United Breaks Guitars

August 29, 2009


This is funny, sad, and infuriating all at the same time. I saw this video. It’s about a guy, Dave Carroll. He’s a country singer. In 2008, he booked with United Airlines to fly from Nova Scotia to Nebraska, along with his $3,500 Taylor guitar. While laying over in Chicago, he happened to glance out the window and saw the airport baggage handlers throwing guitars. They broke his Taylor!!

OMG I would be freaking!! But then again, I would never have a guitar that cost as much as my car or my yearly property taxes… but poor Dave. He contacted United Airlines and was thrust into the bureaucratic technicalities that so many of us are familiar with (I am, at least). They denied his claim. UNBELIEVABLE!!!!

At that moment it occurred to me that I had been fighting a losing battle all this time and that fighting over this at all was a waste of time. The system is designed to frustrate affected customers into giving up their claims and United is very good at it.

However I realized then that as a songwriter and traveling musician I wasn’t without options. In my final reply to Ms. Irlweg I told her that I would be writing three songs about United Airlines and my experience in the whole matter. I would then make videos for these songs and share them on YouTube, inviting viewers to vote on their favourite United song. My goal: to get one million hits in one year.

It’s a good thing Dave is a country singer– he can lament his woes in song. And that’s just what he did. When he realized he wasn’t getting anywhere with United Airlines, he wrote a song and made a video. It’s become a big hit.

Oh, and NOW United Airlines has said Dave’s video “struck a chord” with them and they want to make it right.

6 Responses to “United Breaks Guitars”

  1. Kimmy Says:

    I love this guy! I saw this video, United Breaks Guitars Song 2 about a week ago, and I couldn’t stop humming it! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h-UoERHaSQg

    Thanks for sharing!

  2. Karen Says:

    He got em! Yahoo!

  3. clueless mama Says:

    The airlines just lost something of my sisters that was irreplaceable. They said too bad. Maybe she should write a song. It really could be a country song too. It was her cremated dog that was 15 when he died. Long story….don’t ask. LOL

  4. VH Says:

    I would be so angry if they threw around my Fender Strat and broke it—it isn’t worth anywhere near to $3,500. I wonder if Carroll could have gotten insurance for his guitar?

  5. mantiz Says:

    3500 bucks?! If it was me I would have gone haywire and gone on a killing spree.. even if this happened to the $300 worth crappy guitar that I own lol

  6. Rebecca Says:

    I see that this hits a button with soooo many people… I hope airlines wise up. It is unconscionable that things like this happen!