Everyone who flew on a commercial plane this year can tell you it’s not the best time of year to travel. The pandemic is still affecting airlines, which has led to mass cancellations and consumer anger.
In the process, however, airlines have actually strived to be a bit more proactive – at least on social media, where any delay, long lines, seat issue or other problem is likely to result in a wave of tweets and posts. The proposed merger between Spirit and Jet Blue has created lots of social media discussion.
The carriers know that it is crucial to react before the story goes viral. When customer satisfaction has fallen to an all-time low, controlling the narrative becomes even more important.
Roger Entner (technology analyst, Recon Analytics) stated that the airlines seek to avoid the inevitable social media storm. “The airlines try to control the situation better by being proactive than when they’re absent and people are in an rage tempest.”
Certain Airlines get more attention than others. GlobalData’s recent Top 10 Most Mentioned Airlines H1 2022 Social Media Report ranked American Airlines, Inc. among top 10 airlines based upon social media discussion of Redditors, Twitter influencers, and Redditors in the first six months of 2022.
The social media discussion about the global airline companies has risen by 20% in the H1 2022 period, compared to the six-months prior. SmitaraniTripathy, GlobalData’s social media analyst, explained that H1 2022 saw a drop in net sentiment from social media users by 30%, compared with H2 2021.
Tripathy stated that one of the main reasons for the decline in influencer sentiments was due to an increase in flight cancellations because of staff shortages. Tripathy stated that the recessionary fear and the rising airfares due disruptions to the supply chain would have a significant impact on air travel demand.
American Airlines And Social Media
GlobalData’s most recent report found that American Airlines remained the most popular airline on social media.
Tripathy stated that 15% of airline voice was reduced to 15% H1 2022 from 20% the six previous months. A passenger dispute led to the highest social media conversation spike on the airline in mid-January. Influencers on Twitter also appreciated the airline’s efforts to adhere to the Federal Mask Regulations of Covid-19.
American Airlines is known for being one of the best social media-friendly carriers. American Airlines was, along with Southwest airlines, one of the first carriers to adopt social media. In fact, American was also the first to have a 24/7 social media team – which has been there to help customers.
It doesn’t necessarily mean it wasn’t positive. While there was still plenty of angry fliers this year, that is a problem all airlines must deal with. One problem is that not all airlines respond as well as others.
Jet Blue Flying High
As noted, Jet Blue has been discussed more on social media this summer – but not so much because of service issues. The proposed merger, rather than giving it an edge on all platforms has been a positive.
Tripathy stated that JetBlue experienced a 48% rise in social media conversation volume between H1 2022 and H2 2022. It is currently the most popular airline. The airline occupied the third spot with 14% voice share, replacing Southwest Airlines which was in the third place according to our H2 2021 reports. JetBlue’s April $3.6 billion cash offer for Spirit Airlines saw a spike in the number of social media users.
However, it remains to be determined if brand loyalty will result from all the discussion. However, most businesses will admit that they are more likely to talk about you than others.