Transport Airlines

Delta apologizes again, this time for passenger’s broken guitar

Jan 13, 2013 11:18 am

Skift Take

Delta has done a lot of apologizing lately, including to a disabled vet, and it should especially be careful about the social media whiplash potential of aggrieved musicians. After all, the video/song “United Breaks Guitars” has millions of YouTube views.

— Dennis Schaal

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Guitar-maker Gibson has stepped in to replace a $10,000 vintage guitar that was reported destroyed by Delta Air Lines cargo handlers last month.

Dave Schneider, lead singer for hockey-themed Connecticut band the Zambonis and lead guitarist for The LeeVees, a Jewish band, discovered his 1963 Gibson ES-335 TD irreparably damaged after a Delta flight from Buffalo to Detroit.

Schneider said he learned upon landing that the guitar had been crushed between a service elevator and loading dock at the gate.

The airline encourages musicians to carry instruments onto planes when possible, a Delta spokeswoman said, but Schneider was told to check the guitar because the aircraft was small and cabin storage space was limited.

“Delta has been in touch with this customer to apologize, and we’ve worked with him to resolve the situation,” customer care representative Laura McGill wrote on Delta’s blog.

Nashville-based Gibson said Delta offered Schneider $1,000 for the $10,000 guitar, and he declined. Gibson agreed to replace it.

“As soon as we saw the picture of the crushed guitar case and heard Dave’s story, we felt immense sympathy for him,” Gibson CEO Henry Juszkiewicz said. “At Gibson we’re committed to music and those who love and appreciate their instruments. For musicians like Dave, instruments are practically members of their family. It was only right to replace his guitar, and we are happy to have him at our showroom.”

Gibson said Schneider would pick up the new guitar at Gibson’s New York showroom.

Gibson has a guitar factory in Memphis; Delta operates a passenger hub at Memphis International Airport. ___

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