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Song over guitar broken by airline a YouTube hit

Posted by Paul Makishima, Globe Assistant Sunday Editor  July 9, 2009 05:12 PM

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Call it the Broken Guitar Blues. And it's become something of an Internet hit.

Canadian musician Dave Carroll says he had his $3,500 Taylor guitar smashed by United Airlines workers during a spring 2008 trip from Halifax, Nova Scotia, to Omaha, Neb.

After the carrier refused to pay $1,200 in repair costs, Carroll channeled his ire into a song, "United Breaks Guitars,'' which he performed with his Halifax-based band Sons of Maxwell, filmed, and put on YouTube. The video has reportedly been viewed nearly 400,000 times since being posted Monday.

The Chicago Tribune reported that United has since had a change of heart and is talking to Carroll about compensation. But Carroll told the LA Times travel blog that he's no longer interested in the money and harbors the company no ill feelings.

He does, however, plan to make good on a promise to write a trilogy of tunes about the incident, the second part of which is due out in August and focuses on his relationship with Ms. Irlweg, a customer service representative.

It is, he tells the Times, the first song he’s ever written with a tuba in it.

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98 comments so far...
  1. Took a flight from Boston to Chicago and I checked a bag. I noticed the counter rep didn't put the bag on the conveyor belt so I stayed close by to make sure it was put on the conveyor to the baggage area. The counter rep proceeded to yell to me 'your bag is ok, you can go'. I called my wife and immediately told her that my bag wouldn't make it to Chicago. Does it surprise you that my bag somehow missed my flight and I had to wait almost two hours at O'Hare for the bag to arrive on the next flight. I called United to complain. I must have talked to Ms. Irlweg as she expressed similar indifference. I should have written a song on youtube about it. Perhaps I will give Dave Carroll a call.

    Posted by united delays bags too July 9, 09 07:05 PM
  1. Good song with meaning, got that Marty Robbins feel.

    Posted by Vicky July 9, 09 07:25 PM
  1. UPS should just set up shop at the airport.

    Posted by Fran July 9, 09 07:38 PM
  1. Would be nice if the Boston Globe used Wikipedia to research the Warsaw Convention to understand the Limits of Liability for United on international flights. You might realize why United refused to pay $1200 until they were blackmailed into doing so.

    Posted by Bad Chile July 9, 09 07:59 PM
  1. I hope he buys and fixes UAL! Good guy! Good singer, too!

    Posted by Dave Printz July 9, 09 08:42 PM
  1. Nice idea. There's an Irlweg in many companies who are simply "computer says no" type morons; their role is anything but Customer Service. I usually take my guitars hand-luggage but this is always an issue and they really want you to check it in so they can mess it up a bit. We all dislike corporate arrogance and I'll certainly give United a wide-berth in future - don't fret!

    Posted by Mike Gillam July 9, 09 09:18 PM
  1. The last time I flew United I asked the counter person if I could ship one of my pieces of luggage to San Fransico and another one to Orlando and where are you going she asked and I said to Halifax, Nova Scotia ... well we can't do that
    sir ... why not I said, you did it last time...

    Posted by Colin MacDougall July 9, 09 09:30 PM
  1. Awesome video!
    It reflects accurately the indifference of United Airlines to customer's complaints.
    For many years, we in the family fly with United. Since last year, because of similar inappropriate attitude especially of stewardess, we switched to Jet Blue. My son also switched to Southwest airline.
    Wishing Dave Carroll and his group the very best...may this video help catapult you to worldwide recognition!

    Posted by Al Mari July 9, 09 09:31 PM
  1. Wish I had as much talent as these guys so I could give my cable and internet provider a wake up like this

    Posted by Dave Chambers (MTS victim) July 9, 09 09:35 PM
  1. He checked his Taylor?

    Moron.

    Posted by Greg Shea July 9, 09 10:06 PM
  1. This is soooooooooooo good. Every airline passenger in history is going to eat this up. Brilliance!

    Posted by Shelby July 9, 09 10:23 PM
  1. The airlines and other large companies have us by the _____. They make us push buttons until we simply give up. Uncle Sam does the same!! Automated answering service is the greatest customer service weapon of all times.

