The 14 musicians from Poland had visited Calgary's Mount Royal University Conservatory earlier this month. The group paid to transport four cellos in passenger seats from Poland to Toronto and on to Calgary without incident.
However, when it came time to return home, an unidentified Air Canada gate agent said there was a limit of two cellos per flight, the Canadian Broadcasting Corp. said.
The students had to split up and take two flights, each with two cellos. Once in Toronto, they were allowed to fly together with all four cellos back to Warsaw.
Paul Dorian, the director of the conservatory, told the CBC it was baffling.
"I think somebody was overzealous at the gate," he said. "The people at the check-in seemed to think everything would be just fine."
Dorian said cellos make perfect traveling companions.
"They don't make any fuss, they don't need any beverages -- they never complain," he said.
The CBC said it wasn't able to get a comment from the airline.