Now is the right time to become an American Federation of Musicians member. From ragtime to rap, from the early phonograph to today's digital recordings, the AFM has been there for its members. And now there are more benefits available to AFM members than ever before, including a multi-million dollar pension fund, excellent contract protection, instrument and travelers insurance, work referral programs and access to licensed booking agents to keep you working.
As an AFM member, you are part of a membership of more than 80,000 musicians. Experience has proven that collective activity on behalf of individuals with similar interests is the most effective way to achieve a goal. The AFM can negotiate agreements and administer contracts, procure valuable benefits and achieve legislative goals. A single musician has no such power.
The AFM has a proud history of managing change rather than being victimized by it. We find strength in adversity, and when the going gets tough, we get creative - all on your behalf.
Like the industry, the AFM is also changing and evolving, and its policies and programs will move in new directions dictated by its members. As a member, you will determine these directions through your interest and involvement. Your membership card will be your key to participation in governing your union, keeping it responsive to your needs and enabling it to serve you better. To become a member now, visit www.afm.org/join.
March 2, 2023IM -
The AFM spent more than a decade trying to clarify and improve the ability of musicians to fly with instruments as carry-on baggage. These efforts resulted in the FAA Modernization and Reform Act of 2012, which was implemented in 2015. The law states that if the instrument fits in the airline luggage bins and the owner boards early enough to have available space in the bins, a musician cannot be made to check their instrument.
TSA’s recent announcement that new security scanners in airports are smaller than previous scanners has caused some confusion and concern for musicians. The thought of having to check all bags that don’t fit in the new machines hit a nerve among traveling AFM members. There have been some poorly worded descriptions and/or misinformation spread about this announcement.
Dave Pomeroy, AFM Executive Board member and Local 257 (Nashville, TN) president, contacted the TSA for clarification. They have verified that the language or meaning of the law regarding musical instruments has not changed. However, the new machines’ smaller entry size (24.5”W x 16.5”H) does mean that some instruments that fit in the airplane luggage bins and the previous scanners may not fit in the new scanning machines, or more specifically, do not fit in the trays that are used with the new machines. TSA personnel will now have to individually inspect instruments that don’t fit at the security checkpoint. Pomeroy was told that in the (hopefully) near future, additional scanners will be provided that will speed up the scanning process for individual instruments that do not fit in the new machines.
As always, it’s important that you check the overhead capacity of each plane on which you will travel beforehand to ensure your instrument will fit. If you have concerns about whether your instrument will fit in the new machines, you should plan for extra time at security and arrive at least 30 minutes earlier than normal. If possible, try to get priority boarding and board early, when overhead compartments are less full. Additional travel tips are available in our Travel Kit on the AFM.org website.