Skift Take

Airlines have adjusted to the age of the tweet quite well, responding to the concerns of VIPs like Rubio and plain old voters with similar levels of support. But if American's labor troubles continue, it better make sure its social media team is well compensated.

It’s nothing new for travelers to be frustrated with their airlines at some point along their journey from point A to B. Back before Twitter, they simply complained to friends, co-workers, and family about how ridiculous it was that the Spirit flight was cancelled and they were stranded for a day in some airport with no services or place to crash.

Then came Twitter, and everyone from Kevin Smith to non-celebrity flyers decided to vent via the micro-blogging service about the airline that wasn’t getting them to where they wanted to go when they were supposed to.

On Friday, U.S. Senator Marco Rubio joined the complaining crowd. The Florida legislator was attempting to get to Washington, D.C. for a vote. American Airlines made this difficult, as was clear from his Twitter activity.

Yes, this has been well covered by us and others.

In his next tweet Rubio points out that this is not something new.

Rubio demonstrates he’s not new to Twitter and kicks in a little hashtag action with #cmonman.

Rubio decides here to take a stand against executives at large corporations and the decisions they make that hurt employees. Wait, did he go Democrat like his state-mate Charlie Crist?

Rubio walks back the “workers of the world unite”-tone of his previous email by pointing out that the pilot’s support of a right-wing political movement means he’d never miss a day of work even if his employers had just had his contract thrown out by a bankruptcy court judge.


… because when you’re part of a group conducting a potentially illegal labor action the first person you tell about it is a U.S. senator.

Despite what the heroes told Rubio, according to American and other sources there are higher than average reports of sick pilots. Meanwhile, doctors are prescribing “love of the Constitution” to ward of the coming flu season.

Here’s where Rubio separates himself from famous and agitated American Airlines passenger (and political opposite) Alec Baldwin: He puts his phone away like a good citizen when required to.


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Tags: american airlines, labor, politics, social media, twitter

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