    Posted by Herman Kirkpatrick July 9, 09 10:38 PM
  1. great song

    Posted by bob July 9, 09 10:52 PM
  1. Absolutely hilarious! What a beautiful road song. I'll definitely download this one for my road trips. And don't you just love the way all these big corporations go on about customer service...they just don't get it! That's because the big Kahuna at the top could care less, and why should he when he's making $Millions, and oblivious to what's happening way down on the street. Don't just put the shoes on, make sure you walk the same path they already walked!

    Posted by Dudeman July 9, 09 11:09 PM
  1. Like it!!!!

    Can you put this on www.muso2muso.com

    Posted by Rich Dale July 9, 09 11:37 PM
  1. The power of music!!!! Dave Carroll you rock!!

    Posted by Cassandra Reeves July 9, 09 11:46 PM
  1. just watching our canadian CTV news and just heard about the guitar guy........too funny....he actually has a catchy tune....nashville here comes DAVE CARROLL. great video and too bad for UNITED AIRLINES. Funny thing when I fly I always watch and look for my luggage too.
    Glen from CANADA

    Posted by GLEN July 10, 09 12:28 AM
  1. Ouch!!! Service is a sales opportunity, It would have been cheaper for United to buy Dave a new guitar. I can't wait until August to hear about Ms. Irlweg, it won't be a good day for her. Keep the videos coming Dave!

    Posted by PKienholz July 10, 09 12:32 AM
  1. I feel bad about his guitar but great group I hope they go on and make millions I love it!

    Posted by ME July 10, 09 12:45 AM
  1. maybe your bag was suspicious and they put it aside for a thorough search

    Posted by art vandelay July 10, 09 12:54 AM
  1. what a way to blast a company, you've just got noticed by so many people, good onya man, I won't be flying united thats for sure

    Posted by ass whoopingtime July 10, 09 03:37 AM
  1. people who work at airline counters just aren't happy people...and those that are deserve a good pat on the back.

    next time you fly and recieve a welcoming experience at the counter, make sure and tell the person "hey, you did a very nice job thanks!"

    and for the others...well they work at an airline counter...they must have it bad enough

    Posted by john dobbs July 10, 09 03:37 AM
  1. Good for you!!!! This is the best pay back I have ever seen. Very creative way to make a point. As an art teacher, I am sooooooooooooo proud of you!
    You are truly an inspiration!!!!

    Posted by The art teacher July 10, 09 08:35 AM
  1. Wow, what a voice, and the song was funny too!

    Posted by merilisa July 10, 09 08:57 AM
  1. Well done! You did not silently accept this injustice. I'd love it if this song was played on the radio and you got paid big bucks for it. This was a wonderful way to express your frustration and one that we all can relate to. You are a VERY talented and classy person.

    Posted by Linda Lewis July 10, 09 09:31 AM
  1. Ah d*mmit! I'll be flying UA in about a week. Hope my luggage makes it to SF!

    Posted by evch July 10, 09 09:35 AM
  1. Probably the best thing that could have happened to them becouse now I like them and like this song!

    Posted by RC July 10, 09 09:59 AM
  1. follows the trend created with internet publication of "YOURS IS NOT A VERY GOOD HOTEL"...unhappy customers are an opportunity to convert an adversary into a lifelong customer. Too bad most businesses miss the opportunity in search of the quick buck. Nowhere is that more true than the airlines. Nice work Dave!

    Posted by blp July 10, 09 10:40 AM
  1. #10 Agree. I might have checked a Martin, but definitely not a Taylor :)

    Posted by John July 10, 09 10:45 AM
  1. Someone needs to write a song about Cisco Systems too. They treat their customers just like United treats guitars.

    Posted by Bob Chambers July 10, 09 10:57 AM
  1. #10 & #29

    The only way you can avoid checking it is if it fits under the seat in front of you now. And to do that, you'ld have to use a chainsaw. It's them new rules.....

    Posted by andy July 10, 09 11:07 AM
  1. I once went on a wind ensemble trip. The only people who checked their instruments were the tuba players.

    Either way, though, I'm always nervous about flying. I'm not afraid of the plane crashing or anything. I'm just always worried about whether or not TSA is going to come up with ridiculous reasons to take my stuff away, or if I have to (god forbid) check luggage, that it won't arrive in one piece, or at all.

