Double Bass Broken by Southwest Airways Flight


A bass audition for the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra was to be Kaden Henderson’s first orchestral audition in virtually two years as a result of pandemic. 

For the flight to Milwaukee, Wisconsin, from Portland, Oregon, Henderson had his double bass securely strapped inside its smooth case and packed inside a 7/8 David Gage flight trunk. 

As soon as arriving on the Milwaukee airport round 11 PM, Southwest Airways workers introduced that any outsized baggage would take additional time to reach as they solely had one particular person unloading and sending all of it as much as the bags declare space. 


(Picture credit score: Kaden Henderson/Fb)


“As soon as I heard [this announcement], I used to be instantly apprehensive if my instrument can be dealt with correctly,” Henderson instructed The Violin Channel. “As soon as my bass was introduced up I opened up the flight case, as regular, to verify if every thing was okay and located that the bass was nonetheless correctly strapped in from after I repacked it after the TSA inspection in Portland. 

“[But as] I stood the instrument as much as unzip the softcase I instantly knew one thing was improper,” he continued. “Once I put my hand on the heel of the neck to stabilize it I felt the scroll and realized the extent of what had occurred.

“Upon eradicating the smooth case I discovered the neck had been utterly snapped off attributable to what I can solely assume was a large drop of the bass by baggage handlers instantly onto the scroll.”



Henderson has flown solely with Southwest Airways for years and by no means confronted points with how his bass was dealt with by them till now. Upon assessing the harm, he was instructed to submit photographs of the harm to an internet portal so he might be compensated by the airline.

The restore invoice for the extent of the harm quantities to over $12,500, nonetheless, when he acquired the airline’s response, it acknowledged that the utmost they’d cowl is $3,800 in harm to the instrument. 

Whereas his bass is insured and present process skilled restore, the compensation by the airline by no means covers misplaced paid alternatives due to the auditions but in addition ones that would have resulted from them. 

Henderson advises that musicians have their devices insured on flights as a precaution. “I hope transferring ahead that Southwest Airways will do extra to make sure the security of the devices that we entrust them with,” he stated. 

“They should perceive that each instrument is exclusive and isn’t one thing that may simply get replaced or rapidly fastened. Our devices are our livelihood and once we journey, we’re entrusting the airline with not solely our devices, however with our monetary nicely being.”

“I do wish to say that the quantity of people that have reached out and expressed their help throughout this time has been completely unbelievable,” he added. “Folks have reached out to me from each nook of the classical music world to supply up help and comfort and that has actually been probably the most heartwarming factor about this nightmare.”

Henderson performs with the Oregon and Philadelphia Symphony Orchestras. He and his spouse Mariya, additionally a double bassist, play on fashionable American double basses made by Nick Lloyd of Cincinnati, Ohio. 


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