United Airlines Breaks Guitars – Great Customer Service. Not!

Have you seen or heard about this? (If you have, why didn’t you tell me about it? It’s HILARIOUS and includes a serious business issue)… okay, so I’m late to the party…

This has been around for a while, but I just stumbled across it tonight …

In 2008, musician Dave Carroll was on a United Airlines flight from Halifax, Nova Scotia, to a gig in Nebraska, with a connection in Chicago.

As they waited on the tarmac in Chicago, a woman seated behind him suddenly exclaimed, “Oh my God! They’re throwing guitars out there!”

Dave and his band members looked out their windows and, indeed, United Airlines baggage handlers were tossing their guitars around.

Ultimately, Dave discovered that his $3,500 Taylor guitar had been broken during the extracurricular activities by the baggage handlers.

Various representatives from United Airlines refused to help Dave, immediately after he saw his guitar being thrown around and during the subsequent nine months he attempted to seek compensation.

In Dave’s own words, “They didn’t deny the experience occurred, but for nine months the various people I communicated with put the responsibility for dealing with the damage on everyone other than themselves and finally said they would do nothing to compensate me for my loss. So I promised the last person to finally say no to compensation (Ms. Irlweg) that I would write and produce three songs about my experience with United Airlines and make videos for each to be viewed online by anyone in the world.”

If you haven’t seen it already (yeah, I’m late to the party), you can see United Breaks Guitar video 1:

United Breaks Guitars video 2:

United Breaks Guitars video 3:

And here’s a video on lessons from “United Breaks Guitars” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_Hd8XI42i2M

I’ve gained a greater appreciation for the positive and negative impact each of us has the potential to make. And I’ve gained greater respect for the power of social media to spread a message of positive change.

I hope you enjoy these as much as I did!