John Kaboff was just trying to make sure his $100,000 cello made it to Chicago safe and sound. He purchased an extra ticket so his instrument could occupy the seat next to him, something the 46-year-old said he’s done frequently before.
Apparently, the crew misidentified his cello as a “bass fiddle,” which is not allowed in the passenger cabins during flights, and furthermore would be a safety issue. According to John, the flight attendants told him it was not “an approved musical instrument for flight travel, since it would actually touch the floor a little bit, since it wasn’t strapped in, it would pose a safety risk.”
John and his cello were removed from the flight, and he pleaded for help on Facebook.
American Airlines released a statement regarding the incident that read:
We’re reviewing the issue internally and apologize to Mr. Kaboff for any inconvenience he experienced today. Mr. Kaboff and his musical instrument were accommodated on the next flight to Chicago, and our customer relations team will be reaching out to him directly.
At the very least, the airline has refunded Kaboff the $150 he spent on the ticket for his cello.