Passenger kicked off flight after buying extra seat for $30,000 cello

A passenger on board an American Airlines flight says she was removed before takeoff because of the size of her cello – even though she had purchased a seat for the instrument, and claims American Airlines assured her husband she would be able to bring it on board.

“I purchased two round trip tickets for her and her cello on Apr.2 on the phone directly from AA and told them specifically that one ticket is for the cello as cabin baggage. I was told it is absolutely allowed and she won't have any problem,” musician Jingjing Hu’s husband Jay Tang wrote on Facebook.

Hu, a music student at DePaul University School of Music in Chicago, had flown to Miami to perform in a music festival.

“When I flew from Chicago to Miami, I didn’t have any trouble with that,” Hu told WMAQ. The flight crew even gave her a special strap to hold the instrument in place. 

The pricey instrument, which Hu says is worth $30,000, made it safely to Miami with her. However, when Hu boarded her return flight to Chicago on Thursday, airline crew members asked her to get off the plane, WBBM reported.