    Posted by sabend July 10, 09 11:08 AM
  1. We recently had a terrible experience at a restaurant in DC - completely incompetant waitress (to the point we were joking that we were waiting for Howie Mandel to pop out and tell us we were on camera). We left the waitress 10%, and gave the other waiter who tried to make up for her imcompetance a 10% cash tip. Apparently our waitress was pissed and decided to add on to her tip, and added an additional $10 to our bill.

    Upon coming home and seeing our credit card statement we called the CEO to voice our disatifaction (after the restaurant manager did not return our money). The CEO couldn't have been more apologetic (to the point that he asked what we paid for gas/tolls/hotels) while we were in DC.

    We insisted that all we wanted was our "extra tip" back - but he insisted on taking care of us. He "didn't want our recollection of your father's 70th birthday to be this".

    In yesterday's mail, I received checks for $400 in cash, and five $100 gift certicates for any of the companies upscale restaurants in DC, Atlantic City, NYC or Boston. In keeping with my promise, I won't reveal the restaurant's name as the last thing they said to us, jokingly, was "don't tell too many people how we deal with problems".

    Kudos to this company for owning up to their poor customer service. They went well beyond what we wanted, expected or deserved - but it was nice for a company to make good for a change. The airlines - and most other companies should take their customers more seriously. Business 101 tells you it's easier to keep a customer than to bring in a new one.

    BTW - Danielle (our incompetent waitress) no longer is employed there. I'm sorry she lost her job, but theft is theft.

    Posted by Heywood July 10, 09 11:24 AM
  1. C0MCA$T needs a song about their customer service

    Posted by unhappyCustomer July 10, 09 11:30 AM
  1. Nice song and payback for Dave, but the man needs to invest in some serious (that would be "flight approved") road cases if he's going to check any of his guitars . . . I'm just sayin' . . . a drag to haul around, but at least they'll keep your axe safe . . .

    Posted by just sayin' July 10, 09 12:19 PM
  1. When Delta lost our luggage, never to be seen again, we got the run around. They dragged their feet for months, then told us too much time had elapsed. Fed up, we finally decided to sue them in small claims court. We were grad students, and had free legal advice (not counsel - just advice) from the University's lawyer. Luckily for us his first job out of law school was a the registered agent for the airlines in Chicago (school was in IL). He told us everything we had to do.

    Delta tried to fight us, and sent lawyers to small-town IL to beat 'the hicks'. I guess living in a small town had it's advantages. We tried to get Delta to fairly compensate for our lost items, we tried to resolve before going to court - they refused. When our court date came, Delta's lawyers were there with gloves on. But the judge, after reading all the court documents walked off the bench, went to his chambers and came back with a journal article that he suggest the Delta lawyer read while at the same time saying "don't you want to settle with these nice people?"

    Delta, after hearing the judges tone, finally decided to settle with us. That was nearly a decade ago, and I've never stepped foot on another Delta flight. Nor will I ever.

    Posted by fruvousboro July 10, 09 12:20 PM
  1. This is why most musicians book two seats. I would never have let that guitar out of my sight.

    I'm with Greg ... moron.

    Posted by berkleeguy July 10, 09 12:31 PM
  1. Forgot to mention that on the return leg of the trip, I witnessed another United customer service representative literally and intentionally step over some rolling change rather than stop and help another United passenger who had dropped it while waiting to check-in at Chicago on my return flight home only further confirmed this. I am still amazed at how crappy United's service is.

    Posted by united delays bags too July 10, 09 01:07 PM
  1. I also had the good fortune of travel with UA in April 2009 to NC. There were many benefits: an unexpected nights stay in Chicago, our luggage got to travel around the world by itself and we got to speak to people of many languages in an effort to keep up with the luggage. But I saved the best of the worst for last : IT WAS ALL DONE THROUGH HOTWIRE .COM. They promised a pool...that pool would be available 1 month after our return home. Never again!!!

    Posted by Lu July 10, 09 01:11 PM
  1. Bad Chile - Wikipedia to do research? Are you kidding?

    Posted by Elly July 10, 09 01:19 PM
  1. This reminds me of the youtube video where someone took his defective Apple laptop and gently applied a sledgehammer to it because it was denied its free warranty repair.

