Video of Indy trio being turned away from flight goes viral

CHARLOTTE, North Carolina (WISH) — Video of an Indianapolis symphony playing their violins at an airport tarmac is going viral.

It was taken after Time For Three trio says US Airways crew members told them they couldn’t bring their violins on board a flight from Charlotte headed to Fayetteville, Arkansas Monday.

So violinist Zachary De Pue played his instrument while waiting on the captain in hopes of pleading their case.

Du Pue says the US Airways captain said they couldn’t bring the instruments on board with them because it’s against FAA regulations.

It states clearly in FAA Modernization and Reform Act of 2012 that if it fits in the overhead, it’s perfectly fine. Meaning, if the captain did in fact say it was against the FAA regulations, he’s wrong.

Time For Three has been a band for 14 years. They’ve traveled to all 50 states and around the world.

“US Air is not letting us put our violins on an airplane,” band member Nick Kendall said while filming, after being asked to step off the plane and onto the tarmac.

“And they basically said, ‘no, it needs to go under’ and the steward actually produced a slip from that regional airline, PSA which is actually run by US Airways that said no musical instruments,” said De Pue during a Skype interview with 24-Hour News 8.

In their time together, they say this was a first.

“They’re not letting us on the flight. What do we do?” asked Nick.

He thought, maybe professionally playing his $300,000 violin could change their minds.

“And so I play and the captain is the gentleman that’s going up and down the staircase taking his bags on and off, but putting his bags on the plane and ignoring us,” said De Pue.

A US Airways spokesperson says they’re sorry.

“We are. We want to apologize to the musicians for the inconvenience yesterday,” said spokesman Bill McGlashen.

McGlashen couldn’t confirm the story. He did say each crew has a copy of the passed legislation that clearly states:

“A passenger can carry on a violin, guitar or other musical instrument in the aircraft cabin, without charging the passenger a fee in addition to any standard fee that carrier may require for comparable carry-on baggage, if –

  1. The instrument can be stowed safely in a suitable baggage compartment in the aircraft cabin or under a passenger seat, in accordance with the requirements for carriage of carry-on baggage or cargo established by the Administrator; and
  2. There is space for such stowage at the time the passenger boards the aircraft.”

De Pue says they were one of the first to board and with his extensive travels is nearly certain there would have been room in the overhead bin when they were boarding.

McGlashen says he will follow up with the crew when they are finished traveling to try to get to the bottom of what happened.

“We’re trying to follow up with the crew and get their report. So, we’ll have a report from the crew once they complete their flying assignments,” said McGlashen.

De Pue says he’s not sure if US Air will ever contact him directly. He says it’s about much more than just him.

“But, more importantly I just hope that people get better educated and understand that this isn’t just, it’s not about me. It’s about something bigger than the individual. It’s somebody’s voice. It’s somebody’s craft. Pieces of art. And just be sensitive to that,’ said De Pue.

Time For Three says they got some push back on the next flight out, but that they showed the reform act and suddenly the crew figured out a way to make it happen.

They made it to Arkansas Monday night safely with their instruments to perform in the 2014 Artosphere Music Festival in Fayetteville, AR.

For a link to the entire FAA Modernization and Reform Act of 2012 click here.

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