Ayaan Ali’s sarod mishandled by Jet Airways staff at Pune airport

Sushant Ranjan & Debarati Palit Singh
Saturday, 21 April 2018

Ayaan Ali tweeted, ‘Very sad to see my Sarod in this state at the Pune airport even after making it clear to Jet Airways staff that it’s a fragile item. They still placed it upside down’. A few hours later, he deleted the tweet.

PUNE: Sarod player Ayaan Ali Bangash was upset during his journey from Pune to Delhi on a Jet Airways flight on Friday, as his musical instrument was placed upside down along with other baggage during loading. 

Jet Airways flight JW 366 from Pune to Delhi was scheduled to depart at 11.12 am and was supposed to arrive at the Delhi airport at 1.53 pm. The flight was delayed by 28 minutes. 

Ayaan had a window-side seat in the business class from where he saw his Sarod was placed upside down on a baggage-loading trolley. 

He tweeted, ‘Very sad to see my Sarod in this state at the Pune airport even after making it clear to Jet Airways staff that it’s a fragile item. They still placed it upside down’. A few hours later, he deleted the tweet. 

Ayaan Ali Bangash was in Pune on Thursday, along with his father Ustad Amjad Ali Khan. The Sarod maestro, along with Pandit Shivkumar Sharma (Santoor maestro) and Pandit Hariprasad Chaurasia (flute maestro) presented the Kirana Gharana vocalist, Padma Vibhushan Dr Prabha Atre, with the 30th Punyabhushan award instituted by the Punyabhushan Foundation (Tridal, Pune) at Balgandharva Rangmandir. 

Ayaan told Sakal Times that after attending the event on Thursday, he took the morning flight to Delhi. “I had clearly stated, as always at the check-in counter, that my Sarod is a fragile item and needs special handling. As I boarded the flight, I happened to see my sarod being taken in a regular manner on top of suitcases, that too, upside down. It was sad,” he said. 

He added, “I hope and pray that we have special rules for handling musical instruments that are so precious and are a part of our cultural legacy. It is very sad to see the Sarod being kept as baggage. Most airlines, including Jet Airways, are usually very compassionate towards our request for taking care in handling instruments but I hope that I don’t see any instrument kept in this manner like today ever again,” added the sarod player. 

When asked if he has got a written apology from Jet Airways, the sarod player said they have retweeted an apology. The note read: ‘Ayaan, we are very concerned to note this. Be assured that we are currently reviewing it with our ground services team and will get back to you on priority.’ 

Despite several attempts to contact Jet Airways officials, Sakal Times did not receive any response 
from them. 

PAST INCIDENTS
- In 2011, a similar incident happened when Ayaan Ali and his brother Amaan Ali were returning from Amritsar to Mumbai. Amaan Ali’s Sarod got damaged after a Jet Airways staffer flung it on the conveyor belt, despite the musician requesting the airline minutes earlier to handle the musical instrument with care.
- In 2009, Ustad Amjad Ali Khan’s Sarod was damaged during an Air India flight.

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