It happens. Luggage goes lost or damaged and no gives a damn at the airline. The series of tubes known as the internets, however, is giving the occasional bit of power to the people.
I admit that I once too had a guitar eaten up by an airline. When I arrived for the first time in Turkey, with my life packed up in a couple suitcases, I also had a bass guitar in tow. It didn’t show up at the baggage claim. It was a couple days later that I got the call that it had reappeared and when I got back out to the airport, the bottom of the case looked like a shark had taken a bite out of it. Fortunately for me, the case did its job and the guitar was not harmed. Turkish Airlines cut me a check for the price of a new case. Fair enough.
Not so for Dave Carroll, a country singer with a band called Sons of Maxwell. They were on tour back in 2008 and had United Airlines reservations. On a connection in Chicago’s O’Horror they watched out the window of the plane as their instruments were tossed around willy nilly. Carroll’s guitar, worth over 3 grand, got the Pete Townshend treatment. Everyone can guess what happened next. No help and no care — and hours of phone time from here to India to confirm that. But Carroll’s new music video “United Breaks Guitars” got him the attention he deserved and a bit of vengeance. He has two more videos on the way. Great ad campaign for United. Anyone who’s had Delta Airlines reservations in the past may be familiar with a Facebook page of collective venting against that airline as well. If you are booking through a 3rd party agent, such as Travelocity or CheapoAir (to name a few) be sure you know what their policies are as they might not be the same conditions as the airline you are flying (for better or worse).
***In honor of Galapagos Islands National Park’s 50 year anniversary, I put up a Galapagos photo gallery and reposted an article about my trip there. There is an accompanying video at the bottom as well.***