Imagine this scene: A group of passengers are at the gate in Chicago about to take off for Atlanta. The pilot reports that during his walk-around, he found a flat tire and there will be a considerable delay. All 150 passengers look around anxiously and begin to dread the long line at customer service once they arrive in Atlanta or the long wait on the customer service call. The passengers with trip insurance and some of the savvy Twitter users who spur action by directly broadcasting the situation to the offending airline, will be most likely to be covered for the delay and efficiently re-booked.
The prevailing slogan of the airline industry seems to be, “the airline one flies, is the airline one loathes.” Translated, it means that sooner or later, no matter what airline one chooses to fly, a customer service-related breakdown will occur. This eventual disappointment is the reason it is a great idea to buy travel insurance. That way, you are covered when travel plans go awry. Also, it is a reason that social media sites, like Twitter, have become a popular place for passengers to voice their displeasure and seek recourse from airlines.
Recent reports from Twitter state that there is a strong uptick in tweets directed at leading brands’ customer service handles. These tweets are not all complaints, but one can see that calling out specific brands on Twitter is on the increase. And everyone knows that consumers are more likely to report bad customer service as opposed to good customer service.
Twitter, used effectively, is a respectable place to complain. It is instantaneous and one lone voice from the lost baggage office in a far-flung airport can actually start a campaign of sorts. In its most benign form, Twitter is a great place to let go of a little steam when being held captive on the tarmac because of a broken jet bridge or stuck at the gate because the flight crew is late. But if you want a quick response from the airline, you need to make sure your Tweet is directed to the right place. Some of the larger airlines actually encourage the use of their official Twitter feed to commence and expedite the resolution of a customer service related failure. When complaining via Twitter, it is best to take the emotion out of the complaint and make sure the hashtag (or handle) employed is tied to the airline’s customer service operation. The savviest Twitter complainers go straight to the airline’s Twitter account direct message application and avoid the universal handle altogether.
When traveling, it is a smart idea to consider buying travel insurance to cover you for losses that may result from delays, cancellations and other unexpected occurrences. It is also smart to consider your options, such as Twitter, to effectively communicate your flying experience, and requests, with your airline.