Tag Archives: airline

Virgin America Launches First In-Flight Social Network With #PlanePitch Twitter Contest

The ability to access your social networks while in the air is nothing new; many airlines offer in-flight WiFi (for a price) within the US.  But Virgin America is now offering the first in-flight social network in the US, allowing fliers to connect directly with other passengers on the flight, and with travelers landing at their destination airport.

Virgin America's new in-flight social network

Available both at the gate and at 35,000 feet and above, the social network is powered by Gogo (Virgin America’s WiFi partner) and the Here on Biz app.  How does the technology work? It finds the IP address and location of each Virgin America aircraft, and lets passengers make connections on their flight or at their destination airport (Boston.com). Users access the network by downloading Here on Biz iOS mobile app and registering a new account using their LinkedIn, Facebook or Twitter profile.

The in-flight social network is scheduled to be available on all domestic Virgin America flights by the end of February.

To get fliers excited about making connections in the air, Virgin America created the #planepitch Twitter promotion. Passengers share their “dream biz seatmate” and their perfect #planepitch for the chance to win a free Gogo in-flight WiFi pass (one winner each week), or the grand prize: one year of Elevate Gold Status, complimentary Gogo in-flight WiFi passes and six business flights with priority perks and extra legroom.

Virgin America #PlanePitch Promotion

Other airlines have used social networks to help passengers make connections, but this will be the first of its kind in the US.  So far the response seems very positive, with lots of hashtag #planepitch entries, ranging from silly to serious.

What would your #planepitch be?

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 To Launch ‘Social Seating’ Service

KLM To Launch 'Social Seating' ServiceLooking to do some in-flight networking? KLM Royal Dutch Airlines is planning to launch a “social seating” service, where passengers will be able to link their social media profile to their check-in information, and then choose a seating partner based on the social media profiles of other passengers.

This service, which KLM hopes to launch in the next year, will be available to all passengers checking in online, although passengers can choose whether they want their social media profiles to be made available to others on the flight. The social seating concept – sharing profiles from Facebook or LinkedIn – could create solid networking opportunities for business travelers, as reported by Radio Netherlands.

The service has not yet been ‘officially’ announced, but was discussed by a top executive at a recent conference.

What do you think?  Will passengers want to open their social profiles to other (unknown) passengers in the hopes of expanding their network?

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?


Realtime Customer Service Case Study: @DeltaAssist at #RLTM NY 11 [Best of the Backchannel]

Part 15 of our summary of tweets from #RLTM NY 11 Realtime Conference attendees. These tweets summarize the Case Study titled “The Realtime Brand From 30,000 Feet,” presented by Allison Ausband, Vice President, Reservation Sales and Customer Care, Delta Air Lines.

The ROI of @DeltaAssist's realtime customer service initiative include a 7% improvement in customer sentiment.

Check out more of our Best of the Backannel posts here.

@moon: Allison Ausband @DeltaAssist is on stage #RLTM

@Zendesk: We think @deltaAssist did a fab job using twitter for support during all those blizzards last winter: http://bit.ly/iOTVb2 #rltm #custserv

@BrandTechNews: #rltm Allison Ausband, Delta Airlines: real-time conversation means real-time response. World’s largest airline, but we need to be human

@DarryleP: “Having a twitter account is like having a fulltime ongoing focus group. ” @DeltaAssist #RLTM

@Zendesk: .@DeltaAssist uses 12 full-time agents to handle Delta’s Twitter feed 24/7. They’ve responded to 60,000 customer issues. #rltm

@Du4: Noticed this at #RLTM: there are miles of difference between “consumer” and “customer.” Choose either appellation w/ great care.

@OurManinSH: Listening to Allison Ausband from Delta sharing out on @deltassist – “these social media actions help us to connect with customers” #RLTM

@neilglassman: Allison Ausband @DeltaAssist speaks openly of superior cust serv via Twitter as a competitive advantage #RLTM

@RealtimeReport: Delta also created online ticket counter on Facebook, targeted toward family/friend reunions, and @DeltaAssist facebook page #RLTM

@SocialFlow: .@delta is using Facebook to enhance reach around social occasions in which ppl book travel: reunions, weddings… #RLTM

@nwjerseyliz: #RLTM Considering how many frustrated Tweets I see from passengers stranded by airlines, it’s interesting to hear about Delta’s social media

@GinnyCooper: Glad to say I’m flying @Delta to and from #RLTM. Great presentation re: @deltaassist

@SocialFlow: Key lesson from @deltaassist’s experience on Twitter: responsiveness is key to enhancing return business #RLTM

Airline Crisis Management: When Twitter Outpaces Corporate Communications

A Qantas Airbus A380 this week suffered engine trouble on a flight from Singapore to Sydney, Australia – one of the passengers said the engine exploded with a bang and parts dropped off – and made an emergency return to the airport. No one was injured, but Qantas suffered some reputation damage with the way it responded to the incident.

The first article from Reuters said Qantas told CNBC television that one of its planes crashed near Singapore. Whether the misinformation came from Qantas or Reuters isn’t clear, but Continue reading