German airline risks wrath of Twitter over cancellations

Posted on April 27, 2013

 

Germany’s flag carrier Lufthansa experienced some bad press on social media sites as it cancelled most of its flights on Monday April 22, due to ground crews taking action.

Usually, the airline has over 1,700 flights scheduled each day; Monday, saw this drop to a handful. Flights to UK airports including London, Birmingham and Manchester were affected.

Reputation management

It is the second month in a row that strike action has affected the airline. There are also four further walkouts already planned. Protests were seen here in the UK, with many staff blaming the tie-up with British Airways for the difficulties faced by the Spanish flag carrier.

With rising fuel prices, increased environmental taxation, and higher levels of competition, the flight industry is facing significant challenges.

In this connected world, there were a number of people taking to Twitter to complain. After the initial backlash, users began to demand more information on possible future strikes, and some even sang the praises of other carriers such as Austrian Airlines for coming to their rescue. Some users also tellingly commented that repeat strike action was making the airline less competitive.

It is no easy task working in reputation management for an airline at the moment.

Free alternatives

A dedicated approach is needed, which is why outsourcing such tasks would be a natural response.

Lufthansa do clearly know what they are doing though. Messages about the action, which is a so called ‘warning strike’, appeared as early as Sunday morning.

Passengers are also being offered free alternatives and other incentives at the airports.

In Germany, such strike tactics are common; with only a short period of time to organise a response.

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