    I think it's great youtube has provided an effective medium to capture the big companys' attention for their "screw-the-consumer-up-the-ass" ways. Time to invest in a good digital camcorder...

    Posted by pushh July 10, 09 01:36 PM
  1. i agree with 34, comcast and maybe verizon could use a song about their wonderful and charming customer service....or maybe just a beating with a big stick...

    Posted by AJ July 10, 09 01:41 PM
  1. Your are a true Canaidan. we are very proud of you to stand up for what you believe is right. Way to go and we are all standing behind this song with you.
    We are very proud that you are Canadian and that hopefully we will soon hear you and your band on the radio or see you on video. What a amazing voice you have.
    You have certainely made us proud. Our hats off to you.

    Posted by Linda July 10, 09 01:53 PM
  1. Elly: Considering the Globe didn't even bother to Google "Limits of Liability for checked luggage on international flights", I figure I'd make easy for the paper and suggest Wikipedia. Still, 42 comments later and there is still no mention of the Warsaw Convention and why United refused to reimburse the cost of the guitar.

    Taking it a step further, perhaps the Globe could research on United's own website their limits of liability for fragile items when checked as luggage (hint: it starts with the words "United accepts no liability for fragile items").

    Posted by Bad Chile July 10, 09 02:08 PM
  1. Any musician worth his salt knows never to check a guitar...you gate check always, or put in the coat closet...idiot. Totally his fault.

    Posted by duh July 10, 09 02:18 PM
  1. @Bad Chile,

    So United is not required by law to reimburse the value of the guitar. Big deal. Good customer service is about meeting the customer's expectations, not about meeting the minimum letter of the law.

    Posted by bikes2work July 10, 09 02:40 PM
  1. BadChile, after several comments you don't understand thing one. Nobody gives a flying what have you what the Warsaw Convention says, and you nead to learn exactly WHY THAT IS.

    It is called customer service. Unhappy people tell others they are unhappy. Those people refuse to patronize businesses who refuse to take responsibility for poor service.

    Does the Warsaw Whatever forbid that? Huh? Because CUSTOMER SERVICE is what matters here, not some treaty. Git it thru yer haid!

    (hmm ... now I'm suspicious about rule 34 and the Warsaw Convention, since you are sooo into it).

    Posted by infoferret July 10, 09 02:52 PM
  1. Bad Chile:
    I'm not a lawyer but I would say that the operative word is "fragile.'' Is glass fragile? Certainly. Is a book? Certainly not. Is a guitar? We could probably argue over this. Fragile doesn't mean unbreakable and the thing was in a case.
    And I thought the Warsaw rules just governed foreign flights. I got this from United's Contract of Carriage:
    "For travel wholly between U.S. points, liability for delay, damage or loss to checked baggage, including carry-on baggage if tendered to the carrier's inflight personnel for storage or otherwise delivered into the custody of the carrier, liability limits are as follows: * A maximum of $3,300 per passenger''
    And it goes on to say that the airline may be eligible for more if you declare the value of items in advance. So it looks like United did have liability.

    Posted by frequentflier July 10, 09 02:54 PM
  1. 1) Guitars in their travel cases are NOT terribly fragile. it takes significant abuse to damage them.
    2) Such abuse was directly witnessed by third party travelers on that flight.
    3) Reasonable, not excessive, care by airline employees can and should be expected by all travelers.
    Several years ago in LGA, I witnessed out the window of a plane a bag fall off the train of carts under the wheel of a cart. The driver noticed and because he wanted to move the train to get the next train in place. pulled forward causing the cart to crush the bag. Then he got off and picked up the crushed bag.

    Posted by Andy July 10, 09 03:04 PM
  1. Those who are calling Mr. Carroll an "idiot" for having checked his
    guitar should perhaps re-think their comments (if they're capable
    of introspection). Whether or not it's a good idea to have a relatively
    delicate item checked is secondary to the incompetence and
    outright malevolence of the baggage handlers in handling THEIR
    CUSTOMER'S PROPERTY!

    If United cares so very little for its passengers, they deserve all
    the negative publicity they get. Say "No!" to poor service, whether
    from an airline, a car manufacturer, or a government. We are the
    fools if we accept substandard service.

    I'm flying within the next couple weeks, and it certainly won't be
    with these clowns...

