If you travel enough, you will inevitably run into a situation where you need to call the airline to get something done. As anyone who has called an airline recently will tell you, your chances of hearing this message are increasingly high:
“Hello. Thank you for calling XYZ airline. We are experiencing a higher than normal call volume at this time. Your approximate wait time is 52 minutes.”
Luckily, there is a much quicker way to get an agent to help you!
I will be honest, I have never really understood the whole Twitter phenomenon. When I started this site, I ended up joining Twitter and am slowly getting the hang of it. In the interests of trying to stay on top of all the news in the commercial aviation world, I started following the major airlines and other aviation news sources. What I did not realize when I started following the airlines was that they staff their Twitter accounts with customer service representatives that can help you with issues like missed flights, IRROPs (irregular operations – a.k.a. flight delays or cancellations), lost baggage, seat changes and pretty much anything else that a phone agent could help you with.
My first interaction with an airline’s Twitter team was with the @AmericanAir team during a trip to Tokyo a few months ago. My first flight ended up getting delayed for hours and it was looking like I was going to miss my connecting flight to the west coast. Even though I am a Platinum and have a dedicated phone number, there was still a wait time as I was traveling during Winter Storm Jonas. Not wanting to wait on the phone while the seats booked up, I tweeted out to @AmericanAir asking to protect me on a different routing. Within a few minutes I had a response waiting for me that I was protected on the different routing just in case my flight was cancelled.
Sure enough, not even 10 minutes later, the gate agents came on the PA to announce that my flight had been cancelled. While a group of over 100 people rushed for the podium and got on their phones to be rebooked, and before the AA systems had even updated with the cancellation, the AA Twitter team was able to confirm me on my protected routing and had my new boarding passes waiting.
While everyone else was stressing out about getting to their destination, I tweeted out thanking the @AmericanAir Twitter team for their help and then headed to the airport bar (since AA does not have an Admirals Club in Orlando Airport where I could mooch some free booze) to grab a drink and relax with new boarding passes in hand.
I have used the @AmericanAir Twitter team a few times since then and every single time they have gotten back to me in less than 10 minutes and had my issues completely resolved or questions fully answered in less than 15 minutes. In my book, that is beyond stellar customer service and the @AmericanAir Twitter team definitely deserves a raise (hope their Twitter team bosses are reading this!)!
Thankfully, assistance via Twitter teams is available for all of the major airlines in the world. While I have not had a need to contact anyone other than @AmericanAir Twitter team, it is nice to know that assistance is just a quick Tweet away! So the next time you need assistance before, during or after your travels, try tweeting out to the airline instead of calling – it will save you a lot of time on the phone on hold!
I was never in to the Twitter thing until I realized the value that having an account has had on my travels. It is worth setting up a Twitter account just to contact the airlines in my opinion as the agents not only seem more competent, but also seem to be much quicker with what they do.
What is your favorite way to get in contact with the airlines?
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