CHICAGO: A violinist accused United Airlines of rough treatment after she refused to check her fragile 18th century instrument as luggage, another potential black mark to the US carrier after an infamous passenger dragging incident.
Yennifer Correia was traveling Sunday from Houston, Texas to a music rehearsal in Columbia, Missouri, when ticket agents told her that she could not carry her circa late-1700s Italian violin onboard the plane, Correia´s attorney Phil MacNaughton told AFP on Wednesday.
The 33-year-old Venezuelan-born musician offered to pay any fees and asked for options that would allow her to travel with her violin, but a United supervisor tried to wrestle away the instrument leading to a brief tussle, MacNaughton said.
“There´s an unspoken rule in the professional musician world: never let an airline stow your instrument,” the Houston-based attorney said, pointing to a US aviation regulation that requires airlines to accommodate small musical instruments as carry-ons onboard flights.
United Airlines did not return a request for comment.
The allegations threatened the carrier´s attempts to recover from a public relations fiasco in April, in which a 69-year-old doctor was dragged off an overbooked flight.