Video: violinist plays Bach on runway to protest flight ban

27 May 2014, 11:05 | Updated: 30 September 2014, 14:15

Two violinists used Bach's music as a non-violent protest on the tarmac after their instruments were not allowed on to a US Airways flight.

This video contains strong language

A frustrated musician from the classically trained trio Time For Three gave a performance of Bach on a runway in front of a plane after an airline refused to allow the group to carry their instruments on board. The musicians have uploaded their protest song – a version of a Bach violin partita, performed perhaps for the first time with a jet engine accompaniment – to YouTube.

Two members of the group, Nicolas Kendall and Zach De Pue, said they were on their way to meet up with double bassist Ranaan Meyer ahead of a performance at the Artosphere Arts and Nature Festival in Fayetteville, Arkansas, but were left on the runway in North Carolina after US Airways refused to let them board with their violins. 

As Kendall attempted to ask the captain for advice, fellow musician De Pue performed the Prelude to Bach's Partita No. 3 in E Major on the tarmac, breaking off only to exclaim: "Bach would be very upset!"

Classic FM's tips for carrying instruments on planes

Kendall, posting the video on YouTube, explained: "We were trying to make a connection in Charlotte, and the captain and crew told us that our violins were not allowed on the flight! They literally left us alone on the tarmac without any direction.

"Amazing! Are violins dangerous? It's hard enough to make it as a classical musician. Cut us some slack, PLEASE!!!"

US Airways' baggage policy states musical instruments are considered a fragile item, which will be accepted as checked baggage if they are appropriately packaged. Instruments are also permitted to be carried on the plane if they can be safely stowed, and are no bigger than 190cm (length + width + height).

Classic FM has reached out to US Airways for comment.