No airline wants to be like United which breaks guitars forcing valuable instruments into checked baggage. We still remember that incident 8 years later. Memo to airlines, musicians write songs, and songs go viral.
Cello school founder John Kaboff bought an extra seat for his $100,000 cello onboard American Airlines flight AA153 from Washington National to Chicago O’Hare on Tuesday.
Here’s the story he told on Facebook,
Unfortunately a flight attendant who makes the decision for the safety of an entire airplane has decided that the Cello touching the floor in the bulkhead is on safe. This is where the Cello is supposed to sit. According to the American Airlines flight manual
Kaboff wasn’t permitted to fly, he says, because flight attendants dubbed the cello a ‘safety risk’ because “it could not be strapped into the extra seat and it was touching the floor.”
He was accommodated on the next flight to Chicago with a separate seat for his cello and received a refund for the $150 he spent on the second seat.
He told his story via Facebook live as well.
Last year American’s joint venture partner British Airways refused transportation to a cello because it lacked an ESTA (visa waiver authorization) to travel to the U.S.
Delta has an explicit rule against cellos having a SkyMiles account. I defended this practice on the Colbert Report in a segment that never gets old, largely because of the brilliance of taking the story of an airline and a world-famous cellist and turning it into a commentary on same sex marriage.