Thousands of flights each and every day transport millions of passengers all over the world. As we all know, traveling can make one irritable, and delays or lost baggage prompt many consumers to complain. Before social media, these complaints might dissipate in the ether or be left on hold for 30 minutes. Fortunately, the airline industry has taken note of the social web as a customer service tool, fielding complaints, inquiries and yes, even compliments, on Twitter and Facebook. Never has the airline industry been so responsive, helpful, compassionate and human.
But aside from customer service, airlines use the social web to build their brand and grow a fan base, whether that’s via YouTube webisodes, special Twitter-only fares or offering free entry to a terminal lounge for an airport’s Foursquare mayor — the mark of a frequent traveler.