This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.
Abiding by all the guidelines didn’t help a professional musician from Chicago when American Airlines kicked her off a flight from Miami because she was carrying a cello.
Jingjing Hu, a DePaul University music student, was returning home on Thursday from a Florida music festival when she was asked to leave her seat on Flight 2457 from Miami (MIA) to Chicago (ORD). She’d already bought a separate ticket for her large stringed instrument and called ahead and been told she wouldn’t have any problems traveling with it on board, her husband, Jay Tang, said on Facebook. She’d even made the flight down to Miami (on a Boeing 757) with no issues.
But just before the the plane was about to close its door, flight attendants told her she had to get off the plane because her $30,000 cello was too big for the plane, a 737.
Hu got off the plane, assured she’d be able to catch the next flight to Chicago an hour later. But airline agents at MIA told her she’d need to buy a business- or first-class ticket to travel back to Chicago — or find another airline.
“I don’t think we did anything wrong here and I think the way they handled it was humiliating,” Tang told NBC 5 in Chicago.
American eventually flew Hu back to Chicago the next morning, but she said the experience was frustrating and painful.
“You had so many chances to tell me ‘you cannot board’ yesterday,” she said. “You never told me until I sat down.”
AA spokeswoman Sunny Rodriguez said the incident was the result of a misunderstanding.
“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, a Boeing 737,” she said in an email. “We rebooked our passenger on a flight the next morning on a larger aircraft, a Boeing 767. We provided her a hotel and meal accommodations for the inconvenience. We apologize for the misunderstanding, and customer relations has reached out to her.”
Musicians are famously protective of their valuable instruments, and are known to take extreme precautions when flying with them. Experts recommend various methods for getting fragile items, like musical instruments or sports equipment, safely to your destination.
Featured image courtesy of Dejan Krsmanovic via Flickr and used under Creative Commons license.
The American Express Platinum card has some of the best perks out there: cardholders enjoy the best domestic lounge access (Delta SkyClubs, Centurion Lounges, and Priority Pass), a $200 annual airline fee credit as well as up to $200 in Uber credits, and mid-tier elite status at SPG, Marriott, and Hilton. Combined with the 60,000 point welcome offer -- worth $1,140 based on TPG's valuations -- this card is a no-brainer for frequent travelers. Here are 5 reasons you should consider this card, as well as how you can figure out if the $550 annual fee makes sense for you.
- Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you use your new Card to make $5,000 in purchases in your first 3 months.
- Enjoy Uber VIP status and free rides in the U.S. up to $15 each month, plus a bonus $20 in December. That can be up to $200 in annual Uber savings.
- 5X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel.
- 5X Membership Rewards points on prepaid hotels booked on amextravel.com.
- Enjoy access to the Global Lounge Collection, the only credit card airport lounge access program that includes proprietary lounge locations around the world.
- Receive complimentary benefits with an average total value of $550 with Fine Hotels & Resorts. Learn More.
- $200 Airline Fee Credit, up to $200 per calendar year in baggage fees and more at one qualifying airline.
- Get up to $100 in statement credits annually for purchases at Saks Fifth Avenue on your Platinum Card®. Enrollment required.
- $550 annual fee.
- Terms Apply.
- See Rates & Fees