Dave Carroll, member of Canadian group Sons of Maxwell, was on a United Airlines flight to Nebraska with his band. On the plane with him, in the cargo hold, was his $3,500 Taylor acoustic guitar.
Only one of them disembarked intact.
It was the guitar that didn't survive the flight. The Taylor's neck was broken somewhere along the way.
The guitar cost $1,200 to repair, but it never played the same again.
Carroll tried to use the normal routes of filing a complaint with the company, but he was rebuked. United denied any responsibility for the damage to the guitar.
So he did what any musician worth his salt would do: he wrote a song. The resulting track, "United Breaks Guitars," cuts right to the chase with its title and doesn't let up. It became an Internet sensation and United has changed its tune.
The video was a big enough deal that CNN picked up on it.
After realizing what a public relations disaster this song was, United contacted Carroll and also said his music video would be used internally to prevent future cases of damaged luggage. Unfortunately for United, the damage to its image had already been done.