MIAMI — A DePaul University musician was humiliated and kicked off an American Airlines flight despite abiding by guidelines on travelling with her instrument.
In a post on Facebook that has since been shared over 2,000 times, Jay Tang claims that when he got round trip plane tickets for his cellist wife Jingjing Hu last April, he also bought a seat for her $30,000 cello, even confirming with the AA rep that it would not be a problem.
Hu had no trouble on the Chicago to Miami leg of her flight, but trouble started after she'd been verified and pre-boarded on the return flight home.
A flight attendant informed her she had to get off because her cello was too big for the plane. Curiously, once she left, two people promptly came in and took her seats.
By AA's own regulations, oversized instruments are allowed in the cabin with the an additional seat purchase, as long as it's not over 165 pounds.
At the gate, Hu was told the next flight was also too small. She had airport police called on her for "not being understandable" and told she had to pay first or business class tickets to get home.
She was eventually put on a larger aircraft that left the next day, but was anxious the whole time, and broke down in tears after finally reuniting with her husband in Chicago.
American Airlines later sent a message to Tang explaining the fiasco as a miscommunication, but Tang isn't buying it.
He and his wife want a sincere apology from AA, and are hoping other musicians can learn from their misfortune, reports NBC 5.