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What Airline Do Your Clients Hate the Most?

October 20, 2011 By: George Dooley Travel Agent

Social media users really don’t like U.S. airlines, according to analysis from Amplicate, an online consumer research firm that tracks public opinion. At least, they really don’t like some of them, Amplicate notes in a recent Social Media Observer blog post by Seamus Holland. 57 percent of all comments on U.S. airlines on social media in the last 12 months were negative, Amplicate found, with a few of the most well-known names in aviation taking most of the blame for their negativity.

"Social media users expressed intense hatred for a number of the leading lights of US aviation, including Delta, United and US Airways. But people reserved the most ire for American Airlines, the world’s fourth largest airline and by far the most hated on social media. A measly 12 percent of opinions on social media about the airline were positive over the last 12 months. Social media users’ complaints against American ranged from bad customer service to cancelled flights, " Amplicate says.

"Although the most hated, American Airlines didn’t put its foot in it as deeply as did Delta Airlines. In June 2011, Delta ignited a firestorm of negative comment on social media after it decided to charge returning U.S. servicemen for extra baggage. Apparently, returning soldiers weren’t able to fit all their equipment from service in Afghanistan into the overhead locker."

"Thanks to Delta’s unfortunate decision, there were more negative comments on U.S. airlines in June than in any other month, with Delta accounting for over half of all negative opinions. But despite the faux pas, Delta still managed to avoid being hated as much as American, United, Spirit and US Airways," Amplicate says.

"But it wasn’t all doom and gloom for the U.S. aviation industry. Social media users had almost nothing negative to say about Virgin America, the low-cost airline with flashing lights and Wi-Fi at 20,000 feet. 97 percent of opinions on the airline were positive over the last 12 months. The on-board Wi-Fi particularly pleased Virgin America’s fans: they tweeted their happiness from mid-air, while sipping on one of the airline’s alcoholic beverages."

"Virgin America was not the only airline to make its customers express their joy on social media. The vast majority of social media comments on JetBlue and SouthWest were positive. What are they doing that the others aren’t? Getting their passengers to their destinations on time perhaps?" Amplicate said.


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About the Author

George Dooley
George Dooley, Travel Agent’s senior contributing editor covering retail and technology, has a long-standing reputation as one of the top travel industry journalists. He notes...

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By George Dooley | October 20, 2011
Social media users expressed intense hatred for a number of leading airlines, according to an analysis from Amplicate, an online consumer research firm.
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