 of the FAA
impose any load on seats or the floor seat assignment. Modernization and Reform Act of 2012
structure that exceeds the load (Pub. L. 11295, 49 U.S.C. 41724)
limitation for those components; its Transporting Large Instruments as regarding the carriage of musical
location does not restrict access to or Checked Baggage instruments as carry-on baggage or
use of any required emergency or As mandated by the Act, this rule checked baggage on commercial
regular exit, or of the aisle in the requires carriers to accept musical passenger flights operated by air
passenger compartment; and its location instruments in the cargo compartment carriers. In this section, we present
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does not obscure any passengers view as checked baggage if those instruments information on current carrier policies
of the seat belt sign, no smoking comply with the size and weight about transporting musical instruments,
sign, or required exit sign, unless an limitations provided in Section 403 and provide data on various categories of
auxiliary sign or other approved means FAAs safety regulations. As Section 403 beneficiaries from the rule, and estimate
for proper notification of the passenger is silent on the charges carriers may the costs to U.S. carriers to modify or
is provided. See 14 CFR 121.285(c) and impose on transporting musical develop instrument policies that comply
14 CFR 135.87(c). Also, when assigning instruments in the cargo compartment, with rule requirements.

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