Two musicians making a connecting flight in Charlotte, North Carolina, to Fayetteville, Arkansas, over the weekend say that US Airways wouldn’t let them board the plane with their instruments.
Violinists Nicolas Kendall and Zach De Pue were on their way to meet the bassist in their band, Time for Three, and play at the Artosphere Arts and Nature Festival.
“We were trying to make a connection in Charlotte, and the captain and crew told us that our violins were not allowed on the flight!” Kendall said on YouTube. “They literally left us alone on the tarmac without any direction. Amazing! Are violins dangerous? It’s hard enough to make it as a classical musician.”
In response, De Pue pulled out his bow and began playing on the tarmac while Kendall recorded and tried to ask the plane’s crew for an explanation. Less than 20 seconds into the video, a crew member pulled a curtain at the plane’s door.
“Bach would be very upset,” De Pue said, finishing the song.
Kendall asked how many other fellow violinists had experienced such an issue.
Watch the incident play out (content warning: some strong language):
Later, on the band’s Twitter feed, the pair explained that a flight attendant had told them their instruments had to be checked.
US Airways’ website states that instruments can be carried on or checked. If brought as a carry-on, the instrument must pass through a TSA screening and is subject to airline rules of only allowing one carry-on and one personal item.
They later said on Twitter that an agent booked them on another flight to Arkansas and that the “violins are safe.”
A US Airways spokesman told TheBlaze Tuesday that the plane was a smaller regional jet and that its crew was following policy and made a judgement call based on carry-on size allowances.
When they couldn’t reach an agreement with musicians, it was decided to book them on a later flight — though the musicians noted on Twitter that they felt the plane was the same size as the previous one.
The spokesman said that the airline apologizes for the inconvenience, but wishes the band “good playing and good luck” at the festival.
Kendall did not return TheBlaze’s request for comment.