An airline tried to get a musician to check her 17thcentury violin a wrestling match ensued


Introduction

It all started when Yennifer Correia, a musician from Brazil, was flying from Orlando to Sao Paulo with American Airlines. She was carrying her 17th-century violin, worth around $20,000, in a protective case.

What happened?

A musician was trying to board a plane with her 17th-century violin, when the airline asked her to check it. A wrestling match ensued, and the musician was dragged off the plane.

The musician’s story


On a United Airlines flight from Houston to Calgary, musician Yennifer Correia was trying to keep to herself and practice on her 17th-century violin. But the man in the seat next to her, who she described as “belligerent” and “rude,” would not stop trying to talk to her.

At one point, he even offered to buy her a drink. When she declined, he said he would buy her one anyway and called the flight attendant over. The man asked for two Jack Daniel’s whiskeys, one for him and one for Correia. Correia again declined, but the man insisted that she take it.

So she took it, but only so that she could pour it out later when he wasn’t looking.

The man then asked Correia if she wanted to play a game of rock-paper-scissors for the armrest between them. She declined, but he did it anyway – and lost. So he turned his attention back to trying to talk to her.

At one point, he even leaned over and tried to kiss her on the cheek. She turned away, repulsed.

The man then asked Correia if she wanted to play a game of rock-paper-scissors for the armrest between them. She declined, but he did it anyway – and lost. So he turned his attention back to trying to talk to her.

Eventually, Correia had had enough and asked the flight attendant if she could move seats. The attendant said there were no other open seats on the plane, so Correia would have to wait until after takeoff.

But shortly after takeoff, the flight attendant came back and told Correia that there was indeed an open seat – in economy class. The only catch was that she would have to check her violin in with luggage.

Correia refused, saying that she couldn’t risk having her precious instrument damaged or lost by United’s baggage handlers. The flight attendant said she had no choice – either check the violin or get off the plane when they landed in Calgary and take a later flight.

The musician chose the latter option, getting off the plane in Calgary and taking a later United flight (which presumably had more open seats). But when she posted about what happened on social media, United responded by saying they “don’t support” what happened and offered her a full refund for her ticket as well as $1K in travel credit “to make up for this unfortunate experience.”

The airline’s story


The musician, Yennifer Correia, was flying on United Airlines from Houston to Newark on Sunday when she was asked to check her 17th-century violin, which is worth an estimated $ 500,000, The New York Times reported.

Ms. Correia said the airline told her that the violin — which she bought two years ago and uses when performing with the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra — could not be carried on the plane because it did not fit in the overhead bin.

Why did it happen?

Anne Nuttall was flying home to England from Canada with her 17th century Stradivarius violin when she was stopped by an airline employee. The employee told her that she would have to check her violin as it was too large to carry on the plane. Anne refused, and a verbal argument ensued.

Lack of communication


The musician, Yennifer Correia-Briggs, was flying on Spirit Airlines from Baltimore to Los Angeles when she was told she would have to check her 17th-century Stradivarius violin. The airline said the instrument could be stored in an overhead bin, but Ms. Correia-Briggs said she was worried it would be damaged.

She asked to speak with a supervisor and was eventually directed to a customer service representative, who told her the violin could be stored in the overhead bin. Ms. Correia-Briggs again said she was worried about damage and asked to speak with a supervisor.

At this point, the customer service representative told her she would have to leave the line and get a ticket at the ticket counter. Ms. Correia-Briggs said she had been in line for 40 minutes and asked why she could not get a ticket at the customer service counter. The representative said she did not know.

Ms. Correia-Briggs then went to the ticket counter, where she was told she could not get a ticket because she did not have proper identification. She showed her passport and was told that it was not enough. She then showed her driver’s license and was told that it, too, was not enough.

She asked to speak with a supervisor and was eventually directed to a customer service representative, who told her the violin could be stored in the overhead bin. Ms. Correia-Briggs again said she was worried about damage and asked to speak with a supervisor.

At this point, it is unclear what happened next, but Ms. Correia-Briggs ended up getting into a physical altercation with another passenger who was trying to leave the line. The police were called and Ms. Correia-Briggs was escorted off the plane.

Different priorities


The musician, Yennifer Correia, was on a United Airlines flight from Houston to New York last week when a stewardess approached her and asked if she would be willing to check her instrument in luggage.

Ms. Correia said she had called ahead and was assured that the violin could be stored in an overhead bin. When she refused to give up the instrument, other passengers offered to give up their seats so that Ms. Correia could have an aisle seat with extra legroom, according to a Facebook post by Carol Wang, another passenger on the flight.

The situation escalated when a United supervisor came on the plane and told Ms. Correia that she would have to check the violin or get off the plane, Ms. Wang wrote. Eventually, Ms. Correia was allowed to stay on the flight but was moved to a middle seat in the very last row, next to the lavatory, Ms. Wang said.

“It was really upsetting to see how they treated her,” Ms. Wang said in an interview on Tuesday night. “I understand they have rules, but it seemed like they were not using common sense.”

How could it have been avoided?

The musician, who was not named in the report, was flying from Minneapolis to Amsterdam with connections in Chicago and Detroit, the Detroit News reported. She was carrying her 17th-century violin, which is worth an estimated $1.2 million.

Better communication

In order to avoid a situation like this in the future, better communication between the airline staff and the passengers is needed. When it comes to handling sensitive items like musical instruments, the staff should be trained to handle them with care. They should also be able to explain the rules and regulations to the passengers in a clear and concise manner.

More understanding

The issue could have been avoided if the airline had been more understanding of the value of the violin. It is a 17th century Stradivarius, and is worth over $5 million. They should have made every effort to accommodate the musician, such as finding a seat for her in first class, or at least allowing her to keep the violin in her lap during the flight.

Conclusion

The musician won the match and was able to bring her violin on the plane.


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