The CrossInnovation Blog

United Breaks Guitars - 12 Milllion+ Views

Two years ago, a relatively unknown singer flies United and watches United Baggage handlers throw his Taylor made guitar around. Alarmed, he complained to the airline attendants – to no avail. He then writes a song about it and posts it on YouTube.

2 years and 12M views later – do you think United would have wished they had an ‘early warning’ system? How many people have been influenced by this?

I have. I think about this not just in relationship to United, but every airline. It factors into my thinking about price and value.

Recently I had my own type of United experience. This time, it was the not-so Best Western South San Francisco Airport: a restaurant host putting food back from a plate into the breakfast bar, then wiping the plate with his bare hands, and then bed bugs. I caught one (there were several – and they had blood in them) and brought it downstairs. And took a picture of it. It was an uncomfortable trip home with bites on my arms and neck. I wrote the CEO. I spoke with them to no avail. They don’t control their hotels. And the hotel manager said that guests bring the bed bugs. And that it wasn’t a bed bug. Really??

This is not, however, about griping. This is about early warning signals – and using tools like Associative Memories to quickly identify sentiments and problems across social media sites and the Internet. We can help.

“In creating tools we are designing new conversations and connections.” – Terry Winograd and Fernando Flores.

Anyone want to make me a song about bed bugs? I’ll send pictures.

Share This  |  Conversations (162)

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Another airline (a canadian one) put me through the same thing about 3 years ago. I shipped my guitar and when I opened it up when I finally got home from my trip I was surprised to find it somewhat beat up.

I know there is room for error in any big company, but you think there would be some kind of baggage handling policy, especially with instruments!!

Sincerely,
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