Youth orchestra, the LGT Young Soloists, were told by airline staff that policy prohibits violins and violas as carry-on baggage


Singapore Airlines has apologised to Swiss ensemble, the LGT Young Soloists, for refusing entry to a flight from Hong Kong International Airport with their instruments.

The youth orchestra had made its outward journeys to Singapore and Hong Kong on the carrier without incident – checking a double bass into the hold, booking seats for two cellos and carrying eight violins and violas as hand baggage.

However, as the musicians attempted to board their return flight in Hong Kong, they were told by staff that the valuable violins and violas must be checked into the hold as this was Singapore Airlines policy, artistic director Alexander Gilman told The Strad. After several hours of discussion and confusion, the group was finally able to board an alternative flight with Lufthansa.

Singapore Airlines is now conducting a review into the incident and how it might better have been resolved. SIA ‘sincerely apologises for the inconvenience and anxiety caused to the group,’ a spokesman told The Straits Times.

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