Friday, July 10, 2009

"My god they're throwing guitars out there"

This is everywhere today, but it's still great. My fellow Canadian, musician Dave Carroll, was sitting in an airplane at O'Hare when he heard those words from another passenger. But I don't need to tell the story, as the music video does it very effectively.

Apparently United now says they get it, and wants to use the video for in house training on how to handle a customer complaint. I'd say the price for that would be at least $1200, plus production costs. See Shiny Objects for more information and links to stories about the saga.

I started writing this with Dave Carroll's website open, but when I went to click a link it 403ed, and then after a few minutes started redirecting to his myspace page so I assume the singer's personal site has been overwhelmed. The band is Sons of Maxwell, and that site is still up and you can buy their music there.


Capt. Schmoe said...

Awesome vid. Now they get it after this will be seen by millions of people. What about the rest of us who don't have that big of an audience?

I'm sure we all have airline horror stories, but I usually fly SWA and have never had a problem that wasn't weather related.

Of course I would rather dial up Net Jets and have a G-4 or a King Air 350 show up at the local weed patch.

Like that's ever going to happen.

Thanks for the post.

A Squared said...

Reminiscent of a song I heard a couple of decades ago. THe refrain was
"Thank you Republic airlines,
for breaking the neck on my guitar"
The only line which sticks in my head was something along the lines of:

"Nothing would make me happier than if,

You were the next to go the way of Branif."

Seems some things never change.

Anonymous said...

The song A Squared is thinking about was written by Tom Paxton, is called "Thank You, Republic Airlines" and is on his album "One Million Lawyers and other disasters", which is playing as I'm typing this.

Anonymous said...

His long background explanation says he'd hoped to have a million hits on the video over the first year. He's had 900,000+ the first day!

Aviatrix said...

I've never heard of Republic Airlines, so I'm assuming they did go the way of Braniff. Mind you, I've never heard of Tom Paxton, either.

Anonymous said...

$1200 wouldn't get close to covering the replacement of all but the cheapest of Taylor guitars, and if the damaged one is the same model as what he used the listprice of it is closer to $5000 at least (plus tax).

Of course depending on the damage it may be repairable. Taylor can pull off some downright miracles sometimes. But given the way airlines treat luggage, it's quite likely that it's a writeoff.

United not covering the damage is hardly a surprise to me. Airlines almost universally have very strict disclaimers, and tell passengers not to check fragile or expensive items into the hold (while at the same time banning them from taking many of those same items into the cabin, guitars included as they're larger than the maximum allowed size for cabin luggage).
More than a few of them in fact would not take a guitar as hold luggage either, but require it to be shipped as air freight (which would have it put in the hold with the luggage, but at a hefty surcharge) because the cases are typically a little bit longer than the largest allowed dimension for hold luggage (mine for example is 105cm, KLM allows 100cm max, BA something similar).

Sue said...

Finally, a YouTube music video that's well-made. Thank you, Aviatrix, for this link.

Capt. Schmoe said...

I was amazed at the gleeful reaction that I had to this video. I have never really had a problem with UA, a buddy of mine actually flies for them. I couldn't put my finger on why I was so happy to see it doing so well.

It finally came to me that this video is bigger than a beef with United of damaged luggage. This is about anyone who has ever been hosed by a large, uncaring entity.

Whether you've spent a week trying to get a hold of a "customer service rep" who ends up not handling your issue or if you have spent an hour lost in a phone tree, only to end up back at the main menu, this video is about you.

This is a disaster for United. Google search United Airlines. United Breaks Guitars comes up as the third result. ON THE FIRST PAGE!!!!!!

That's an amazing level of power.

Thanks again,Aviatrix.

John Lennerton said...

Ahh, good ol' Republic. Back in the day, when I fixed nuclear reactors for a living, I flew them from Boston out to Michigan. They came into being when Southern and North Central (just look for the sign of the flying goose) merged. They were bought by Northwest in '86.

They exist today as a holding company and operate a bunch of feeders.

Nice vid! I've carried my guitar as luggage a couple of times, never a problem. But it wasn't a Taylor, either.