Friday, July 10, 2009

Canadian Band pressures Airline to reconsider douchebaggery ~update Dave Carroll is a class act

Posted by Christian  |  at  10.7.09

luggage h/t to my favourite Canadian blogger over at the Great Orange Satan,

MsLibrarian. Your hockey team still sucks, but I won’t hold that against you.

MsLibrarian reports on how Canadian band The Sons of Maxwell, went about pressing United Airlines to accept responsibility for mishandling the group’s  instruments .  And for the majority of folks  who have had to engage airline officials in this capacity, I imagine  they would agree that it can be a very frustrating experience.  

According to lead songwriter Dave Carroll, the band was on their way to Nebraska for a one week gig back in April 2008. The flight path included a stopover in Chicago, where while waiting to deplane, Carroll says a fellow traveller cried out- “My god they’re throwing guitars out there.” One of Dave’s band members immediately looked out the window and witnessed his own guitar being thrown by one of  United’s  baggage handlers. Carroll’s $3500 Taylor was thrown just before.

Obviously the guys were concerned at this point, but when they tried to alert United Airlines staff, the games began.  Here is a taste of Dave’s adventure. For complete details, follow the link.

I immediately tried to communicate this to the flight attendant who cut me off saying: “Don’t talk to me. Talk to the lead agent outside”. I found the person she pointed to and that lady was an “acting” lead agent but refused to talk to me and disappeared into the crowd saying “I’m not the lead agent”. I spoke to a third employee at the gate and when I told her the baggage handlers were throwing expensive instruments outside she dismissed me saying “but hun, that’s why we make you sign the waiver”. I explained that I didn’t sign a waiver and that no waiver would excuse what was happening outside. She said to take it up with the ground crew in Omaha.

So after reaching the breaking point, Dave decided to do what comes naturally. (no, he didn’t hunt them down one by one ) He wrote a song about the incident and made a video, titled,

United Breaks Guitars. And it’s pretty good, too!

In my final reply to Ms. Irlweg I told her that I would be writing three songs about United Airlines and my experience in the whole matter. I would then make videos for these songs and offer them for free download online, inviting viewers to vote on their favourite United song. My goal: to get one million hits in one year.

And guess what? It only took  one youtube video to get United’s attention. Via the Herald

Robin Urbanski, a spokeswoman for Chicago-based United, said late Tuesday afternoon that the airline has changed its course and wants to speak with Mr. Carroll today to settle the matter. She declined to comment  further until she spoke to him.

“This has struck a chord with us,” she said.

“We’re going to contact him directly.”


Dave Carroll has posted a youtube video informing those following his story about the latest developments. In response to United Airlines monetary mea culpa, Dave asks that the company donate the money to a charity of their choice. He also defends United's spokeswoman, Ms. Irlweg, saying that some of the comments posted on youtube were unfair and she was just doing her job. He even looks forward to 'sharing a laugh with her over all this'

end of update~


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