The violin was made in 1728 by the then 84-year-old Antonio Stradivari. It is named the “Artot” Stradivarius for once belonging to Alexandre Artot, a Belgian concert violinist who passed away at only 30 years of age.
“Awful boarding process today with Delta for flight 5720 from LGA to MCI,” tweeted Christina Bouey, concertmaster of the Cayuga Chamber Orchestra and founding member of the Ulysses String Quartet.
“I was traveling with a rare Stradivarius violin,” she continued. “And the gate attendants said if there was no room I had to gate check a 6 million dollar instrument or get rebooked on a later flight.”
“I was able to get it on the plane because the flight attendant was nice,” she continued. “But Delta, I urge you to include instruments as a part of your pre-boarding policy just like AirCanada. Musicians have had a tough year as it is.”
Bouey is one of the countless artists to have this kind of experience with an airline. In mid-August, United Airlines tried to prevent Frankfurt Radio Symphony violinist Rachelle Hunt from traveling with her violin, asking her to check it in despite federal law.
Airlines such as EasyJet changed their policies this year to allow instruments aboard as carry-ons — previously this couldn’t be done without the purchase of an additional seat.
Hopefully, it is only a matter of time for other airlines to follow suit.