American Airlines, and Continue to Lead Travel Fleet on Social Media

By Sonja Hegman Comment


Engagement Labs recently released a six-month rankings analysis on U.S. airlines and online travel agents (OTAs) finding that brands are putting more focus on responding to followers.

The findings are based on eValue findings, the company’s analytics tool.

Engagement Labs CEO Bryan Segal commented on the study:

The six month eValue rankings for OTAs and airlines show there has been progress made within the travel industry on social media, specifically with the increase in responsiveness efforts from many of the brands. Airlines and OTA’s have a tremendous opportunity to continue to leverage their social media channels to further build brand awareness and become top of mind to consumers when they are booking their next trip.

He added that based on the six-month analysis, despite the fact that responsiveness increased, engagement remained low.

Top Ten Airlines – Six Month Comparison on Facebook

Ranking March 2015 September 2015
1 American Airlines American Airlines
2 Island Air Alaska Airlines
3 Delta Air Lines Hawaiian Airlines
4 Frontier Airlines JetBlue Airways Corporation
5 Hawaiian Airlines Delta Air Lines
6 Sun Country Airlines Southwest Airlines
7 Southwest Airlines Frontier Airlines
8 Alaska Airlines Sun Country Airlines
9 JetBlue Airways Corporation Virgin America
10 Allegiant Travel Island Air

Top Ten Airlines – Six Month Comparison on Twitter

Ranking March 2015 September 2015
1 American Airlines American Airlines
2 United Airlines Alaska Airlines
3 Alaska Airlines United Airlines
4 Sun Country Airlines JetBlue Airways Corporation
5 Allegiant Travel Sun Country Airlines
6 Delta Air Lines Southwest Airlines
7 JetBlue Airways Corporation Virgin America
8 Southwest Airlines Hawaiian Airlines
9 Frontier Airlines Delta Air Lines
10 Virgin America Frontier Airlines

While airlines have made improvements to be more responsive, on average, they only scored 41 out of the possible 100, with JetBlue Airlines achieving the highest responsiveness subscore of 85.94 on Twitter, with an average response time of six minutes. There is still plenty of room for airlines to take their customer service a step further via social media, Segal said:

We found that the airlines have a huge opportunity to engage their followers by creating content that will encourage them to communicate with their brand.

When looking at engagement subscores for the airline industry, they are low on average, with the average subscore on Facebook at 49.47 and 37.95 on Twitter, out of a possible 100.

American Airlines had the highest engagement subscore on Twitter of 67.78, along with the highest number of replies per 1,000 fans. The brand may not have the most followers of the group, but they are leaders in creating and posting content that resonates with followers. For example, the airline leverages user-generated content and images, which encourages followers to engage with them.

When looking at Twitter, three airlines have remained at the top, with American Airlines holding the number one spot with an eValue score of 88.17. In the second and third spot Alaska Airlines, which moved up one spot since March, and United Airlines, which moved down a spot since March. Similar to trends identified on Facebook, all three of these brands improved their responsiveness subscores by more than 10 points.

Top Ten Online Travel Agents  – Six Month Comparison on Facebook

Ranking March 2015 September 2015
2 Orbitz Worldwide Airbnb
3 Travelocity Hotwire
4 CheapOair Travelzoo
5 Expedia Expedia
6 CheapTickets Orbitz
7 OneTravel Travelocity
9 Fare Buzz CheapOair

Top Ten Online Travel Agents  – Six Month Comparison on Twitter

Ranking March 2015 September 2015
2 OneTravel
3 CheapOair Airbnb
4 Expedia Expedia
5 Airbnb CheapOair
6 Travelzoo OneTravel
7 Orbitz
8 CheapAir
9 Travelocity Hotwire
10 TripAdvisor

Online Travel Agents are also using their social media to stay top of mind and encourage future bookings with their consumers.

In the six-month follow-up, not only remained the top OTA on Facebook, but increased their eValue score from 56.92 to 81.34, which is almost 40 points higher than its closest competitor. The brand also encourages its fans to interact with its page by posing questions, such as asking about their travel style or the destination they want to travel to next, then thanking them for their responses.

On Twitter, remained the top ranked OTA with the highest engagement subscore and number of retweets per 1000 followers. Expedia jumped from the fourth to second spot due to a major increase in their Responsiveness subscore, while CheapOair remained in the third spot.

Image courtesy of on Facebook