Twitter Takes to the Air

JumboJetLanding.jpgSeveral airlines have joined the Twitter party, with mixed results, reported.

JetBlue has amassed 885,000 followers, and other airlines are attracting Twitterers, as well, including Southwest (290,000), Virgin America (24,000), United Airlines (16,000), Delta Air Lines (7,300) and American Airlines (5,600).

Travel blogger Chris Elliott cited JetBlue and Southwest as successful Twitter users, and reported that the latter’s Christi Day used the social-networking platform to report on an emergency landing for one of the airline’s flights, caused by a one-square-foot hole in the fuselage. Her tweets led to Southwest’s official press release.

Virgin America director of corporate communications Abby Lunardini told she views Twitter as a growing customer-relationship-management tool, adding, “We’ve had guests tweet about missing food service, and we sent a message to the plane’s crew to assist…We got a tweet from someone en route to Boston who said he had been ignored on the flight and had some other service issues. Our team met him at the gate in Boston and asked if we could assist with anything or help him further.”

But pointed out that all is not rosy in the skies for Twitter, as Delta was bashed several times over the new uniforms for its flight attendants, and then taken to ask by Andy Azula, creative director at the Martin Agency and the actor in the UPS Whiteboard commercials, who linked to a since-removed blog post saying that he and his family waited at the airport for 13 hours after a Delta flight delay, missing a number of meetings and a family gathering, and the airline didn’t offer any type of compensation.