The past couple of weeks has given me a number of travel related panics…! I had what now seems a perfectly timed diversion from the British Airways IT meltdown (phew!) followed by a recent flight cancellation on the third leg of my planned trip to South America, only to be offered flights to travel the next day… Making it too late to make the start of my trip, and the lovely guys at Travel Up leaving me with little choice but to book a new flight. Urgh!
Travel is hard industry to hit the sweet spot when it comes to consumer PR. Going on holiday or the trip of a lifetime is one of those things you plan meticulously for, and when even the smallest thing goes wrong, we want to tell the world… And we want the world, and the operators to listen!
From updates on crises, to feedback about inflight service, and of course complaining, social media has now become the most important and fastest way for airlines to connect with their customers, as well as for customers to get real-time information regarding their flights.
How brands are choosing to manage their social presence as both a customer service portal, and a PR tool, is now critical to success. Here are some of our favourite past campaigns from the airline industry around the world!
Icelandic low-cost carrier WOW Air never fail to spark a bit of creativity in their PR campaigns, often focusing on digital engagement, and back in 2015 they decided to use Tinder (yes, Tinder!) as their digital platform to engage with their target consumers.
WOW Air used the matchmaking app to giveaway a pair of free airline tickets to the match with the wittiest pick-up line in each of their global markets. Users simply had to find WOW Air on Tinder, swipe right, and get wooing! How many PR’s can say they have successfully integrated Tinder into a PR strategy… And it worked?!
They have now built a reputation as one of the industry’s most creative brands, recently launching the world’s first ever high altitude birthday balloon to celebrate their birthday. Pretty cool!
LOST & FOUND… QUICKER!
With more and more passengers using Twitter and Facebook to reach out to airlines for customer service, KLM created a campaign that involved setting a social-based Lost and Found team dedicating to finding and delivering lost items. Retrieving lost items from most airlines is a lengthy process that involves recruiting airport security to find a lost item. The speed of social media can cut this time dramatically, and KLM’s Lost and Found team are able to quickly through airport security to find and return lost items.
The campaign to launch the service was supported with a cute viral video showcasing an adorable dog running through the airport, fetching lost items, and returning them back to their owners. If only the dogs were there in real life to return the goods!
CHRISTMAS IN JULY…
… As that old PR saying go! Despite the time of year, we cannot talk airline PR campaigns without mentioning Canadian airline WestJet’s emotional Christmas Miracle stunt, in which passengers got to tell Santa Claus what they want before catching their flight. And oh, just like magic, there it was there waiting for them at the other end of their journey.
On last count, the video documenting the hard work of all the WestJet elves had received over 47 million views! You’d just be gutted if you were one that asked for the socks, right?!
Our consumer lifestyle PR team specialise in connecting everyday brands with everyday people across four core sectors; Consumer Lifestyle PR, Food & Drink PR, Consumer Technology PR and Sport, Health & Wellbeing PR. More information on these areas of knowledge can be found at www.escapadepr.com/about-us.