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When Halifax's Dave Carroll got off his United Airlines flight last spring and discovered his $3,500 custom-made guitar was severely damaged - allegedly by overzealous luggage handlers - at first he was mad.

When the airline's customer service team gave him the runaround and refused to address his complaints to his satisfaction, he was incensed.

But in typically Canadian fashion, the songwriter decided to be the nice guy, shrug off his anger, and instead wrote a song about his experience
 

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Good for him.

According to United's Twitter page, and recent news articles, they're working to fix the problem, and to make this better for him. Great for Dave, and I hope the exposure this is bringing him helps his career, too.

That said, I am sick and tired of these stories where companies obviously fail at their duty, and the only time anyone does anything to fix the problem is when it becomes a PR nightmare, and everyone starts talking about it on the Internet. Thank the maker that we HAVE this internet to get these stories out, and make the big guys pay attention to us little guys...but I want to see a company that just handles the problem right the first time. Of course, he'd never have written the song "United was fair and equitable in dealing with my guitar situation" but when I see United JUMP TO IT on this issue, I have to wonder if anything has really changed with their policy and procedure, or if they just want the latest flare up to die down. I am pretty sure it's the latter.

IOW, United still sucks, even after they fix it.

Steve
 

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Conventional wisdom would indicate, if someone would carry on a 1500.00 laptop, they would certainly carry on a 3500.00 acoustic guitar, which is a lot more fragile than a laptop. I see them all the time and fly UA a lot, nearly 100K per year. Generally, pax with a guitar (in case) board with the first group and secure an overhead bin. On RJ's, the FA puts the instrument in a closet. I recall, on one trip, I stayed on board a EM-170 to help a guy get his case out of the closet, which the tambour door had jammed on the guitar case. He finally got it loose 15 minutes later. No damage to guitar or aircraft :)

I'm certainly no airline apologist, but people need to use common sense...

BTW, UA is far from number one for a lot of reasons, and this one is a relatively minor one, IMO.

Pat
 

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I have to agree with Pat here. I have a number of very valuable musical instrument (worth a lot more than $3500) and I would NEVER check them. One time I had two saxophones and a backpack. Then tried to get me to check one of the horns, but after I explained the value of them and spoke to a manager I was able to carry them on.

It's like with our cars: if you care enough about something, you'll do everything in your power to see that it is properly taken care of.

Ironically, the above story was on United :shrug:

Don't get me wrong, United sucks, and if they mess up your luggage (guitar or not) they should promptly pay, but I believe everyone needs to take a little responsibility for themselves and their belongings as well...
 

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Pat and Derek, I understand what you're saying, and agree to a point....I don't check ANYTHING if I can avoid it, and if I have to check luggage, it's nothing but clothes and toiletries.

I agree he probably shouldn't have checked it unless he had no choice (and he isn't here to say whether he had a choice or not...a customer no-service rep at the counter may have told him it's too long...they seem to be a lot more strict about what counts as carry-on lately).

But that said...Should we really just accept that airlines...companies we trust with our bodies, should be capable of carrying luggage without roughing it up, or miserably losing it? I understand problems will happen...but we EXPECT it to happen...we all just take it for granted we should never check anything of value. Not to mention, you have to PAY to check anything lately. If they were willing to accept responsibility for that guitar (or a cheap suitcase full of k-mart clothes) they have a responsibility to not treat it like rubbish.

They have a responsibility to do better...and since they didn't they have a responsibility to do SOMETHING to make it better.

His response was creative and got him some traction. So good for him.
 

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Read my last sentence again. I don't think it's okay that they mess up your luggage. BUT, if it is that important to you, carry it on. It's called common sense. :shrug:

I like the song, and hope it hurts United's business and makes them think twice before bending the next person over. I'll spare you stories of all the times United and other major airlines have 'wronged" me. I just question the intelligence of someone who would check a valuable instrument and not have serious concerns about ever seeing the instrument in the same condition again. Then again, I have no idea what the circumstances were behind him checking the instrument, so...
 

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The only way I'd check musical instruments is if they were in road cases (not a typical carry case). I've seen plenty of guitars and violins in the O/H's as well as an occasional cello strapped into a F seat. Yes, the cello has a frequent flyer number and is an elite (I asked) :)

TBH, as much as I've watched rampers during my travels, it amazes me that more luggage isn't damaged or destroyed. I think, in nearly a million miles of travel, I've had one bag damaged pretty good and the wheels knocked off a couple of bags. It's so rare that I don't even think about it anymore.

A couple of weeks ago, when there were some storms at ORD, my friend's niece got delayed overnight and her bag didn't catch up with her for two days at her destination (ORF). Her forced overnight (mechanical/crew) garnered a 300.00 voucher and the baggage delay garnered a 200.00 voucher. She is a non-elite and that trip was her first time ever flying. I know how lonely ORD can be at midnight so I helped her get things straightened away and they put her up at the Hilton (on UA's nickel) right at the airport. Literally walked across the street. So, IMO, UA did OK by her.

No, she didn't have her guitar with her :D

Pat
 

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I wonder if the whole band was traveling and it would be hard to carry on all your equipment,A guy shouldn't have to worry about his property being damaged whether it be 5 bucks or 3500 bucks the people handling your stuff shouldn't trash it.

Great video though! I wonder about the Mexican look of the band though,
 

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Well, I can say that we flew on Qantas with a certain Aussie and his band that my wife swoons over and, indeed, their musical instruments (in road cases) did bump our luggage off the plane. Made for some interesting conversation with his guitar techs whilst we waited at the luggage belt in Perth before hearing my name over the PA and getting the bad news. The concert was worth the delayed luggage though, and no instruments were damaged. Gotta love Qantas :) True story.

Pat
 
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