Tag Archives: airline industry

Which Airlines Are Most Responsive On Twitter?

Which airline brands are the most responsive on Twitter? New data from SocialBakers looks at the difference between the amount of answered and unanswered questions – on Twitter only – among major airlines.

American Airlines is well in the lead, with 9,058 questions answered. KLM – known for creativity in social media marketing – came in second, with 6,691. KLM was one of the first to offer 24-hour social media customer service on Twitter and YouTube, and even began displaying customer service response times on the brand’s Twitter account back in November 2013.

Socially Responsive Airline Brands

Virgin America, another risk-taker in social media, is not even present among the top ten; the brand is known for being the first to offer WiFi on all flights, and for launching the first in-flight social network in February 2014.

Comparing the data to 2013, SocialBakers found that the top 10 airlines (listed above) in 2014 are answering more questions than the top ten last year. Does your preferred airline respond quickly on Twitter?

The data comes from early results of SocialBakers’ Socially Devoted initiative for Q1 2014.

71% of Airlines See Mobile as the Future of Airline Payments

Airlines see mobile as future of payments

photo: Wikipedia Commons

Mobile and social media will be a focus for airlines over the next few years, according to a recent survey from airline payment processing company WorldPay. Kiosks will become less important, and sales will shift to social media and mobile. A whopping 83% of airlines believe that improvement and deployment of new payment technology is a major business priority.

And mobile looks like the future of those improvements. Over two-thirds – 71% – of respondents believe the future of airlines payments lies in mobile.  Mobile payments are considered both a way to keep up with competitors (50%) and a way to increase revenues (45%). In the future, mobile services will include seat upgrades, booking management, onward travel and inflight purchases.

Social media will also play a major role in this shift. Most carriers already have a presence on the major social media channels (Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter) and this will increase in the next two years; 40% of carriers plan to be active on Google+ in the next year alone.

Nearly one-third (29%) of airlines will enable sales via social media in the next 12 months.  Social media-savvy KLM Royal Dutch Airlines began offering social media booking and sales as an option back in February.

Here are some additional highlights from the survey of 68 global carriers (including both low-cost and traditional airlines):

  • mobile acceptance on-board flights will increase from 5% to 36% in the next two years
  • 18% of airlines will accept e-wallets on board by 2016
  • 40% believe self-service kiosks will be less important in the future

“Mobile is not without its challenges…but with more than three quarters of the world’s population now having access to a mobile device, airlines can’t afford to ignore this high-growth channel, ” says Mike Parkinson, WorldPay VP Airlines.

Download the full report here — Alternative Payment and Distribution Landscape: Airline Distribution Channels.

KLM Lets You Book Flights Via Facebook and Twitter

KLM customers can book flights and pay on social mediaHere’s another first for airlines: KLM Royal Dutch Airlines is now allowing customers to book flights and pay via social media.

A customer on Facebook or Twitter can now book or rebook a flight, reserve a seat, arrange extra baggage, and pay through the social networking platform. There’s no need to call or visit a separate website to make a payment; all contact with the customer can take place “exclusively” through the social media channel they choose. KLM believes this will lead to better, more convenient service, all in one place.

Here’s how it works:

  • KLM sends a link to the customer in a private message on Facebook or Twitter
  • customers select their preferred method of payment and complete the transaction
  • KLM receives a message to say that payment has been received
  • the customer receives payment confirmation

Why did KLM decide to take this route?  Customers requested it — KLM’s 130 social media agents answer around 35,000 queries on Facebook and Twitter every week.

KLM has the largest Facebook following of any airline (over 5.1 million fans) and 804,000 followers on Twitter (@KLM). The airline has long been at the forefront of social media integration, including displaying their social media customer service response time on Twitter, and launching a ‘social seating’ service called Meet & Seat.

KLM Twitter Updates Customer Service Response Time

Booking through social media is not a new concept – Loews Hotels & Resorts allow customers to book via Twitter – but KLM is the first to allow the entire process to happen via a social network, payment included.  Will this initiative be successful for the airline?

KLM Now Displays Social Media Customer Service Response Time

In other realtime airline news, KLM Royal Dutch Airlines today announced that it would begin displaying its social media team’s live response time in the header of its Twitter account and on the customer support page at KLM.com. It will also be visible on KLM’s global Facebook page shortly.

KLM Social Media response time

KLM offers customer service 24/7 in ten languages on Twitter, Facebook and VKontakte. This airline says it will also soon offer customer service on Google+ and Sina Weibo. KLM’s social media team handles about 30,000 messages each week.

In a blog post, the company’s SVP E-Commerce Martijn van der Zee was quoted as saying “we believe in the transparency of social media. Customers want to know what to expect from us. We now offer them real-time insight into our response time.”

The company announced the new policy in a tweet this morning, which has received overwhelmingly positive response.


Do you think more companies should be posting their social media response times?

KLM Launches 24Hr Social Media Customer Service With Live Replies Via YouTube, Twitter

KLM Launches Social Media Customer Service Campaign

Another airline making serious waves in the social media space is KLM Royal Dutch Airlines.  Their latest endeavour, meant to promote the launch of a new “24-hour service to social media,” involves posting videos on YouTube of live human responses to tweets sent to @KLM.  This innovative campaign was announced via Twitter on September 19 and ran from 12 noon until late in the evening, according to the KLM press release. While the campaign was running, any tweets sent to @KLM might receive a ‘KLM Live Reply’ – KLM employees at Amsterdam Schiphol Airport lined up holding letters to become a ‘living alphabet’ 140-character response.

“To show the world KLM’s helpful social media service, we’ve replaced normal Facebook and Twitter typed responses with a living alphabet made up of 140 KLM employees. This dedicated crew responds to tweets and posts in a unique way, by running around and assembling the answer live before your eyes, within the hour,” reports Social Times. The campaign was explained in more detail on YouTube, and the dozens of live replies were both uploaded to YouTube and tweeted.

How much effort did KLM put into the ‘Live Reply’ campaign? It involved 450 KLM volunteers, working in three shifts, to answer questions via Tweets, Facebook posts, or Hyves, with all responses using just 140 characters.  “Today’s campaign should show, in a special — and, more important, personal way — that we’re willing to go the extra mile for our customers,” said Martijn van der Zee, SVP E-commerce AF KLM.

Going forward, KLM will use social media to answer every customer message personally within one hour, twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week, in Dutch or English.  Customers can reach KLM through social media to ask any questions about their travel, and KLM will inform its ‘friends’ and ‘followers’ about the latest KLM news.

Was this an effective way for KLM to promote their new social media customer service capabilities?  And is the prospect of a live human response enough to get customers engaged and tweeting, and worth the impressive amount of manpower the effort required?