Airport rage: A cello gets beaten up in Manchester

Airport rage: A cello gets beaten up in Manchester


norman lebrecht

October 11, 2018

From Vashti Minosa Hunter, teacher at RNCM, Hannover and Potsdam:

Warning for musicians travelling through Manchester Airport security terminal 3!!!

Was treated absolutely horrifically yesterday at Manchester airport. After being asked to open my cello case, a man in a foul mood working at security came along without warning and thumped my cello brutally on the body of the instrument for absolutely no reason, other than that he thought there was liquid inside the cello??? It wasn’t just a gentle knock (which is also unacceptable) but a proper thump. This man was an obnoxious pig who I had noticed before my turn, treating an elderly elderly couple really nastily, shouting at them aggressively to open their bags up for inspection. After he did this to the cello I was instantly enraged and screamed at him for about 5 minutes (This is not normal behaviour from me so shows how terrible the situation was!!!!!!!) . Everyone around us was staring in our direction. He never once apologised. His manager finally came along and apologised on his behalf.

The nightmare continues….

I stormed off out of security into the main waiting area and got a coffee to calm down… I was actually feeling pretty proud of myself for having such a go at this villain of a man and hoped (probably naively) that what had happened might somehow change his behaviour towards other people, esp. those with instruments. However….. 30 minutes later, after feeling slightly more calm and collected, I realised I had left my bag with my iPad Pro (hundreds of scores), pedal and DIARY (can’t live without) somewhere. I had absolutely no recollection of what had happened to it since picking it up at security, before opening my cello case. It was all a haze as I was so worked up.

I ran back to security but there was absolutely no sign of it.


  • Sophia says:

    Manchester airport is AWFUL!!!

    They have a special belt for instruments but failed to tell me before I had already put bag in another belt. Meaning my belongings and viola were separated, in what was a really busy time in the security section.

    Stressful to say the least!

    • Graeme Hall says:

      Agree with the awful nature of Manchester airport, and particularly the security process. I’ve also seen elderly passengers treated aggressively, and staff shouting at passengers who clearly have little or no English. The need to carry out proper security does not mean that common courtesy should go out of the window.