World-renowned violinist left stranded after airline refuses to let him onboard with 340-year-old Stradivarius worth €5m!
A world-renowned violinist was left fuming after being stranded in Lithuania when airline staff refused to let him board with his 340-year-old, 5 million euros Stradivarius.
Janusz Wawrowski from Konin in Wielkopolska had just finished performing with the Lithuanian National Symphony Orchestra and was heading home when he was told by ground crew that he could not bring his instrument on board and would have to check it in the cargo hold.
A well-known violinist and lecturer at the Fryderyk Chopin University of Music in Warsaw, Wawrowski has been playing the Stradivarius, which he received from an anonymous patron, since 2018.
The furious musician said: “The ground staff presented me with two options: put the violin in the luggage compartment below deck or stay in Vilnius.
“It seems obvious that a violin almost 340 years old is too valuable to travel in the cargo hold.
“Apparently, not for everyone. They showed no understanding of the value of the violin.
"After the jet had already taken off, the man at the ticket counter told me that I could ask the crew of the next flight leaving in five hours whether I could bring my violin on board.”
He added that since his violin weighs less than 6 kilograms he had been allowed to take it on board hundreds of previous flights.
Wawrowski said: “Despite the fact that I bought an airline ticket for about 2,000 zlotys, I couldn't use it, and due to the situation, I had to arrange my own return home at my own expense.”
The violinist eventually took an uncomfortable 8-hour coach journey from Vilnius to Warsaw.
LOT has now issued an apology, blaming the incident on an inexperienced employee and promising to refund the portion of the trip that was not used.
The airline has promised to take steps to ensure that similar situations do not occur again in the future.