The 8 best ways airlines have used social media

In recent years airlines have not only began to utilize mobile phone apps, but also social media. Take a look at our list of the top ways different airlines have gone about it, and let us know your thoughts!

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Cebu Pacific uses Facebook to aid natural disaster

Cebu Pacific is the largest low cost airline in the Philippines and when the country was hit with the devastating effect of a Typhoon in 2013, it helped aid the after effects using social media. It did this in a number of different ways, firstly by using the power of Facebook it demonstrated how it was in touch with what the country needed. In doing so, it showed that it was willing to build a strong rapport with those who needed it; ‘we are now waiving all Excess Baggage Fees and will accommodate as much as we can.’

In addition to this the airline also used the social media website to keep their users informed on the development of the aftermath development using photos, and posts.

[Picture: Mans Unides]

Emporium Festival 2010 - The Dark Ages

KLM enables customer choice through Facebook and Twitter

KLM are often referenced as the company that ‘gets’ social media. They were the first airline to reschedule a flight following a request from a user on Twitter.

Another remarkable social media campaign was started when KLM announced they’d be doing direct flights from Amsterdam to Miami at the end of March. Dutch DJ/Produced Sied Van Riel and filmmaker Wilco Jung then tweeted the airline asking if they could do this a week earlier than planned in order to get them to a festival in Miami. KLM responded that they would make this happen if the two of them could fill the plane to capacity, which of course they did, the flight then became known as the ‘highest altitude party’ even making its way into the Guinness book of world records. The whole flight was filmed, whilst the DJ spun his decks.

This was a perfect example of how powerful social media can be, but more importantly it showed a clear demonstration of just how much important it is for airlines to effectively use social media as a tool in gaining attention.

[Picture: We are the night]


Air Asia’s clever use of the dedicated tag

Air Asia proved yet another example of how an airline can help out when faced with a crisis. Yet again, it was in aid of the typhoon which hit the Philippines. The catastrophe itself left a city of 200, 000 people without one single building. Using a clever marketing campaign via social media, Air Asia helped raise reconstruction funds. Their most important tool was their use of the tag line -#toPHwithlove, which headlined all messages.

[Picture: Stratman]


Southwest Airlines use their social media to keep in control

In 2013, the nose gear on a Southwest Flight 345 collapsed causing an uncontrollable landing for all those on board, in fact it skidded the distance of seven football pitches before finally regaining control. Ten passengers were hurt, and six needed hospital treatment. Those on the outside wanted to know what was happening, and Southwest Airlines were happy to deliver. They wasted no time by jumping on the social media bandwagon, and created quick, insightful updates on what was going on.

Steven Frishling, a travel and aerospace social media consultant praised the airline on their efficiency; ‘If something happens, the airline is immediately on top of it. They are saying either ‘it happened’ or ‘we are investigating it,’ but they own that conversation.’

[Picture: Josephdepalma]


American Airlines quick to handle customer concerns

Many have said American Airlines are the best when it comes to using social media. At the beginning of 2013 they re-branded their overall look and experience. Their Twitter followers in 2013 stood at a total figure of 481, 910, however they now currently have 851,923 users. Not only are they reliable in getting back to their customers, they have also created good quality content, such as a live tweet chat with its vice president of customer care.

[Picture: David Oppenheimer]


Lufthansa Airlines and their clever app – MySkyStatus

This airline developed the social media app MySkyStatus allowing air travellers to update their social networks from the sky. The app allows the airline’s passengers to post updates about their departure and arrival times. Every customer post links back to the Lufthansa MySkyStatus page, meaning that customers are instantly made aware of their brand.

In addition to this, the airline also created a virtual pilot game back in 2010 which made its success when Stephen Fry came to the rescue and promoted it via Twitter.

[Picture: Hsckcwong]


Virgin America double team with Klout

This airline teamed up with a website/mobile app that uses social media analytics to rank its users; Klout. In doing so, it offered its top ‘Twitter influencers’ one free, round trip flight from LA or San Francisco to Toronto.

[Picture: Binder.donedat]


United Airlines online community deals

United Airlines was one of the first US airlines to engage with users. One way in which they have done this effecting is by using something called – Twares – Twitter-only airfare offers. By building special deals, and opportunities they have created a loyal legion of online followers.

[Picture: Aero Icarus]