So you’re a musician who regularly flies with your violin as carry-on luggage, and then one day you go to board a US Airways flight only to be told you have to either stow your instrument in the cargo hold where it could be lost, stolen, damaged or you can forfeit your tickets. What’s left to do but play a tune right then and there on the tarmac.
That’s what happened to 2/3 of Indianapolis-area band Time for Three, who tell IndyStar.com that they were given that no-win choice when trying to fly from Charlotte, NC, to Fayetteville, AR, for a show.
“We were making our connection on U.S. Airways… when we were stopped as we entered the plane by the captain and his stewards,” recalls band-member Nicholas Kendall, who caught the awkward post-incident scene in the above video.
While trying to get someone to discuss their plight, Kendall’s bandmate Zach De Pue decided to pull out his violin and start playing right there at the foot of the steps up to the plane.
Kendall attempts to get a crew member’s attention during the scene, but the crew member gives him the cold shoulder.
He says they were standing out on the tarmac for around 10 minutes before a complaint resolutions officer finally came to speak to them.
“There was no getting around it. We could either put the violins under the plane, or forfeit the flight,” Kendall told IndyStar. “We decided to forfeit the flight.”
As the Star points out, the FAA Modernization and Reform Act states that
“An air carrier providing air transportation shall permit a passenger to carry a violin, guitar, or other musical instrument in the aircraft cabin, without charging the passenger a fee in addition to any standard fee that carrier may require for comparable carry- on baggage, if — (A) the instrument can be stowed safely in a suitable baggage compartment in the aircraft cabin or under a passenger seat, in accordance with the requirements for carriage of carry-on baggage or cargo established by the Administrator; and (B) there is space for such stowage at the time the passenger boards the aircraft.”