Customer service via social media has become an essential part of running an airline. It can be used not only to immediately ease travelers' tensions, but it can show other travelers how they can expect to be treated.
American Air’s Twitter team took a break from dealing with stranded passengers across the U.S. and replying to comments about the airline’s rebranding to make one of the few comments it has so far about the likely merger:
@julesmarie26 We continue with our evaluation of whether a merger could build on American’s strengths.
— American Airlines (@AmericanAir) February 8, 2013
We hope that, whatever happens, American’s social media team shows US Airways how to work Twitter and Facebook. According to SkiftSocial, the team from Tempe is pretty rubbish at using both. Here’s the response rate of US Airways on Facebook, followed by American’s activity:
Over the last two weeks, US Airways has ignored over 91% of Facebook comments and has only bothered to respond 22 times. When it does respond, it takes almost half a day.
Compare that to American. While they let almost 47% of posts go by, they responded to a staggering 390 posts, and the average response time was one hour.
Tale of the tweet
Twitter tells an even sadder tale for US Airways’ team. Below is the daily tweet rate, as well as the tweets by hour, according to SkiftSocial. The first chart is @USAirways, the second for @AmericanAir.
US Airways posts less than a tenth of the volume as American Air. Also notable is that they check out at 10pm every night and return at 7am EST. And it’s not that there aren’t customers to respond to: the 7am hour is the busiest of their day: that’s when they say “sorry we didn’t respond sooner to your cry of distress on Twitter.”