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  • Updated: 7:39am
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Hong Kong Airlines apologises to award-winning artist for damage to guitar

Hong Kong Airlines forced performer René Izquierdo to check his designer instrument in

PUBLISHED : Monday, 23 September, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 23 September, 2013, 5:02pm

Hong Kong Airlines has apologised to an award-winning classical guitarist whose designer instrument was broken after the flight crew insisted he check it in.

René Izquierdo, an international performer who left Hong Kong yesterday after a short visit, said he was forbidden to hand-carry his guitar onto the plane.

According to his friend Chris Wong's posting on Facebook, the guitar - which cost over HK$100,000 - had its headstock broken after the flight arrived in Taiwan.

"René has the experience of performing around the world, and he knew the guitar should be hand-carried," Wong said, adding that the airline had refused to compensate Izquierdo properly for the damage.

A spokeswoman for the airline said that the company was seeking a solution with the passenger and had apologised for the inconvenience it caused.

But she added that it was the general policy for passengers to either check in a heavy musical instrument or to purchase an extra flight ticket for it.

The spokeswoman said the cause of the damage to the guitar was being investigated.

Izquierdo, who has a master's degree from the Yale University school of music, had come to Hong Kong for a performance at Baptist University.

Wong said Izquierdo had only owned the guitar for a month. It was crafted by Spanish master guitar maker Antonio Marin Montero, after he heard one of Izquierdo's performances. Montero reportedly only makes a few instruments each year.

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This article is now closed to comments

celia.linde
That complete ignorance your employees show the handling of our instruments in Hong Kong Airport seem to belong to the absolute worse on earth. Probably because the luggage carrier has to work too hard and too fast in order to make any money at all. Its a shame that your company can go indemnified year after year without reimburse musicians their destroyed instruments. How many do you damage each year? How many cases of complaints do you have laying in your drawer? As well as passenger safety is guaranteed as well his belongings should be. This is why we buy expensive tickets. Why should we buy extra seats when the overheads have plenty of room? The weight of a guitar + case is half the one of all luggages that fill up the over heads. The extra size more a guitar have is not true! It doesn't take any extra place since people can place stuff on top of it and on the sides. By the way I have experienced with you that once I payed an extra seat I where asked to place the guitar in the overhead! It doesn't make sense! Why did I have to buy an extra seat in the first place? I know why because you wanted to make some extra money on me. If I have´nt done that my guitar would have been destroyed the same way as Mr Rene´s . This is not worthy an big Airport and Air Company as in Hong Kong. Its a big shame you owe Mr Rene Izquierdo an apologize and you should definitely change your rules. If there is any honor in you should reimburse him for his damage guitar.
fsk999
I am surprised that this musician did not use a damage-proof case for his guitar and check it in. Surely airlines cannot be expected to have dozens of loose instruments and other valuable artifacts flying around the cabin during flight. How would you like to get clunked on the head by a flying trombone or tripped up by a double bass? I would not expect to be allowed to hand carry my drum kit...
lexishk
I have to agree with this view, also speaking as a musician.
rene.izquierdo
This article in the link below mentioned the airline paid high attention to the incident, and claimed the passenger had reached a satisfying solution with the airline, and that due to privacy, the damage sum has not been disclosed. A huge lie... They just contacted me for an appology and there is nothing on the table on a form of a proposal. Trying to mitigate a problem by lying instead of confronting the issue... Now I will be like a dog with a bone.... Please write something to make hk.yahoo.news.com retract of these false statements.
Rene
****hk.news.yahoo.com/%E5%80%BC10%E8%90%AC%E7%B5%90%E4%BB%96-%E5%AF%84%E8%89%99%E6%96%B7%E8%A3%82%E8%B3%A0240%E5%85%83-224432967.html
markus.hoffmann.925
O man, what a bad company ...
They should think about it ...
here is an Video about the airline united
who broke the guitar of an also well known artist
****www.youtube.com/watch?v=5YGc4zOqozo
United apologises and paid for their mistakes with a shitstorm
jiawang@adb.org
What a nasty airlines!
thierry.beginlamontagne
The problem with Airlines Cies is that they are very well protected so it's almost impossible to have a good refund. This is where it goes wrong : they say the crew managing whatever gets in or out the plane is not affiliated with the Airlines, and blablabla "it's not me, it's him" game. Therefore, I saw recently a Japan Airline creating a metal box where fits the guitar and doesn't get damaged. Which such and expensive instrument, that would be a minimum of respect or service. I know Airlines don't like musicians especially guitarists because the guitar takes the place of such valuable suitcases with towels, and tooth brushes... let me tell you that my Carlton Case entered in any Boeing and had place for any suitcases right where is the neck...as if it was 2 different normal suitcases. And people can put stuff on it.
And buying an extra ticket, seriously? A 1,000$ ticket to get to Europa (or vice-versa). If it was really heavy... ok... but it's not. Musicians don't have that much money for you that are already making millions and more. But of course life goes this way... but I think it would be, just a human consideration, to revise the politics of instruments. How many times I could put my Carlton Case next to me, belted to the seat. How many times I saw a member of the crew "throwing" my guitar upside down in the plane from the ground!!!
I don't feel respected in airports either and so does my guitar, good luck Rene.
maria.i.collazo
Sorry!! Really??? You broke it, you fix it....
jaime.almirallsuarez
HOW COME HONG KONG AIRLINES TREATS MR. RENE IZQUIERDO, THIS INTERNATIONAL ACLAIMED GUITAR MASTER WITH SUCH A DISRESPECT.? HIS INSTRUMENT WAS DESTROYED AND FOR SURE, THIS COMPANY HAS TO AFFORD THE DAMAGE AND PAY FOR THAT NEGLIGENCE...IF DON'T, THIS WOULD BECOME AN INTERNATIONAL AFFAIR AGAINST HONG KONG AIRLINES, SO BE ADVISED, YOU GUYS...!
Jaime Almirall-Suarez.
tom_mcguinness
Letting an airline bust your guitar can lead to excellent publicity. Here how one artist exploited his misfortune: United Breaks Guitars - ****www.youtube.com/watch?v=5YGc4zOqozo

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