SPRING, Texas – Dillon Jefferies has played the tuba since he was 10 years old. He got a full ride to Baylor University for his talents.
Today, he’s studying towards his masters degree at a top music school in New York City, also on a full scholarship. He usually flies Southwest Airlines when he comes home to Houston with both tubas strapped in the seats near him.
Seats he bought and paid for.
But this time he says, the airline said “no.”
“The flight attendant went into cockpit came back out and told me that I needed to check them. I begged them and I pleaded I said, ‘Please don’t do this, this is my livelihood, if you do this they will be destroyed,’” Jefferies said.
And destroyed they were.
The damage to both tubas sustained in the belly of the plane, almost $30,000, according to an appraisal by H&H Music.
Even with repairs they say the tubas will never sound the same.
”This was a horrible thing to happen to someone and I feel like they should do the right thing to pay to replace his tubas,” said Dillon’s mom, Terri Jefferies.
Dillon said he immediately filed a claim with the airline and more than a month later Southwest Airlines responded in a letter saying they would pay $3,500 to help replace the tubas.
Dillon is now home taking online classes and without a tuba, which has been extremely difficult.
”Please just replace these horns so I can have my life back and go back to normal,” he said.
Southwest Airlines did issue this apology in the response letter to Dillon.
“Please except our apologies for the inconvenience and frustration this incident has caused you are a valued customer and we look forward to seeing you on board Southwest airlines again in the near future.”
We reached out to Southwest Airlines Tuesday for comment, they tell us they are “looking into it.”
There is a GoFundMe page set up to help Dillon. Click here to help: Help Dillon Replace Damaged Tubas from Flight organized by Terri Jefferies