Two more airline instrument failures … mind who you fly.

Two more airline instrument failures … mind who you fly.


norman lebrecht

June 14, 2016

A British violinist who booked her London-Rome ticket on British Airways found that the flight was operated by Vueling, one of the worst offenders towards travelling musicians.

Ordered to put her instrument in the hold, the violinist offered to buy an extra seat and was told she could not. She has requested anonymity.

LESSON 1: When booking BA, make sure the flight is not with a cheap subsidiary or partner airline.

Yura Lee, an international soloist (pictured), was thrown off a United Airlines flight, Washington Dulles to Detroit yesterday. She writes: ‘I bought a first class seat because my violin-viola double case sometimes doesn’t fit overhead (it usually does, but newer ERJ it can be tricky). It didn’t fit overhead this time. However, the first seat economy had a large (space) under the seat, which had bags of the passengers sitting there. I politely asked if they’d be willing to put their bags somewhere else so that my violin and viola doesn’t have to get checked and put in luggage, and I offered them to buy drinks, which they happily complied. While this was happening, the flight attendant (her name is Allison P.) said “you are creating a disturbance, I don’t want you on this flight” and threw me off the flight.

‘I don’t understand how she could do this. I didn’t raise my voice once and just tried to fit my precious instruments somewhere safe, and found a solution. My luggage is now on its way to Detroit without me and I will miss my rehearsals tomorrow. Most of all, I can’t believe what just happened (is this even legal?!).’

LESSON 2: Air crew have limitless powers of ejection. United are particularly awful.

yura lee


  • Allie says:

    And what happened to the security rules that luggage is not permitted on the plane without the owner??

    • MIA Ramp says:

      Positive bag match does not apply to domestic flights. On an International flight an unaccompanied bag must be removed.

  • NYMike says:

    Yura Lee’s performances at Lincoln Center’s Chamber Music Society are scintillating. Sorry she had airline problems.