Musician 'mortified,' kicked off flight after buying seat for cello

Thursday, April 6, 2017
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Musician John Kaboff is one upset passenger.

WASHINGTON -- Musician John Kaboff is one upset passenger.

"I was mortified to have to be removed from a flight, like I just committed a crime," Kaboff told WJLA-TV.

He was kicked off from an American Airlines flight from Reagan National Airport to Chicago.

"Either I could voluntarily leave or I could be removed from the airplane," the musician said.

It was all because of his cello, sitting in a $150 seat that he had paid for.

"Since it would actually touch the floor by a little bit, since it wasn't strapped in, it would pose a safety risk," Kaboff was told.

Kaboff, who says he's flown with American 40 times with his cello in the past three years, says this has happened only once before, 12 years ago.

"The ground personnel and the gate agent said that someone's making an error with this and apologized on behalf of the airline," he says.

Kaboff and his cello were on the next flight.

American says it's reviewing what happened, and is apologizing to Kaboff.

In the future, Kaboff says he wants the airline to make some changes.

"Better flight training for the flight staff," he said. "So that they don't make someone else to through the same experience that I had to endure."