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Posts from the ‘Alaska Airlines’ Category

The perils of social media?

August 14th, 2012

Kinny Cheng

Gulliver, writing for The Economist, touching on the Alaska Airlines bungle last week (and summarising it well in his post).

And he concludes:

“Companies in industries like air travel that involve high levels of direct interaction with customers have to take negative social-media attention extremely seriously. In this case, Alaska/Horizon’s official response was too slow (a day is an eternity in social media) and took a tone that backfired on the company. Getting the right response up quickly is hard, but in cases like these, it’s also necessary.”

I pretty much agree with the above statement — but with the exception of how the “official response was too slow”.

Yes, a day in social media, or even the Internet, can seem like a very long time. Yet, in cases where a sufficient level of information is required to make a sustainable determination is still a must, and can only be done at a real-world pace.

The opportunity cost of possibly jumping the gun, for the sake of providing the awaiting social media audience with a timely response, can have a far-worser effect than the offending party seemingly dragging their feet (relative to Internet time) and providing the best-possible response.

I believe Alaska Airlines has done what was needed to alleviate the given situation — enough said.


UPDATE: Apparently, the company is now looking for a solution to the problem:

“@ghimlay: .@AlaskaAir is hiring a director of corp comms, based in SEA if anyone is keen!

“Fees in First Class? No, that can’t be right…”

July 5th, 2012

Kinny Cheng

Unfortunately, yes — according to this CNBC article:

“Alaska Airlines quietly adjusted their checked baggage fee policy for first class travelers. Beginning July 10, some passengers who upgraded to first class will be charged a $20 fee for their first and second checked bag — something they previously got for free.

Full-fare first class customers still get the first two bags free, as do elite frequent flyers of Alaska’s “Mileage Plan” program — plus certain elites from Delta and American Airlines — but this marks the first time a U.S. airline has levied a checked bag fee to a passenger riding in the front cabin, upgrade or otherwise.”

No matter how this seems, it simply doesn’t sit right.

This train of thought pretty much nails it:

“It’s the mileage upgrade aspect that is more alarming to me. If I’ve earned enough miles to redeem them for a first class upgrade, I would expect all the benefits entitled to me as a first class passenger.”

So much for all that loyalty towards your airline…

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