Southwest Airlines is facing the heat on Twitter after the company gave out ukuleles to a flight of passengers flying from California to Hawaii.
The airline revealed in a Tuesday twitter post that they had teamed up with Guitar Center to surprise customers heading to Honolulu with a ukulele and a lesson.
"By the time they arrived in Honolulu they were pros," the airline’s Twitter account said.
"Don't worry, y'all, everyone put their ukuleles away after 20 minutes since they had already mastered how to play," the airline added in a subsequent tweet.
Southwest quickly drew flak from social media users for the stunt, often becoming the target of mockery and memes.
"I am a big fan of Southwest, but this might have made me homicidal," The Atlantic journalist Tom Nichols wrote.
"Me when my noise-cancelling headphones won’t work against 200 ukuleles," Twitter user @Andys_Brain wrote, accompanied by a picture of professional football coach Jose Moirinho taking off a headset in disgust.
"The thing Southwest did with the ukelele flight is marketing genius. Do you know how much free exposure this got them? Plus, they can flip it on its head and do spots like, "We promise. Our flights are 99.9999% ukelele free. If you're into that sort of thing," @JuanchoS chimed in.
"Southwest Airlines is actually promoting the fact that they forced a captive audience to sit through a ukelele lesson, which is probably illegal under the Geneva Convention," @texasannie joked.
Washington Post contributor Sonny Bunch tweeted out a gif of "Parks and Recreation" character Ron Swanson saying, "This is my hell."
Several other users also poked fun at the company.
Guitar Center, the world’s largest musical instrument retailer, announced in a press release that the viral marketing was the first-ever-in-flight ukulele class by the company, and gave each passenger on the Boeing 737-800 aircraft a Mitchell MU40 Soprano Ukulele. Guitar Center instructors taught passengers how to play the song "Hello, Aloha. How are you?"
The flight was part of a marketing campaign by Southwest, which is holding sweepstakes with Guitar Center to give applicants the chance to win two Guitar Center ukuleles, as well as a roundtrip flight on the airline.
"Playing music is our passion at Guitar Center. Learning an instrument like the ukulele is an enriching and rewarding experience that creates lifelong benefits and memories. We offer Guitar Center lessons in almost any instrument online and in our stores across the country and for this one-time special flight, above the clouds! Not many people can say they learned to play a song on a Southwest flight to Hawaii!" said Donny Gruendler, Guitar Center VP of music education.