Some airlines understand the power of social media, some don’t

I just spent the past 45 minutes catching up on tweets and “chatted†with fellow BoardingArea blogger AAdvantage Geek back-n-forth a couple of times (as well as VeryGoodPoints… hi Stacey!). Anyway, AAdvantage Geek congratulated me on my Executive Platinum status and hoped to see me soon in flight when lo and behold:

a screenshot of a computerNow this wouldn’t have happened, of course, unless American weren’t already following us both. But it did and it reminded me that I need to get back in touch with my contact there at American’s social media team to do an interview I have been planning for my blog on Why do I want to interview them? Because they understand the power of social media interaction with customers.

How cool is it that a large airline empowers their social media team to have a personality and a bit of fun? It’s soooo refreshing and it certainly left a lasting impression on me. And this isn’t the first time American has done this, either. I’ve had other interactions with them, as well as witnessed hilarious back-n-forth dialogs with OneMileAtATime, among others. All this while providing what I consider to be the best active response to customers in need on Twitter – and at lightning speed no matter the time of day.

As far as airlines that don’t get it? Err… I’m looking at you @united. Besides the admittedly interesting “plane chat†series they conduct once a month, I rarely see an active presence on Twitter from United. They do occasionally reply to customer questions, but not to the level I’ve seen from American and Delta.

At this year’s Frequent Traveler University in April, a representative from United’s Customer Experience group fielded questions from a large group of frequent flyers and United was shocked to find out how many people use Twitter. From Wandering Aramean’s summary:

a blue and white textSo, I’m hoping United will take note and if there’s ever a time they could benefit from creating a positive brand awareness in the mind of a customer via social media, it’s now.


  1. I’ve had very positive experience with the @AmericanAir twitter team in helping solve a problem, although I’m not a frequent twitter user. @aadvantagegeek has helped me out in the past as well with AA questions, plus his blog is quite interesting. No he didn’t pay me to say this…

    • @AAdvantage Geek: I’m going to get started on it tomorrow, for sure.
      @Alex: Yeah, Delta rocks it out, too.
      @Stacey: My pleasure!
      @BothofUs2: Glad to hear… and glad to hear AAdvantage Geek didn’t pay you 😉

    • @oliver2002: Fair point, but my focus was on the big three here in the U.S. – American (great), United (poor) and I gave a hat tip to Delta. 😉

  2. I’m always surprised when companies don’t use this “free” way of communicating directly to their customers. Social media is a very powerful tool.
    After sitting on-hold for an airline, I will ‘tweet-out’ my concern or question and 50% of the time I get a response and help.
    One of the best interactions was with Delta, they seem to “get it”.
    Here’s to other Airlines and companies figuring out how to best use theses social media connections.

  3. @ Darren – Looking forward to it!

    @ BothofUs2 – Thanks for the compliment! (send me an invoice;-)

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