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Colbert Investigates The Case Of The Professional Cellist Who Was Kicked Out Of The Delta Skymiles Program

By / 07.16.13

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I’d forgotten that the Daily Show and the Colbert Report were returning last night until I went in my DVR this morning as saw new episode of both in there waiting for me. Josh already highlighted the Daily Show‘s return with a post on its Florida bashing last night, and when I finally got around to watching Colbert while eating lunch I discovered a delightful little segment featuring professional cellist Lynn Harrell. Harrell made headlines last year when he was kicked out of Delta’s Skymiles program for using his cello to rack up Skymiles.

Harrell’s blog describes him as “a 67 year old solo cellist who has been touring the world for the last 40 years playing almost everywhere of note in the classical music scene alongside many of the greatest musicians.”

In a post on his blog, LynnHarrell.com, Harrell writes:

“One of the realities of a career as a cello soloist is lots of flying and since trusting airlines with a multi-million dollar instrument as checked baggage is enough to trigger a fight-or-flight response, cellists have to suck it up and simply buy a second ticket for the instrument. After all, it’s not as though you can simply borrow the local Stradivari or Montagnana! Over the course of my entire career, I’ve been building miles under the cello’s account and in turn, those miles help reduce the costs of flights for the cello in future trips.

All of this helps keep my fees under control and ultimately passes along lower ticket prices to those buying concert tickets.”

In an email to ABC News, Harrell said, ”I’m deeply distressed that not only my cello was penalized but they decided to penalize me as well. It feels somewhat like guilt by association.”

Here’s the letter Delta sent him last year…

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And here’s Colbert’s hilarious report on the incident…


TAGSdelta airlineslynn harrell

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