2008: United Airlines Smashes a Customer’s Guitar. 2017: United Airlines Smashes a Customer’s Face

United Airlines Flight #3411, April 9th, 2017
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United Airlines Flight #3411, April 9th, 2017
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United Airlines Flight #3411, April 9th, 2017

United Airlines: now that’s some ‘smashing’ customer service!  What’s going wrong with this airline?

Back in 2008, United Airlines forced a musician to put his guitar in baggage.  After heavy protest — and possibly against FAA rules — the airline refused to allow the $3,500 custom Taylor guitar in the passenger cabin.

That proved to be a fatal error.  The musician — Dave Carroll — witnessed his guitar getting tossed around while sitting captive in coach class.  The guitar was severely mangled when he picked it up, yet United Airlines refused to pick up the tab.  Or even really register his complaint.

‘United Breaks Guitars’

Which led to Dave Carroll writing a song about the experience, aptly titled, ‘United Breaks Guitars’.  And thanks to a viral powers of a quickly rising YouTube, millions shared Carroll’s pain.  In fact, Carroll made a little cottage industry of the passenger rage, writing follow-up vids and even publishing a book.

Musicians were put on notice.  But years later, that video is still getting views.  More than 16 million, to be exact.

We’re not sure how United is handling guitars or expensive instruments these days.  Though there are certainly updated FAA requirements that every musician should know about.

The Next Time an Airline Makes You Check Your Guitar, Show Them THIS

That is, IF you get to fly onto the plane, in the seat that you paid for.

Here’s what happened when United Airlines ‘overbooked’ a flight from Chicago to Louisville and nobody took the $800 offer to catch the next one.

Update, 1:30 pm PT (April 10th): A United Airlines representative has just told Digital Music News that they are waiting to learn the full details of this situation.  In the meantime, an investigation is happening.  On Monday, a boilerplate statement from United CEO Oscar Munoz apologized for having to ‘re-accommodate’ the beat-up passenger.


5 Responses

  1. Nick Carlson

    United Breaks Guitars is a great song and was the perfect comeback. Not sure I want to see United Breaks Heads, though
    Perhaps the Clash or the Sex Pistols could do the video. Or, better, Megadeath.

  2. c

    overbooked: you bought your economy seat for $250 3 months ago; now we can sell it to a desperate person for $1000, so “bye.”

  3. J

    It wasn’t even overbooking. United wanted to get 4 of their own onto the plane. And the paying customers were already on the plane.

  4. Jamie

    Who’s job was more important to be at? The drs or the flight attendants?You cant tell me that united couldn’t find 4 more flight attendants in that city they needed them at but there was only ONE in the whole world of that doctor to be able to do his job. Discusting. Reminded me off the song ” United breaks guitars” – google it, its good. My family & I are flying all over this summer & even though United comes up cheapest ( for 6 people) I would never fly with them before all because of that song. Now even more so because of that man. NO EXCUSE UNITED!!!!!!! WAKE UP. I won’t mention what airline we are going to use but so far our flights are costing us about $15,000 & were not done booking flights. Now times that by nine years, that’s how much money u’ve lost over the years from my family & others. Would have been cheaper for United to pay his $1200.00 repair bill. Although I will say he got the best of you United. You made him an overnight star!!!

  5. Jeannette

    United Breaks guitars beat up people and kill bunny rabbits