Chiara Quartet musician ordered to buy first-class ticket for cello

Posted on: July 6, 2010

In Monday’s (7/5) New York Post, Jeremy Olshan writes, “Musician Greg Beaver was tossed off a United Airlines flight last week after attendants told him that he had to buy a first-class ticket—for his cello. Beaver, 33, a member of the Nebraska-based Chiara String Quartet, said he had already bought a coach ticket for the instrument—which requires its own boarding pass, has a frequent-flier account and has already racked up tens of thousands of miles. But the airline refused to let him board with it when, at the last minute, the gate attendant protested that it wouldn’t fit in the seat. … He was not given the option afforded the obese—to buy two adjacent coach seats—for his instrument. Instead, Beaver, who was traveling from Denver to La Guardia [Airport] with his wife, Julie Yoon, who’s a violinist in the group, and their 11-month-old daughter, said he was told he had three choices: check the cello as baggage, buy the instrument a first-class ticket or take a different flight. … A typical one-way flight from Denver to La Guardia costs $229 coach—or $1,052 first class. … So he let his wife and daughter fly ahead, and he and his cello waited for another flight hours later.”

Posted July 6, 2010