    Posted by Sentaur July 10, 09 03:12 PM
  1. Because the flight was between Canada and the US, a treaty does apply; not domestic flight rules. The Warsaw Convention, however, with respect to the U.S. and Canada, has been replaced by the 1999 Montreal Convention, where the limit of liability for lost/damaged baggage is approximately $1380.00 U.S. The repair claim is within this limit of liability. But as others have said, who cares about the law here? The law is not obligatory upon United, i.e., they certainly can elect to pay more than the treaty provides. From what the song and article offer, I take it they did not even offer the treaty minimum. Cheapness bought them a world of bad publicity. Good for them.

    Posted by atteckus July 10, 09 03:38 PM
  1. My daughter tried to bring her violin on board a flight and was denied. She was told the bow could be used as a weapon. Does this apply to guitars?

    Posted by orly July 10, 09 03:39 PM
  1. Awesome! Good for you! Get your money back!

    Posted by Judy July 10, 09 04:49 PM
  1. @ Orly

    I traveled with a violin on every flight for a decade (including post 9/11)
    Never ONCE had an issue using it as carry on.

    As for guitars, I've always checked. I never bothered to research any on board- passenger level- carrying space, since they're simply too large to use as carry on.

    Posted by dj flyy July 10, 09 05:08 PM
  1. Great video, sorry for your troubles and sorry for the guitar too.

    Posted by Guitar Lover July 10, 09 05:12 PM
  1. I traveled with United Airlines and brought some glass with me. They broke it and now I want bookoo bucks. This guy is a clown. He should have to pay United Airlines for being such an idiot. Then again he's Canadian, so go figure.

    Posted by Lovin the South July 10, 09 05:32 PM
  1. Hi, i loved the song, make a cd , i want it and if you have one let us know

    Posted by richard crosier July 10, 09 05:51 PM
  1. Bad Chile:
    When you referenced Wiki you lost any shred of credibility.
    Moron.

    Posted by APA Style July 10, 09 06:56 PM
  1. MY GOSH HERE IN AMERICA I HEAR HOW WE HAVE LAW SUIT IF WE SPLLL
    A MCDONALD'S DRINK IN OUR LAP AS WERE DRIVING DOWN THE INTERSTATE, AND A GOVENMENT THAT PAYS OUT MONEY (THAT THEY ROBBED FROM THE TAX PAYING PUBLIC) FOR THEIR CAUSES LIKE ABORTION
    TINT POT DICTATORS, SENATORS AND HOUSE REPS WAGES, AND WE DON"T HAVE NO GOVERNMENT PROGRAM THAT INSURES TAYLOR GUITARS,
    I DEMAND A GOVENMENT INVESTIGATION OF UNITED, AND LOVE THE SONG

    Posted by ANDY July 10, 09 07:35 PM
  1. The Montreal Convention does not yet apply as it has not been ratified by all parties of the Warsaw Convention.

    I agree that United's customer service - in this case - is terrible. But from their perspective, what is to prevent me from buying a broken guitar on eBay for $50, putting it in a case for my next international flight, and then arriving at my destination claiming it was broken and demanding that I be made whole? What is to prevent me from never even buying a guitar but claiming the empty case contained a guitar? What is to prevent me from claiming I had $1300 in cash in my checked luggage that was missing after my flight?

    Posted by Bad Chile July 10, 09 08:23 PM
  1. Great Song! I feel that IT IS ALL ABOUT THE CUSTOMER SERVICE. Someone needs to remind the employees at United and other companies with bad customer service where THEIR PAYCHECK IS COMING FROM. No customers, No money.

    Posted by In search of great customer service July 10, 09 08:25 PM
  1. That pretty much ices it for me. The lesson: avoid flying whenever possible and absolutely avoid United even if there aren't any alternatives. Of course only the "smaller" airlines (e.g., Alaska, Southwest) are decent to begin with, and United isn't all that much worse than American, Delta, etc. We really need high speed Amtrak options! Their employees are generally terrific.

