Apparently America West Airlines has a policy against carrying guitars and basses in gig bags onto the plane as overhead baggage. This is the first I have ever heard of an airline having a policy against it. I had to fly to Phoenix from Orlando on Thursday morning. As I boarded the plane, this rude jerk flight attendant named Dave told me and our guitarist we weren't allowed to bring guitars onboard. I argued with him for a few minutes about it, then decided he was never going to let me go on with it and was going to call security, so I let him have it and put it in baggage. And then I let him have it about his attitude, which sucked. By the way, the whole flight attendant crew from flight 27 going from Orlando to Phoenix on June 18 were the absolute worst and most uncooperative flight crew I've ever seen. But I digress. The point is that they told me that America West has a policy against allowing guitars and basses in gig bags as carry-ons, even though they easily fit in the overhead bins. I called America West and talked to someone who didn't know if there was a policy, then talked to someone in Phoenix who worked in the baggage office who said they did have that policy. I have had trouble in the past with certain planes and flight crews who try to stop me from bringing my bass, but I have never heard of an airline that has an actual policy against it. Usually, you explain to the crew that it fits in all but the smallest of overhead bins or ask if you can stick it in a closet and they accomodate you. And if they absolutely have to put it in baggage, they have always been very good about how they handle them, unless you're needlessly a jerk about it. But this plane was large and had plenty of room in the overheads. To be fair, the flight crew in Phoenix back to Orlando were very nice and didn't try to stop me. But since people in two cities told me they have a policy against guitars, then that is just wrong. I know some of you aren't affected by this but some of us have to travel with our guitars and gig bags in the overhead is the accepted way to travel in planes with them. Everybody who doesn't want a hernia from lugging a flight case around does it. I know maybe 3 or 4 working musicians who use flight cases. The rest use gig bags. And when an airline refuses to let you do it, they not only threaten the safety of your bass but they can jeopardize your gig and cost you a fortune in the process. So even if it doesn't affect you, please go to http://www.americawest.com/contact/ps_email.asp and send them an email telling them to revise their policy against allowing guitars and basses in soft bags as carry-on baggage. Thank you!