Airlines Responding on Twitter

“Airlines Respond as Passengers Tweet Their Troubles,” reports NBC Dallas-Fort Worth, noting that American Airlines and Soutwest Airlines have started monitoring Twitter to show customers that they’re listening.

And as its example, reporter Scott Friedman cites the experience of Sarah Hofstetter, whose American Airlines flight was delayed in January, prompting worries that she’d miss her connecting flight to Honolulu.

While in flight, Hofstetter tweeted to @AmericanAir: “flt 721 from LGA left late for DFW & I’m worried I can’t connect to Flt 5 to HNL in time. Only 20 min b/w flts. Can they wait?”

“We will do our absolute best to assist with your connection,” AmericanAir wrote. “and will see you in DFW!”

Sarah replied, “thx so much. my family is freaking out in the air and my son is sick. can s/o get us to our gate in time?”

AmericanAir responded, “The pilots might be able to make up some time in the air. We want you on-time at HNL!”

Eventually, she made it to her gate in Dallas, and posted a triumphant checkin on Foursquare. American’s Twitter account said, “Beautiful! Have a wonderful trip, and be sure to bring us back some Hawaiian sunshine :)”

Of course, Hofstetter had help from her own followers. Andy Backover, managing directer of external communications for American, told NBCDFW:

“She basically fired up her army of promoters, who were basically tweeting at us to help us resolve her situation… This is really going to force companies of all sizes to up their performance, and we actually look forward to the challenge.”

[NBC Dallas-Fort Worth]

Ryan Ozawa

Ryan Kawailani Ozawa has immersed himself in new technologies and online communities since the days before the web. From running a dial-up BBS in the early '90s to exploring today’s dynamic world of "Web 2.0" and social media, he has long embraced and evangelized the ways in which technology can bring people together.