    Posted by Bob July 10, 09 08:43 PM
  1. 1)He's an idiot for checking it.
    2)The directors, shareholders and employees of United are three separate groups, who are differently incented. In particular, the employees are waiting to lose their jobs, and have come to realize that their pensions are worthless. They could give less of a damn about a whiny brat and his guitar. They bought into the system and it screwed them. Why should they care.
    3)United doesn't really care. Most of you cheering him on aren't going to make a dime in profit for them, and when Expedia shows you a flight $12 dollars cheaper on United versus another airline, ceteris parabis, 99.5% of us will take it. They know that.

    Posted by Jim July 10, 09 10:02 PM
  1. this is stupid ... I don't get why ANYBODY thinks this is good ... waste of time ...

    Posted by barbsboy July 10, 09 11:31 PM
  1. Its been done before.
    Tom Paxton wrote a song called "Thank You, Republic Airlines" about a similar incident. Its off his album "One Million Lawyers and Other Disasters".

    Posted by Ferd Burffel July 10, 09 11:44 PM
  1. C'mon let's not get all literal about the guitar case. This is the kind of process we all face when something goes awry dealing with large corporations. I myself am a medical provider and work with medical insurance companies every day. Like the airlines they are fine when things go well. But when something goes awry you get different answers from different people, irrational and/or destructive decisions, and stonewalling quite often at the end of the trail. Dave, could we write a song together about the insurance companies?

    Posted by jsob July 11, 09 09:06 AM
  1. For one who has had a fair share of extremely bad customer service (a rental car that broke down in the middle of nowhere, I ended up paying for the replacement rental and the original), I can feel for this fellow on a visceral level. By the same token, neither the story nor the song has enough information to explain what exactly happened. Otherwise... boring, 5-chord country song that sounds like 5 million others.

    Posted by Talleyrand July 11, 09 09:13 AM
  1. Loved the song, United deserves the publicity. Unfortunatelt they are not the only airline, that employees gorillas as luggage handlers, I have personally witnessed luggaged, deliberately damaged in Hawaii.

    Posted by Ted Purvis July 11, 09 11:06 AM
  1. Brilliant! To answer, "He checked his Taylor?" -- You often have no choice when a Gestapo gate attendant refuses to let you board with your instrument. If I had a dollar for every time I heard "You have to check that" I could have hired a private driver! Touring as a professional musician means dealing with rude airline workers who take pleasure in tossing guitars around while bragging they will not compensate you for the loss. Delta is the worst. I'll walk before I'll book with them again.

    It's all about forcing people to paying full price for a second seat for the instrument. There are plenty of alternatives to keep the customer happy, but with the airlines and musical instruments, it's heads they win, tails you lose. I've seen performers have to duct tape their instrument to do a concert after checking it through in a $1,000 flight case. That's why this song is so cool - we've all been there! One colleague found ketchup on his strings - some baggage handling dude eating a burger must have wanted to play a little Guitar Hero. You can't lock the cases any more with security, so it's a roll of the dice.

    My favorite story with a happy ending - I was boarding a flight from LAX to Maui. I'd almost made it - I was at the last gate, past security, ticket agents with my custom guitar. Sure enough, the last agent said "You'll have to check that." I KNEW the plane had room and ample storage. I smiled and said, You know, if I had a husband I'd let you put a tag on him and check him before I'd check this guitar. Something clicked ... we both laughed and laughed. She smiled and said, Have a great flight!

    Posted by Susan July 11, 09 11:18 AM
  1. I am a musician that lives in Nebraska, has a Taylor guitar and my day job is in Customer Service. I have flown United Airlines with my Taylor guitar on 3 different occasions. I call ahead and ask to store my guitar in the 1st class closet and United has always let me. It took some talking after 911 but I was armed with my customer service skills. The only time my Taylor guitar left my hand was to place it in the closet and even then, I kept my eye on that closet! Moral of my story as it relates to this one....Customer Service is "caring about the people you serve".... NEVER mess with a musicians instrument!...and "I believe talent is like electricity. We don't understand electricity. We use it." Maya Angelou

    Posted by Sue Murray July 11, 09 11:56 AM
  1. Love it! Awsome job guys.

    Posted by Carl July 11, 09 02:14 PM
  1. To blake shelton, I hope you are reading this, just becuse my biggest men Michael Jackson die, and I went way over the top about it, doesn't mean I don't love
    your guiter songs. I still love you.

    Posted by Natick, mass. stephanie July 11, 09 03:14 PM
  1. BRAVO!

