Musicians Fight Bach When US Airways Refuses Violins in Cabin

By ABC News

May 28, 2014 8:17am

Members of Time for Three, a musical trio, set off a social media storm when two of its members were told they couldn’t take their violins inside the cabin on a US Airways flight from North Carolina to Arkansas.

The musicians were so dismayed at being asked to check their instruments that they staged a musical protest Monday on the tarmac of Charlotte Douglas International Airport. Standing in front of the regional jet that was to have taken them to their destination, Nicolas Kendall took out his phone, while fellow musician Zach De Pue whipped out his violin and played a Bach piece.

In a video shot by Kendall on the tarmac and posted Monday on YouTube, Kendall can be seen trying without success to talk to their flight’s captain, while De Pue continues to play.

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“Bach would be very upset,” De Pue says into the camera.

In the video the flight’s captain walks past the musicians but doesn’t appear to acknowledge them.

In the description for the video, which has been seen more than 100,000 times since it was first posted, Kendall writes that he and De Pue were on their way to meet with their  bassist, Ranaan Meyer, at Artosphere Arts and Nature Festival in Fayetteville.

“We were trying to make a connection in Charlotte, and the captain and crew told us that our violins were not allowed on the flight! They literally left us alone on the tarmac without any direction. Amazing!” he wrote. “Are violins dangerous? It’s hard enough to make it as a classical musician. Cut us some slack, PLEASE!!!”

On the group’s Twitter account, a post reference revised FAA rules that allow musical instruments in the cabin.

According to the FAA Modernization and Reform Act of 2012, an air carrier is required “to permit an air passenger to carry, without charge, a violin, guitar, or other musical instrument on a passenger aircraft if it can be stowed safely in a suitable baggage compartment or under a passenger seat in accordance with FAA requirements for carry-on baggage or cargo.”

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When the musicians aired their frustration to US Airways on Twitter, others chimed in. One poster dubbed the issue “Violingate.”

Added poster Rachel Miller: “@tf3 @USAirways if it turns out that you guys end up sorting this out via twitter, I will laugh, then cry for humanity.”

Zach De Pue and Kendall were eventually booked on another US Airways flight – and they were allowed to take their instruments with them in the cabin.

US Airways apologized “that the musicians were inconvenienced,” it said in a statement to ABC News on Tuesday. “We confirmed seats for them on a later flight and they arrived in Fayetteville last night. We wish them good luck as they perform at the Arts and Nature festival this week.”

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