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How the Busiest Airlines at Charles de Gaulle Airport Used Twitter During the Strike

Jun 26, 2014 12:01 pm

Skift Take

In times of anticipated crisis, man your Twitter stations. Provide up-to-date information, genuine sympathy and additional assistance.

— Joyce Manalo

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Pawel Loj  / Flickr

Flight information board. Pawel Loj / Flickr


Over 1,300 arriving and departing flights to Charles de Gaulle Airport‘s (CDG) were affected by a much dreaded 6-day strike by an air traffic controller union that started this Tuesday.

The strike is a result of anger over a European Commission initiative called Single European Sky that would modernize air traffic management across the continent. The air traffic controller union called off the strike yesterday — much sooner than expected – and flights are back to normal schedule, more or less.

Out of the ten busiest airlines at CDG, three European carriers actively tweeted on June 24. HOP, Flybe, and Air France have a wide range of average daily tweets rates from 80 to 3 Tweets/Day based on a 60-day average. HOP has the second most flights in and out of CDG, next to Air France (which is its parent company), but it’s also the least active of the bunch on Twitter. On strike day it tweeted twice as often than its daily average, beating Air France and Flybe’s noteworthy jumps.

Lufthansa was in line with its daily average and out of this group, EasyJet was the only one that tweeted at a lesser rate. Nonetheless, both airlines provided a personal touch through social customer service. Delta’s dedicated Twitter account, Delta Assist fielded tweets were primarily about American travel, there were only a few tweets that about the strike.

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The main themes of the conversations were providing up-to-date information on flight status, sympathizing with customers, and offering to remedy the situation. Although airlines are not mandated to service its passengers due to strikes, in some cases, they will honor rebooking fees or refund tickets. These acts of kindness goes a long way. Here are a few that we listened in on:

1. HOP! was more helpful than usual. It directed its community to a list of interrupted flights as well as a dedicated free number to call.

2. Flybe informed its passengers with a link to search flights that may have been affected by the strike and managed expectations about future travel dates.

3. Air France dealt with sarcasm, sympathized with its customers and offered additional assistance.

Airline Total Scheduled Flights at CDG (FlightStats) Tweet/Day (60-day Average) 6/24/14 Total Tweets Change in tweets
HOP! 110 3 9 200%
Flybe 18 35 80 129%
Air France 568 68 147 116%
CityJet 40 6 7 17%
Delta Assist 24 460 506 10%
Alitalia 16 11 12 9%
Lufthansa 40 31 33 6%
easyJet 96 80 56 -30%

Source: SkiftIQ

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