A Chinese-American was booted of an American Airlines flight reportedly because of her cello.
DePaul University music student Jingjing Hu said she bought a plane ticket for her cello during a trip from Chicago to Miami for a music festival.
On Thursday, she was flying back to her home in Chicago from Miami. American Airlines booted her off the return flight after saying the aircraft could not accommodate the instrument even though she paid for the instrument to have its own ticket.
Hu was suddenly told that her cello was too big for a Boeing 737 just before the plane's doors were about to close.
Hu checked in her luggage, went through security check, and boarded the plane normally. She was also allowed to pre-board and said she had been given a belt by cabin crew to strap the cello in securely. But after securing the instrument, it appeared the airline had changed its mind.
In a post on Facebook that has been shared more than 1,700 times, her husband, Jay Tang posted about his wife’s experience with American Airlines:
American Airlines claims that Boeing 737s are too small for cellos, although, federal regulations allow musicians to carry instruments like cellos in the cabin if passengers purchase an additional seat.
As she was escorted off the plane, her cello allegedly brushed the pilot, which apparently hurt him.
“My wife then took a picture of him and he was doing the victory sign to her and said ‘this is why we need to get her out,” Tang wrote.
Three police officers were called to escort Hu and she was told she would have to upgrade to first class or she couldn’t fly home on American Airlines.
American Airlines claims that Boeing 737s are too small for cellos. Hu was booked onto a flight out of Miami the next day on a larger aircraft but she was worried that she would be kicked off the plane again.
American Airlines said there was a “miscommunication” with Hu about whether or not the cello would fit on board the aircraft. Officials apologized for the misunderstanding and said “customer relations will be reaching out to her.”
This isn’t the first time such an incident has happened.
Last year an American Airlines passenger was booted from a flight because the airline said his cello posed a security risk. The airline later said that was an error and apologised.
Thumbnail/Banner Credits: Reuters