    Posted by Janet Taylor July 11, 09 04:59 PM
  1. When I was discharged from the Navy in San Diego, I bought a ticket and checked my duffel and an extra parachute bag. I was told I was too late to get on the next flight which was non-stop to Dulles airport, however it was not too late for my bags to get loaded. After a couple hours I caught another non-stop to Dulles on United. Upon arriving at Dulles and watching every bag go by on the carousel several times, my bags were not there. After inquiring and told that they were loaded on theprevious flight they were found in an uncliamed area. My parachute bag had been broken into and a watch and some small cigars had been stolen. The bag had been in United's custody the entire time but I got the same reaction, tough we're not going to do anything about it.

    Posted by Jamie July 11, 09 06:25 PM
  1. Airline travel now is awful. The last time I flew and had to check a bag, I had a small collection of coins in the bag, which was locked. When I got home and opened the bag - you guessed it - the coins were gone. Now if I travel, I only carry on bags. Try train travel - they need the passengers.

    Posted by GPO July 11, 09 08:40 PM
  1. I partied my brains out with 3 United Stewardesses in Dallas one night. There was invented the Bernie Ride. Wow, what a night. United also breaks your unit!

    Posted by Jack Higgins July 11, 09 09:08 PM
  1. Awesome! United Airlines is a HORRID Airline. It's great to see someone do something about getting screwed. Of course they change their tune when they have a PR disaster on their hands. The reality is that the airlines sucks and people should avoid it if they can. The workers are all indifferent to passengers, unlike Southwest.

    Posted by stewart July 11, 09 10:18 PM
  1. #42, AJ:

    I discovered fraud in my Verizon bill(s) last November. I have spoken with multiple agents and Supervisors. However, in eight months, they have never credited me back for the fraudulent activity. The explanation? Because Verizon must pay out of their pocket for the fraud, and then legally go after the fraudulent company levying the charges to recoup the loss, they pass the cost off to ME.

    Screw them.

    Posted by PragmaticAmerican July 11, 09 11:00 PM
  1. Not only does United break guitars; Northwest breaks mountain dulcimers: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x50pJe_QvQQ

    Posted by Bing Futch July 12, 09 12:22 AM
  1. My s.o. was going on tour and feared such an incident. She bought a really hefty case, and was lucky that time, but who knows how long she would stay lucky.

    There are events I might like to participate in which involve various equipment. I never go to any that require a flight because I'm reasonably certain either the airline or the TSA willl smash my stuff, so I've only ever driven. (And I've driven as far as Maryland by myself, or Indiana and Virginia with a group.)

    At the world F1D champs (indoor model planes), someone from the US team ALWAYS has their stuff smashed.

    Someone mentioned UPS as an alternative. UPS breaks bicycles!

    The law should be irrelevant here. Especially now that United has probably lost 10 times the dough they could have coughed up willingly.

    Posted by LR July 12, 09 12:34 AM
  1. Never take your guitar on an airplane without using some kind of an extra box to protect it. You'd think a traveling musician would know that. Few people appreciate the value of expensive guitars.

    Posted by packitupgood July 12, 09 09:25 AM
  1. United is always the worst airline -- but dude, why not travel Air Canada, eh? Excellent video -- hope you make millions!!!!!!!!

    Posted by DanFromBoston July 12, 09 02:23 PM
  1. I really enjoyed the music by Mr. Carroll and am interested in hearing more of it. That is all I have to say about the incident. Just discovered an excellent musician. Where can I hear more of his music?

    Posted by Marge July 13, 09 04:03 PM
  1. actually i had a les paul in a soft case that i carried on board once (i forget the airline unfortunately) and they forced me to check it, telling me i would have to leave the flight if i didnt. i figured they'd throw it on top of the bags and it would be fairly safe - NOPE. broken neck. end of that guitar. airline refused to give me a cent saying it wasnt their fault because it was in a soft case.

    Posted by g July 13, 09 05:46 PM
  1. anyone calling him a "moron" for not checking his instrument doesn't tour much. perhaps he has more than one instrument and can't carry them all on?

    Posted by matt July 14, 09 02:10 PM
  1. United Airlines has the WORST bagagge handlers in the whole world.

