Last week, a 6-hour Southwest Airlines flight from California to Honolulu, Hawaii went viral. In collaboration with Guitar Center, the airline gave 180 passengers a surprise Mitchell MU40 Soprano ukulele and a lesson. Internet ‘comedians’ swarmed to mock the promotion, and deemed this flight a true nightmare. So much so, people who were on the flight swear they enjoyed it.
Amtrak got in on the roast, touting their quiet car.
“For anyone who wasn’t there, they can make it out to be as great or awful in their head. But if you were there in person, it was nothing but smiles,” Ryan Miyashiro said. Miyashiro is 1 of 3 Guitar Center teachers who were on the September 16th flight. “The lesson itself was a quick 20 minutes. It happened in the middle of the flight, and it was a nice break from what you’d normally be accustomed to doing on a long flight.” Many assumed the lesson took place at the beginning of the flight and the whole 6 hours were a nonstop barrage of unskilled ukulele music. While people did probably strum their newly acquired instruments it doesn’t sound like it was as overwhelming as many thought.
The goal of the promotion was to teach the passengers 3 chords G, C, and B7 so they could play “Hello, Aloha! How Are You?” a century-old Hawaiian standard. “The students — er, passengers — were able to pick it up very quickly,” Miyashiro claims. “They learned how to put it all together. A chord sheet was handed out with diagrams of the chords themselves and mapped with slashes with each strum and lyrics, but no music annotation was needed.”
When the flight was over the passengers were given the option to keep their instruments or ship them home for free. Check out a video from one of the passengers below: