July 9, 2009

United Airlines Breaks Guitars

When guitar player Dave Carroll travelled to Nebraska for a tour with his band Sons of Maxwell, he witnessed his Taylor guitar being thrown by United Airlines baggage handlers in Chicago.

The guitar was severely damaged and after a lot of communication he was told that United wouldn’t compensate him for his loss.

He promised the last United person he spoke with to make 3 songs and videos about the way United Airlines handles luggage.

Here’s the first video:


Here’s another funny music video:



Anonymous said...

I do not see any video . . .

Anonymous said...

That's an awfull situation.
I think you should go to go court instead of making a video.

fitz said...

Brilliant,funny, spot on. I think United executives should get a copy of this video,it may help them in deciding if they need to retrain their baggage handlers in how to handle passengers goods. I am now reluctant to fly United Airlines in case my baggage is damaged without redress.
Regards frank

Unknown said...

If enough folk see this and United sees it, perhaps it will help make a difference. Great video! Have you sent a copy to United?


Keith Vanden Eynden said...

I just put this out on Twitter, Facebook, and my blog. If others do the same, maybe Unitied will reconsider.

Laly said...

Completely agree with you. I have seen a couple of guitars, not just guitars but many other precious things mishandled by airlines people. This video will definitely bring some awareness among the airlines community.

Unknown said...

Can't see the video (probably because my work blocks anything fun).

Airlines are inherently stupid with instruments. Could the guitar not be carried on? I seem to remember that a musical instrument can be carried on and stowed in the pilot or flight attendant's locker.


Unknown said...

I'm horrified. How could they be throwing instrument cases around, do they have any brains at all? And when they break something they won't even refund it!

Patty P said...

I will never book my husband on a United Flight - we can't afford to replace any of his guitars.This should be a wake up call to United execs - we pay attention. Great video!

Unknown said...

Awesome ... I'm glad someone finally took a stand against these airlines by naming them ... I have lost so many instruments due to their negligence THANK YOU for speaking out ... BTW, Can't wait for the next one

Unknown said...

ya they are talking to him now

Anonymous said...

I have the same thing to say about UNITED, the people do not care about you, or the things you bring with you...I try not to fly them whenever possible. Try Southwest, they are always very accommodating, and always, always make sure my guitar is well protected, actually standing by the storage area and making sure nothing happens when others go to put luggage in the storage area. WAKE UP UNITED, there is a reason you are having so much trouble!

Unknown said...

This is typical of many airports the world over and is totally unacceptable.

I have had the baggage handlers stealing out of my bags.

One time I saw a case hit the tarmac so hard it burst open and as it was a windy day bra's and nickers were flying in all directions.

Well done it may be your first number 1


Anonymous said...

Excellent!!! Fucking awesome!! I loved the video. Sergio from argentina.

Unknown said...

I love the video, it's awesome!

Shoot, i'm flying United to Japan this month in two weeks. And I'm planning to bring back my first custom-made guitar from there...

Anonymous said...

This video is great! I have been wanting to travel with my guitar lately, so thanks for the "heads-up"! I will definitely avoid United Airlines now. I hope to see this on the national news. LOVE the song - very entertaining. I hope you get a new guitar to replace the one they broke!

Unknown said...

Did anyone go this guy's website and read the detailed story about this video? I can see why United denied his claim.

I do not at all condone how baggage handlers handle baggage, but for this case, There were a couple of key elements to the guy's story that made it easy for United to deny his claim.

1) He fails to mention the type of guitar case that was used. I believe that if this had been in a proper flight case that he would have used the to his advantage. I have to guess that he shipped his $3500 guitar in a "standard" case, meaning not a flight case.

2) He failed to file his claim until 7 days after the flight had landed. He never opened the case at the final destination airport because he was too tired, and by the time he opened the case, he had to wait until that segment of the tour was over to file the claim.

There are other minor reasons in addition that I'm guessing helped United make their decision. And, I agree with their decision.

