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Singer's revenge on United: A hit song

July 9, 2009 at 1:35 PM   |   Comments

CHICAGO, July 9 (UPI) -- A Canadian singer allegedly stiffed by United Airlines after baggage handlers smashed his $3,500 guitar found that revenge is a ditty best served on YouTube.

Dave Carroll's "United Breaks Guitars" became an instant hit on the video-sharing Web site, viewed more than 503,000 times since being posted Monday.

And now a spokeswoman for the Chicago airline tells the Chicago Tribune it has changed its mind and is "in conversation" with Carroll "to make what happened right."

It even asked Carroll for permission to use the video internally to amend its corporate culture.

The country music song --which Carroll decided to write rather than fume -- recounts how he and other members of his Sons of Maxwell band, from Halifax, Nova Scotia, had changed planes at O'Hare International Airport in Chicago when they heard another passenger who was looking out the window exclaim, "My God, they're throwing guitars out there."

Carroll said he discovered when he arrived in Omaha, Neb., that the base of his $3,500 Taylor acoustic guitar had been smashed, the Tribune reported.

He fixed it for $1,200 and tried in vain to get compensation for nearly a year, says his song, the first of three about the saga.

The song's refrain is that he "should have flown with someone else or gone by car -- 'cause United breaks guitars."

For its part, United considers the parody "excellent," spokeswoman Robin Urbanski tells the Tribune.

And Rob Bradford, United's managing director of customer solutions, called Carroll Wednesday to apologize for the foul-up and to ask if the carrier could use the video internally to help change its culture, the Tribune says.

© 2009 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
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