The international period music performer Andrew Arceci has sent us these pictures of his viola da gamba, smashed to bits by United Airlines handlers at Boston-Logan airport.
Andrew tells Slipped Disc:
I often buy a seat for the instrument. I didn’t this time, but I’ve gate-checked with no problem for nearly 10 years, until Friday 26 January, with United Airlines.
I was forced to check the instrument (Italian: viola da gamba; English: viol) at the United Airlines ticket area in Boston-Logan Airport. Two United Airlines employees would not let me walk to security/gate with the instrument. When I arrived in Baltimore, the viol and case were severely damaged.
UPDATE: A friend of Andrew’s adds: Andrew is a father of two young children; this instrument is his livelihood and United has taken it away from him. The customer service team at United Airlines has been horrible. Big companies like this will only listen if we all share this and force them to respond.
PLEASE SHARE! Especially if you have ever found yourself turning to music and art in your own time of need.