BUT, I also believe that he should have been compensated for the run-around that he got for trying to file the claim. If I were United, I would have given him $1200 in flight credits, not because that was the cost to repair his guitar, but because he should never have been treated that way.

Anonymous said...

Reminds me of the old Tom Paxton song, "Thank You Republic Airlines (for breaking the neck on my guitar)" which features the immortal rhyme:

There'd be nothing better than if,
You went the way of Branniff.

Ariel Casanova said...

wtf! last year, some thieves came into my house and took my fretless luthier made bass guitar, and my epiphone g-400 that i'v had since i was a kid... it's terrible to find out that your guitar it's broken or stolen, but this guy made it out real cool by composing that song.
nice post!

Ariel Casanova said...

I missed Email follow-up comments

Unknown said...

This thing happened to Tribe after tribe - i was staring out the window when i saw my Les paul go flying!! - I screamed out and the steward came over and i told her what was happening - About 15 minutes into the flight the captain came to us and told us we could move into first class - drinks on the house and if anything should be broken he would make sure the company paid for it... nothing was broken thankfully and we did have fun on that tour - opening up for Pearl Jam...

Guitaralert said...

I had my Les Paul gate checked and it ended up fine. Always invest on a heavy guitar case.

cubara said...

Nice done, and I wanna see some more!!! R.I.P, dear Taylor!!! I know it will make a lot of noise!

cubara said...

Nice done... I don't know if it will work, but at least you are now free of a mental trauma right now. R.I.P, dear Taylor.

TheMilkGuy said...

You know what's funny? (So funny I could cry?)

I just made a trip from Norfolk, VA to Halifax, NS on Delta and their partner NWA, and my guitar was broken too. Oddly, I was considering writing a song about it when this story broke!

I loosened the 6 strings before the flight, but the crack between the E and e tuning machines leads me to believe the guitar was dropped flat on its back. Yes, of course it was in a hardshell case.

I also found myself at an airport that had no Claims Department for NWA, but they were nice enough to say they'd meet with me if I made my way back to Virginia!

Apparently, my hardshell case would have had to have been destroyed for them to believe they had caused any damage. They also incorporate some kind of "Random Rule Generator" where every person you talk to quotes you a different time of "when you should have made your claim by".

Oh well... Can anyone recommend the best glue to repair a headstock? :P


Shane said...

That's a pretty cool video and song.
Nothing wrong with a bit of funny stuff, after all, along with the video and lyrics, its pretty well done... Brilliant.

corey said...

There's a second song out now!

Anonymous said...

this is brilliant!

Anonymous said...

and Rob&Kel, you're just doing the stereotypical ´´i'm with the law and all the things the terms of service said´´ because you didn't had a bad situation like that. if you had your guitar broken by an irresponsible handling of an airline, i bet you would complain to all the world, instead of ´´that was my fault, i didn't specified what kind of case i had and whatever, now if they gave me flight credits i'm ok, because i'm a bad customer and deserve to had my guitar broken´´

lee said...

As Paul Whitehouse would say "Nice"!

Anonymous said...

Say hello to "John Tague" (Stink Boy)
he is the President of United Airlines,
after hearing your song I will
never fly United & I will tell my
friends never to fly United.
"Some people know the price of every 
and the value of nothing" 
(good hook for tune #3) and
Stink Boy (John Tague) is to stupid
to realize the value of the Internet
& that this is going to cost him more
than $900.00 in buisiness.
"A fish stinks from the head down"
from "Stink Boy" to "Ms. Irlweg"  
(the stupid slut that blew me cross eyed)
& of course to ape boy 
that fat jelous airport
monkey that has nothing
better to do than to throw 
instruments of someones expression 
(I hope it wasn't my little blond Taylor
I had to put up for adoption some years back)
So "Stink Boy" this finger's for you
(middle one) 
and a three stooges peace
sign to you  (right in your dim 
wit eye's "Boink#*%#") "scumbag"
For a good hard look at "Stink Boy" 
(if you can hold your grits) 
look up images on Google of
"John Tague" President of United Airlines (Utube won't post links)
"Big stupid Fat Ass" that is only good at hoarding money!!