By Kim Kwang-tae
SEOUL, Aug. 9 (Yonhap) -- A renowned U.S. guitarist has offered an apology to Korean Air Lines Co. on Thursday for his false accusation that the carrier damaged his guitar.
Steve Vai said in a message posted on Facebook that the broken neck of his guitar was discovered at a rock festival in South Korea. The music event came before the guitarist took the Korean Air flight.
Korean Air "was not the airline that damaged my guitar," Vai said. "My apologies to Korean Airlines for this misinformation."
He said the largest South Korean carrier was kind enough "to let us carry our guitars onto the plane in the gig bags and even gave us a break on the shipping fees for all this stuff."
Korean Air said it had no immediate comment.
His apology came just days after South Korean media questioned his claims that the neck of his guitar was snapped after a Korean Air flight by checking digital data of photos he posted on his website.
Digital cameras are equipped with a standard format for storing information on photo images, including the date and time the photo was taken as well as the GPS information that showed latitude and longitude coordinates the photo was taken.
Vai had posted photos on his website that showed the damaged guitar and his musical gear being carted to the plane's cargo via a tram and complained that Korean Air hadn't hand-carried the equipment.
He arrived in South Korea from Beijing on July 27 to attend the annual rock festival in Ansan, about 40 kilometers south of Seoul, the next day.
Digital data of the photo of the damaged guitar showed that it was taken near the venue of the rock festival on July 28, one day before he left on the Korean Air flight to Japan.
Digital data of another photo of his musical gear being carted to the plane's cargo via a tram found that it was taken in Beijing Airport on July 27, not Incheon International Airport, west of Seoul.
"The moral of this story, if you think your guitar is going to go into the cargo area of a plane, use a good solid case, and also, be sure of any facts before you post them," Vai said.
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