At that moment it occurred to me that I had been fighting a losing battle all this time and that fighting over this at all was a waste of time. The system is designed to frustrate affected customers into giving up their claims and United is very good at it. However I realized then that as a songwriter and traveling musician I wasn’t without options. 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.
No worries about hitting 1 million in one year... this morning as I write this the count is:
Under four days since it was posted July 6th! (Probably hit a million in 3 days.)
Dave Carroll obviously hit a public nerve, too, as he has now been all over the television world... CNN with Wolf Blitzer... CBC... CBS Morning Show... and comments on YouTube have indicated its popping up on TV in all sorts of different parts of the world. Mainstream media has covered him, too... some examples include the Halifax Chronicle Herald, the San Francisco Chronicle, the LA Times.
As he said in his website post, he really does need to thank United. This one little video (and only the first of three planned) has really propelled him to a global stage... no way to really know but you'd have to imagine that SonsOfMaxwell have no doubt sold a good bit of music online in the past few days (you see mention of people buying in various comments). It helps, too, that Carroll seems very honest and transparent about this whole thing and that in this case it does seem like United was clearly in the wrong, even if he didn't file his claim within the 24 hours United's policies require.
To their credit, it's good to see that United is responding. Their updates to their unitedairlines Twitter account clearly state that they are sorry, that they are working to make this right by him, and that they will be using this video for internal training purposes. The CNN video also refers to a statement from UAL.
It would be interesting to see what, if anything, United does to work with him on subsequent videos. Video #2 is apparently nearing completion, but it sounds like video #3 is still open... could be an interesting opportunity for them if they were interested. It would be fun if they invited him to sing at some United event. Externally, they seem to be putting a good face on it. Internally, no doubt some folks are cringing.
Also interesting to note that Taylor Guitars has so far been low-key on their Twitter account, not really responding or jumping into the conversations on Twitter. They did, though, post this piece about safe air travel with your guitar on their website that does not refer to Dave Carroll or the ongoing issue directly, but does give tips about how to safely travel with your guitar. That piece is also pointed to from Taylor Guitar's home page.
All in all another great example of how in the age of social media your customers are in control and, if you don't provide appropriate service, have multiple avenues to voice their frustrations.