I recently discussed the new presence of Indigo on Twitter, which makes it the fourth domestic airline from India to get on Twitter. The other ones, in the order of their Twitter account being established are/were: @JetAirways (2008), @FlyKingfisher (2008), @FlySpiceJet (2009) and now @Indigo6e (2013).
Now, I am no social media expert, but I thought I’d share my thoughts and experiences with you on all the Indian airlines on Twitter.
Twitter, in my view, is a broadcast-engagement channel for individuals and businesses now. It came a long way from being microblogging, where one put out one-liners about what they were feeling or doing.
Maybe my views are colored by my great experiences with @AmericanAir and @DeltaAssist, with whom I have travelled in the past, so I’d like to be up front about it. @DeltaAssist was the first off the mark, and they helped me solve some problems with my flights back in 2011. They were empowered agents, manning the Twitter channel, admitted their frontline agents had made mistakes, and included on-the spot compensation even without me asking.
@AmericanAir has however, become the best of the lot now, and being a customer of theirs, I frequently bump into them on Twitter for information.
Coming to the Indian ones now. Lets start in order of chronology:
@JetAirways: Jet Airways was one of the first Indian airlines to get onto Twitter. However, I’ve never been satisfied with their responses on Twitter. Reasons? They take too long to respond and are not empowered agents on the other side. They Twitter team is just a go between the reservation or JetPrivilege team, and not solving problems themselves. Also, they only work 10-5 on a Monday to Friday schedule, so you could as well, expect not to hear anything on Saturday or Sunday. Take a look of a snapshot I took at 14:30 IST this Saturday afternoon. You’ll see the last tweet was sent out 20 hours back. I’d rate them a 2/5 in the Twitter department, because their responses are very bot like, and not helpful most of the times. Hey, your airline flies 24×7, so why not your Twitter account.
@FlyKingfisher: Though the airline has been defunct for a while now and so has been the Twitter account. However, when they were alive, they could do wonders for customers. They would respond, reschedule you, fix up a problem, arrange for someone to see you at the airport if the you were on a short connection or whatever else. I did not fly them much but I have monitored their account and they were always proactive and helpful. If they’d been around, I’d have given them a 4/5 rating.
@FlySpiceJet: SpiceJet does have a Twitter presence, but they use it like a hoarding for their business, to make announcements and do contests. They also do help customers, but doesn’t seem like they do too much of that on one look of their Twitter feed. On the few instances I’ve reached out to them, they’ve given me very vague answers to my queries. I’d rate them a 2.5/5.
@Indigo6E: I’m reasonably impressed by the earnestness that Indigo has shown on Twitter for the approximately 10 days they’ve been on Twitter. I do not know if they’ve implemented a 24×7 model or not, however, the responsiveness to customer queries have been pretty good so far. On the day of the launch, I saw them tweeting at 1 AM IST as well.
Since they’re new, I’m observing them still, but it seems that they’re intent on making this work. Take this case they replied to a while back, which I think was a very dignified and polite offer to help.
I won’t rate them just yet, but they look like they’re all set to take the Indian twitter flyers by storm.
What is left, is a bit player in the Twitter list. That is GoAir (@goairlinesindia). They have been around since 2010, however in 3 years, only 120 promotional tweets have been put out there.
So there are my thoughts on the Indian Twitterati airlines. What do you guys think? Have you had a good experience or not so good experience with Airlines of India on Twitter? Do share your experiences with me below.