As Christine Negroni in notes in Halifax’s Chronicle-Herald, United Airlines could have done better than to have lost the luggage of Dave Carroll, a Nova Scotia-based musician now famous for his music video criticizing the airlines’ response to a damage claim that he’d filed.
David Carroll’s boyish face has become a symbol for the embattled consumer ever since baggage handlers at United Airlines broke his guitar on a flight last summer and the airline refused to pay for the repair.
Frustrated, the singer-songwriter created a music video titled United Breaks Guitars that became an Internet sensation.
The video got the attention of United Airlines and the Canadian guitarist met with top level executives, who promised to do better. But Mr. Carroll’s already tenuous confidence in United’s promises has faltered because, on arriving in Colorado over the weekend to speak at a conference on customer service, his old nemesis was at it again.
One of the three bags he’d checked in Saskatchewan failed to arrive when he did.
For more than an hour on Sunday, Mr. Carroll said he was told he could not leave the international baggage claim area at Denver International Airport because his bag was delayed, not lost, and he must be there to claim it when it came down the conveyor belt.
“I’m the only person pacing around this room,” Mr. Carroll said, describing how he was caught between the order from United to stay and a U.S. Customs official telling him to go.
Responding to the episode, United Airlines spokeswoman Robin Urbanski wrote in an email, “We will fully investigate what regretfully happened.”
The rest of his story is hardly unique, as many air travellers can attest. The bag, containing some musical equipment, shoes and CDs, became a frequent flyer, meandering across international borders inching ever nearer to Mr. Carroll’s destination in Colorado Springs, but not quite arriving.
But the bag’s journey is far less interesting than its owner’s. Mr. Carroll has gone from modest popularity in Canada to an internationally known spokesman for the disrespected consumer. His father-in-law, Brent Sansom, has become his business advisor to help him sort thousands of requests to speak and perform.
But there could have been no more appropriate audience to hear the latest instalment in the ongoing adventure between Mr. Carroll and United Airlines than the group of customer service executives to whom he spoke on Tuesday — albeit without his dress shoes and the United Breaks Guitars CD packed in his still undelivered suitcase.