SIA apologises to musicians who were denied boarding with instruments

Singapore Airlines (SIA) has apologised to a group of musicians who missed their flight last weekend because ground staff at Hong Kong airport barred them from boarding the plane with their instruments. -- PHOTO: ST FILE 
Singapore Airlines (SIA) has apologised to a group of musicians who missed their flight last weekend because ground staff at Hong Kong airport barred them from boarding the plane with their instruments. -- PHOTO: ST FILE 

SINGAPORE - Singapore Airlines (SIA) has apologised to a group of musicians who missed their flight last weekend because ground staff at Hong Kong airport barred them from boarding the plane with their instruments.

A review is being conducted to find out what happened and assess how the situation could have been better handled, a spokesman for the carrier told The Straits Times on Tuesday.

The members of Swiss-based ensemble the LGT Young Soloists, who had performed in Singapore and Hong Kong, were scheduled to travel on Flight SQ871 from Hong Kong to Zurich via Singapore on Saturday when the incident occurred.

They had checked in a double bass, booked seats for two cellos and were carrying eight violins and violas as hand baggage - the same thing they had done for their SIA flight when they left Zurich.

But at the airport in Hong Kong on Saturday, SIA insisted that the violins and violas had to be checked in, the group's group's artistic director Alexander Gilman reportedly told The Strad - a monthly magazine for the music industry. In the end, the group flew on German carrier Lufthansa.

SIA regrets the incident and "sincerely apologises for the inconvenience and anxiety caused to the group'' the spokesman said.