Throwback To When One Singer’s Diss Track “United Breaks Guitars” Plunged The Airline’s Stock Price & Cost Shareholders $180 Million

Dave Carroll
Dave Carroll

Has anyone else been wondering why Boeing and United haven’t done more in response to all of the airline fiascos that have happened in recent months?

Yesterday, some of the higher ups from Boeing, including the CEO, finally stepped down after it was discovered that they not only cut costs, but cut corners when it came to the safety of their airplanes. That was made evident when the door of an Alaskan Airlines flight flew off during a flight in January.

The firing of Boeing leaders is a step in the right direction, but it’s still not the drastic change that frequent flyers would like to see. How could we, the people, force upon change to the airline industry? Well, we might have to follow a blueprint that was laid out by a musician named Dave Carroll 14 years ago.

You might remember this story, as it is one of the earliest examples of something “going viral.” Carroll was flying with his band on United Airlines, and during his flight, he noticed that the baggage handlers loading the plane were recklessly throwing around he and his bandmates’ equipment.

We’ve all probably seen this take place on flights of our own, and there’s really nothing you can do in the moment as you watch through the small airplane windows. When Carroll and his band got where they were going, he opened up his guitar case and sure enough, his $3,500 Taylor guitar was broken.

The artist first tried to get in touch with customer support to resolve the issue, but they ended up being no help at all. How surprising is that? So Carroll thought up a genius idea: Write a diss track towards United Airlines about how they break guitars.

He did just that and uploaded the song, not-so-subtly titled “United Breaks Guitars,” onto YouTube. It didn’t experience overnight virality, but once it finally gained traction, it took off (no airplane joke intended).

People who related to the aggravating experience of dealing with the airline industry kept sharing and sharing the music video, quickly amassing the clip millions upon millions of views. To this date, it’s racked up a whopping 23 million in viewership.

But the best part about it is that as the song went more and more viral, the stock price for United Airlines skewed farther and farther away from cruising altitude. By that, I mean that the stock price decreased a total of 10%, costing shareholders an incredible $180 million.

And it all could have been avoided if, you know, United Airlines did their job correctly. Whether that was the baggage handlers handling the luggage with more care, or the airline’s customer support actually supporting a customer. Instead, they chose to do neither, and paid the price when Dave Carrol dropped this BANGER of a song:

Man, that’s going to be stuck in my head for a while now.

Seems to me like we need someone out there to make another, more modern diss track to really sock it to Boeing and all of the airlines who care more about stock prices than safety. Hell, someone see what Dave Carroll is up to and see if he’s up to the challenge yet again?

A beer bottle on a dock



A beer bottle on a dock