United Breaks Guitars, the sequel: “What did you mean when you said you’re sorry?”


And now an update on an interview I published last week with United Airlines regarding the viral video controversy, United Breaks Guitars.

The sequel to the first music video has been released this morning, and it’s a … polka.

In the interview, United’s Barbara Higgins said she had high hopes for the follow-up.

We expect the second video to be as light-hearted as the first, and have only asked that it not attack specific people. As Mr. Carroll has said directly, the agent he encountered is a great employee, unflappable and acted in the interests of the United policies she represented, and we couldn’t agree more. But in all candor, Mr. Carrroll has made his point, we have incorporated the experience into our training.


Apparently Carroll isn’t done making his point.

In the video, he not only names his United adversary, but he calls the airline’s policies “flawed” and adds, “I think you owe me for wrecking my guitar.”

Carroll seems to delight in showing United staff destroy musical instruments. But perhaps the most memorable scene at the end of the video depicts a crowd of disenchanted passengers who are apparently unhappy with the way in which they’ve been treated by the airline.

Light-hearted? Yes.

Devastating? Without a question.

Update: A United spokeswoman notes that the video is a little out of date.

We have since worked with him directly to fix, and in addition to unfairly singling out one of our people, the second video is suggesting we do something that we’ve already done — and that is to provide our agents with a better way to escalate and respond to special situations.

(See the full text in the comments.)


Christopher Elliott

Christopher Elliott is an author, journalist and consumer advocate. You can read more about him on his personal website or check out his adventures on his family adventure travel site. Contact him at chris@elliott.org.

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