Days after an airport worker abandoned virtuoso violinist and conductor Itzhak Perlman with his violin, luggage and crutches at Toronto's Pearson International Airport, Air Canada is making a donation to the Canadian charity the famed disabled musician performed for while in the city.

The Air Canada Foundation has announced a charitable donation of 500,000 Aeroplan Miles to Chai Lifeline Canada.

On Monday, Perlman arrived in Toronto to perform an evening benefit concert at Roy Thomson Hall for the not-for-profit group, which offers support services to the families of children suffering serious illnesses.

The Israeli-American maestro suffered polio as a child and uses crutches or a mobility scooter to get around.

Before his latest trip — and after more than 40 years of visiting Toronto — he had registered that he required airport assistance upon arrival to help him through to the customs and immigration area with his bags, violin and crutches.

Though initially met by a man who accompanied him to an elevator, Perlman said he was then abandoned.

"I said, 'What about this bag?'" Perlman recalled to CBC News in an interview from New York on Tuesday evening.

"He said, 'Well, it's not my problem that you chose to carry an extra bag. And besides, I'm not your personal assistant. You're not paying me or anything.'"

The violinist returned to New York early Tuesday morning. Perlman noted to CBC News Tuesday evening that he had received an apology from Air Canada.

"We find [the situation] very concerning as it is not at all representative of Air Canada's policies," Peter Fitzpatrick, a spokesman for Air Canada, said in a statement this week.


  • Previous versions of this story were unclear on the amount that the Air Canada Foundation planned on donating to Chai Lifeline Canada, based on information provided by Chai Lifeline. In fact, the number of Aeroplan Miles donated is 500,000.
    Apr 03, 2014 6:43 PM ET