Alexander Gilman, artistic director of Swiss-based LGT Young Soloists tells us his orchestra is stranded in Hong Kong, refused boarding by a customer-unfriendly airline.
The LGT Young Soloists, a youth orchestra with young musicians had a tournee of 5 concerts in Asia. We arrived with Singapore Airlines to Hong Kong and were supposed to fly out today from Hong Kong back via Singapore to Zurich. They did not let us on the plane because they wanted us to check our instruments even though the cellos had extra seats booked by us. They wanted to force us to check violins with the suitcases.
I told them we had Stradivaris and extremely expensive violins. Their answer was they don’t care, it is our policy. We are stuck here in the evening now with young kids and don’t know what to do.
The pilot refused to come out and talk to us. The crew was laughing at us and telling us we can only come in if we check in 8 violins and 2 violas. The contrabass were already checked in and the two cellos had seats booked.
They did not let us on board only because of violins and violas, even though we told them that we are speaking about Millions of Euros that will be destroyed. Their answer was they don’t care and that this is Singapore Airlines Policy.
Additionally, they checked in the two cellos before and separated the minor kids who own them for two hours from us. They did not let the two girls join us for two hours. These two girls did not know what happened for two hours until the crew decided to let them and the luggage out. The two girls were panicking and scared, sitting outside in the airport not knowing what happened until we found them.
Now they are taking pictures of our instruments to send it to Lufthansa to check with them if the size is ok to be checked in.
And the outcome? Click here.