American Airlines Tells Musician Traveling With Cello to Leave Plane

Colin Fredericson
By Colin Fredericson
August 5, 2018US News
American Airlines Tells Musician Traveling With Cello to Leave Plane
An American Airlines flight takes off from Miami International Airport on March 28, 2017. (Daniel Slim/AFP/Getty Images)

A husband is upset with American Airlines after his wife, a music student, was allegedly removed from an American Airlines flight because of her cello.

Jay Tang posted his experience of the ordeal on Facebook, along with his communications with the airline. According to the post, music student Jingjing Hu was asked to leave an American Airlines flight traveling from Miami to Chicago with her cello. Tang wrote he purchased a ticket for the cello, so it could remain in the passenger compartment of the plane, over the phone ahead of time. He also wrote that Hu had no issue on the way down to Miami.

Tang wrote that Hu was told to get off the plane when the departure gate was about to close. Flight staff said the plane was too small for the cello. Tang wrote that Hu’s friend, who remained on the flight, said other passengers sat in both seats she had reserved for herself and the cello. Tang suspects that the airline overbooked the flight, and so needed the extra seats.

This is how American Airlines treats musicians! So my wife Jingjing Hu, a DePaul University School of Music student, is…

Posted by Jay Tang on Thursday, August 2, 2018

“You had so many chances to tell me ‘you cannot board’ yesterday,” Hu said to American Airlines via NBC 5. “You never told me until I sat down.”

It turned out that staff said the next flight was also too small. The police were called on Hu this time, with staff claiming Hu was unruly, according to Tang.

Tang wrote that Hu was finally booked on a flight back to Chicago the next day, but that he was given little explanation from American Airlines.

“Unfortunately there was a miscommunication about whether the cello she was traveling with met the requirements to fit onboard the particular aircraft she was flying,” reads part of a statement from American Airlines, obtained by NBC 5.

Tang posted screenshots of his personal communications with the company. The company indicated that the cello couldn’t fit on a 737 aircraft, and that is why she had to wait for a different type of aircraft the following day. Tang responded that they should have been told earlier if this was the case.

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