Ice Seguerra has appealed to Philippine Airlines (PAL) regarding its policy banning musical instruments as carry-on baggage.
Seguerra is calling on PAL to open a dialogue to revisit the baggage policy on carry-on musical instruments. Currently, PAL does not allow musical instruments, except for ukuleles, on board airplanes as carry-on baggage.
Previously, orchestral conductor Gerard Salonga inquired about the policy through a Facebook post and the airline responded that the ban on musical instrucments is due to limited overhead space and for passenger safety. PAL is requiring an instrument to have its own plane seat for it to be brought on board.
The singer-songwriter Seguerra emphasized on the importance of musical instruments to musicians’ livelihoods and the utmost care they give them. He recounted stories of bad experiences with PAL’s handling of his guitar as check-in baggage.
In one incident, he was in flight to Cebu but when it landed, he found out that his guitar was in another flight bound to Davao. Thankfully, the guitar arrived just in time for his performance. He also mentioned that his guitar’s hard case got cracked several times while fellow musicians have told him that they have experience getting their guitars broken.
According to Seguerra, what adds up to musicians’ unease is the waiver that they need to sign saying that the airline is not accountable if anything happens to the luggage. When he tried to refuse signing it, the airline would not allow the instrument to be loaded to the plane.
He argued “Sumasakay po kami sa PAL because iba pa rin ang serbisyo ninyo (We ride PAL because of your service). Except for this. And I honestly don’t understand your reasons. For safety? Sa liit ng cabin, ang hirap iwasiwas ng gitara. Space? Kasya po yung mga gitara namin sa overhead o kaya sa coat rack. Lalo na yung mga violin. (For safety? With how small the cabin is, it is hard to swing a guitar around. Space? Our guitars fit in the overhead cabin or in the coat rack. Especially violins.)”