On the way back to Newark from the iMedia Brand Summit in Colorado Springs on June 10, 2009, I had a 45 minute layover in Atlanta. My Delta Airlines flight was supposed to take off at 6:55pm; however, it was cancelled. I was automatically rescheduled for a flight that left at 11:00pm. Now I was stuck in the airport for 5 hours. I immediately got on the customer service phones and switched to a flight into LaGuardia that was supposed to leave at 7:45pm, but was delayed to 9:30pm. I received no explanation and no apology, but as I looked around and saw that other passengers were in similar situations I didn’t make a fuss. That’s the summary of my Delta journey. I was okay with that, until I heard about an industry colleague’s experience heading home…
He was going to Chicago from the same iMedia Summit. You can read about his experience here. His American Airlines flight was delayed 5 hours. We were in the same boat. He “didn’t grumble too much,” but, he did Tweet about it. Less than a week later, he received an unsolicited apology email from American Airlines along with a 5,000 mile frequent flier mileage credit.
Is the moral of this story “Tweet and yee shall receive”? When I asked him, he said, “they probably did the same thing for everyone on that flight.” But I wonder if that’s true. Did each of the 150+ passengers on the American Airlines flight receive 5,000 miles? Are they that good to each of their customers? Is it really a difference between the two airlines? Or did he get something for his tweets? Is Twitter a way to reach the masses, or just the small percentile of the population that is innovative enough to be on Twitter?
American Airlines showed a great response time and kept a loyal customer happy via twitter. A great example of how a company should be using the online communication medium.
Today I will tweet about my experience and see if Delta responds.