an blog | AJBlog Central | Contact me | Advertise | Follow me:

United Airlines flies an orchestra. With instruments?

This is the new UA ad campaign. It features an orch (recognise ‘em?) playing Rhapsody in Blue on instruments they somehow managed to smuggle on board.

Anyone tried to get a cello onto a UA flight? Friendly, was it?…

UPDATE: We have been informed that the soundtrack on the ad was licensed from the London Symphony Orchestra, but not the musicians. So who are they? Are they musicians at all?

cello air






Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...


  1. They’re actors… claims United. Had similar feelings as you – do they realize the confusing message they are sending regarding instruments on board…

    • Greg Von Notias says:

      They are not all actors. I know one of the violinists in the commercial. He has a masters in violin performance. None the less, it is a damned shame what they have been doing to cellists and other instrumentalists in the past few years.

      • Buried in the copy from that link is a line about how they hired actors, and used the LSO recording. That’s not to say some aren’t ALSO musicians, are that some were musicians who were hired specifically for this to be alongside other actors. Keep in mind, this whole thing is a return to an old campaign used by United in the late 80s-early90s, anyway.

        • Alan Penner says:

          True. It’s rather common to hire musicians to imitate a performance since they can make it look the most authentic.

          • Hey y’all! I was a violinist in this commercial. I am an actor AND a musician, as were most of the other people I met on the shoot :-) And we really were all in economy/economy comfort, aside from the timpani!

  2. It is definitely not that easy to get an instrument online and I definitely agree, it sends a very mixed message.

  3. I’ll wager Lyn Harrell wasn’t in THAT orchestra…..

  4. Christopher O'Riley says:

    United is my airline of choice. If they don’t fly somewhere I’m playing, I don’t play there. Matt Haimovitz was recently traveling with TWO cellos, his Gofriller and a c.1770 Bohemian he’d gut-strung for our original instruments Beethoven cycle in Chicago. UA was very cordial to him; so much so that, whenwemetagain for a concert of our usual moremodernrepertoire, the United agentgreetedhim at the ticketcounterwith ‘onl ONE
    cello today?’

  5. Yeah, that’s just asking for it. This is the most ham=handed ad they could come up with.

  6. Reggie Benstein says:

    Isn’t that Cirque du Soleil cellist Tina Guo ? She has a very heavy web presence. No doubt they had to put her in Business Class in order to film that close up !

  7. I want to know: what kind of plane is in the commercial? – with space between the seas enough for clarinets, French horns, and trombones! I want to fly in THAT plane!

an ArtsJournal blog