    Posted by Toby July 14, 09 03:31 PM
  1. Thanks, buddy. Good song, and great way to draw attention to yet another damn corporation that sees fit to treat customers like a prey population rather than as their reason for being in business. This one goes out to every poor SOB who they've buffaloed with their automated phone banks and indifferent "customer service" personnel. Screw United. I'm a musician and I'll never pay them to take me anyplace.

    Posted by davess23 July 14, 09 10:02 PM
  1. Same deal with UPS and Fedex-- if a package is labeled "Fragile," they deliberately mishandle it, throwing the boxes like footballs so they land on end, hard. With a guitar, the headstock will snap right off if it lands on that end. I have had two guitars, a bass, and a DSLR (camera) which arrived with the boxes looking like accordions, corners torn off, etc., and the only reason why the items weren't damaged was because they were packed so carefully. That "Fragile" sticker is a challenge to them, a visible invitation to "break me!" I hope this video causes United to lose millions in business.

    I

    Posted by C. Clark July 15, 09 06:37 AM
  1. Man, great song and justice is served!
    Customer service is what it's all about and, hopefully, United won't have to worry about customers much longer.

    Posted by Jou Baur July 18, 09 09:13 PM
  1. I loved it! I used to travel for a living and have seen a lot of mishandling of luggage, lost luggage, torn bags, etc... I will not fly United ever again.
    Great singer, I am going to check your stuff out on itunes.

    Posted by Stacy Hunter July 19, 09 08:16 AM
  1. Good for him, I absolutely love it, very well done...indeed...
    I once had a computer destroyed by UPS during shipment. It had been double packed and triple wrapped in styrofoam peanuts and bubble wrap....how they broke it I will never know, but I think they sent it to the package slinging olympics...UPS to me stands for Ur Package Slingin'.

    Destroying my computer took extra effort as did destroying his guitar...senseless. United Deserves what they get.

    Tom

    Posted by Tom July 21, 09 09:28 AM
  1. For those calling him a whiny brat and idiot for checking his guitar, GET A LIFE!!!!
    He's got his own life already and knows how to make himself heard, You lot are the narcissistic minority who are simply envious because someone else did what you couldn't do!

    I totally love the song!!!

    Posted by loving it!!! July 23, 09 07:56 AM
  1. Great song and it’s a pity we all don’t complain more when we are treated so badly by these big companies , you did a great job

    Posted by Basil Gillard July 23, 09 08:35 AM
  1. This is the best way to show our fellings and I hope the United Airlines understand the matter right now.

    the song is too lovely and hart tuching.

    Posted by kailash Puri July 25, 09 04:29 AM
  1. I have to guess that "Bad Chile" is confused about legalities vs. doing the right thing. I am a lawyer and the best advice I give clients is to follow what is right rather than what they can legally get away with.

    It was one thing for the baggage handlers to deliberately break his guitar, it is another thing entirely to refuse to make it right. If United had just taken care of the matter in the morally correct way rather than the minium legal standard, this video would never have aired and the airline would not have lost however much they've lost because of this bad PR.

    The real lesson is that social media empowers every customer to bring an imperious corporation to its knees. So beware, the righteously angry customer can now fight back.

    Posted by Charles July 25, 09 06:06 PM
  1. Fantastic, way to go.I can relate to this guy as i was a musician and watched countless times instraments get smashed and no compensation given. I think his revenge is totally sweet. I'm going to tell everyone i meet about your great song.Justice has been served. Squirm your way out of this one UNITED......I THINK NOT.

    Posted by gillie July 31, 09 06:32 PM
  1. Not only did you make a statement but you showed a lot of class by not accepting the money after the fact. If more people had your character this world would be a better place.
    Keep up the good work and God bless'
    John

    Posted by John August 4, 09 09:20 AM
  1. I don't what the legalities are about United's liability for Dave Carroll's guitar, but I certainly know that it is perfectly legal for Dave Carroll to make a music video about his experience with United's poor customer service. So what is Bad Chile's point, exactly? Is he saying that customers should shut up and say nothing, provided companies like United deliver the minimal service that they are compelled by law to deliver? Since there's no law compelling customers to do so, why does Bad Chile think they should? Seems like a double standard to me.

    Posted by Sheldon Rampton August 9, 09 11:31 AM
 
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