Government fails to issue rules on musical instruments

By: Joan Lowy (AP)
By: Joan Lowy (AP)

WASHINGTON (AP) — Federal regulators are striking a sour note with musicians and their congressional supporters.

Two years ago, Congress directed the Transportation Department to write rules requiring airlines to accommodate musicians traveling with their instruments by storing the instruments in closets and overhead bins where they fit. Travelers would be allowed to buy seats for larger instruments weighing less than 165 pounds.

Musicians have long complained that airlines damage or lose instruments, or force travelers to check them as baggage.

The rules are due Friday, but transportation officials haven't even started work on them. Transportation spokeswoman Meghan Keck says the department doesn't have enough money to do the work necessary to write the regulations.

More than 30 lawmakers signed a letter this week to Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx complaining about the delay.

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