Social Media Puts Airlines and Consumers in Touch

With the Summer travel season underway full tilt, major airlines engage customers via social media channels. Planning a trip or vacation has never been easier, or more socially connected than this year. ExactTarget helps put companies and customers in the digital conversation – better communication, means better customer retention, according to anyone’s news.

US airlines have already flown some 206 million vacationers, this is an increase of more than 3 million since the same period of last year. While this is good news for the airlines, the congestion of the airways can prove troublesome for travelers. Morgan Johnston of JetBlue Airways had this to say about the social sphere;

“Tech savvy travelers are increasingly using social media to provide real-time feedback to carriers and share their experiences with others. You need to stay sharp if you want to keep up and stay engaged”

Jet Blue, Hawaiian Airlines, United and US Airways, among the many others, are utilizing Twitter, Facebook, and soon G+ to engage their clients and potential clients in real communication about travel. With the need for consumer loyalty becoming a more and more important factor for the airline industry, even smaller airlines have adopted social channels to get their message across.

From airBaltic, easyJet, and Hawaiian Airlines, to JetBlue, Icelandair, and the larger carriers, return customers have become a top priority. And retention is about communication in the digital age. And ExactTarget is one tool many are converting to.

The global interactive marketing provider, ExactTarget, uses CoTweet to help these airlines integrate into the social media aspect, by helping with day to day customer problems such as; flight delays, rescheduling, seat organization, luggage handling and much much more.
Here are five ways Social media has helps airline passengers with their flights.

  • SouthwestAir helps customers find awesome deals for the whole family. Southwest Air recently celebrated their fortieth anniversary by giving a 72 hour long sale in flight tickets, along with messaging consumers via Facebook, and Twitter. If you need to reschedule your flight plans, social media networks like Twitter, produce a faster and more expedient result than your everyday customer service.
  • airBaltic connects with their customers through social media outlets to give an up to date flight plan.
  • UnitedAirlines alerts their followers and friends in Facebook and Twitter, about delays and rescheduling. United passengers can always have the latest on their flights.
  • USAirways provides program updates, great new deals and last-minute reward opportunities through their social media outlets. If you’re a frequent flier you get the latest on deals and rewards. If you have problems with your baggage, you can reach out to customer service through Facebook or Twitter and you get a quick resolution to any of your problems.

Morgan Johnston of Jet Blue Airways had this to add about his company’s initiative via social spheres;

”CoTweet has helped us transition from a single listening post to a 24/7 monitoring hub with the ability to leverage multiple areas of expertise within our organization to provide a seamless flow of information between our operations, and our customers.”

These and other airlines have reached out to ExactTarget to get their CoTweet program, to increase their interaction with customers and passengers during times of crises. CoTweet was a real help to some airlines last year when the volcanic eruption in Iceland took place, and shut down some of the world’s largest airports. Jesse Engel, VP of social media at ExactTarget added this;

“Over the last few years we’ve seen a significant uptick in conversations about air travel across social media, which has opened the door for airlines to say, ‘We’re here, we’re listening, and we care!’