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.