13 Airlines You Should be Following On Twitter

Carriers take customer service to the next level

Twitter went live on March 21, 2006. The aviation and travel industry were early adopters of the 140-character social media platform. Twitter's popularity moved airlines to join the platform, where they now use it to discuss everything from fare sales to customer service issues. Below are 13 that should be followed. 

 

  • 01 of 13
    ••• An Air Asia Airbus A320 departing Malaysia's Kuala Lumpur International Airport. Photo courtesy of Jyi1693 at en.wikipedia

    With nearly four million followers, this Malaysia-based low-cost carrier has one of the most active Twitter accounts among the world's airlines. The airline uses its account for fun contests, photos from the destinations it covers and notices about sales and deals. It created a separate Twitter account -- @AskAirAsia --  to handle questions and concerns about baggage, seats and meals seven days a week during business hours.

  • 02 of 13
    Alaska Airlines Boeing 737 MAX
    ••• Alaska Airlines Boeing 737 MAX. Photo courtesy of Alaska Airlines

     The airline's Social Care team is ready to help travelers 24 hours a day, seven days a week. They answer passengers questions, but also use their feed for contests (find the Robinson Cano bobblehead doll), highlighting snacks with great photos and an infographic on how inflight Wi-Fi works.

  • 03 of 13
    American Airlines Boeing 737-800
    ••• American Airlines Boeing 737-800. Photo courtesy of American Airlines

    The Fort Worth, Texas-based carrier has become very popular on Twitter. The group handling this account is very responsive to tweets, and especially for customers with problems. And they have a great mix of informative and irreverent (but fun) tweets that are fun to read.

     

  • 04 of 13
    ••• A British Airways Boeing 787. Photo courtesy of British Airways

    The U.K.'s flag carrier operates its Twitter account 24 hours a day, seven days a week. It offers daily travel weather updates, highlights destinations, marks special days (National Sibling Day), a live Perisocpe broadcast with its CEO and contests. It also shows off gorgeous photos of its fleet and the cities it serves and helps customers in need.

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  • 05 of 13
    Delta Air Lines Boeing 757
    ••• Delta Air Lines Boeing 757. Photo courtesy of Aero Icarus, via Flickr (http://bit.ly/1gBLHtB).

    Delta has housed its social media team in a space that looks like the control deck of an aircraft. Giant wall monitors allow its team to follow every tweet where it’s mentioned, which explains the quick response from the @DeltaAssist account. There's a balance of airplane photos, Delta events and fun bits of information from the account.

     

  • 06 of 13
    JetBlue tails at Boston Logan International Airport
    ••• JetBlue tails at Boston Logan International Airport. Photo by Benet J. Wilson

    This New York-based airline offers the  usual corporate push of new routes, new products and general updates.  But the team overseeing this account also offers funny tweets, great photos and enthusiastic customer service. 

     

  • 07 of 13
    KLM at Amsterdam Schiphol Airport
    ••• KLM at Amsterdam Schiphol Airport. Photo by Benet J. Wilson

    This is a Twitter account on steroids - in a good way. The carrier operates its account 24/7 and offers help in 10 languages. The account even tells followers how long it will take to reply to their tweet. There's a wonderful menagerie of photos and videos of the cities they serve, along with highlighting their followers, and you really see the love and care in this account.

     

  • 08 of 13
    Lufthansa Boeing 747 at Washington Dulles Airport
    ••• Lufthansa Boeing 747 at Washington Dulles Airport. Photo by Benet J. Wilson

    Germany's flag carrier uses its Twitter account to do everything from answering travelers' questions to highlights from the airline's magazine. Besides its great interaction with followers, I love the randomness of what you see on the feed, including cool yellow kitchen appliances, Instagram photos, interesting #travelfacts and highlighting cool tweets from followers like AirBnB.

     

    Continue to 9 of 13 below.
  • 09 of 13
    Southwest Airlines Boeing 737s at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport.
    ••• Southwest Airlines Boeing 737s at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport. Photo by Benet J. Wilson

    This carrier was among the first wave to officially embrace social media, especially Twitter. You can feel the love, as the airline helped a passenger send out a photo tweet to her niece, who was about to have open heart surgery. But it also used Twitter to explain the details behind a computer glitch that caused thousands of travelers to be delayed.There’s also a mix of photos, retweets from followers, videos, contests and highlights of the cities they serve.

     

  • 10 of 13
    ••• Photo courtesy of Spirit Airlines

     This Fort Lauderdale-based low-cost carrier, known for its not-so-great customer service, has a CEO who is working to improve its image among travelers. One way is via its Twitter account. The airline uses it to tout new destinations and fare sales, along with contests and highlights from its Instagram page. But it also encourages travelers to direct message it with any service issues ​and recently warned travelers about maintenance on its website and advising them to print boarding passes early.

  • 11 of 13
    United Airlines Boeing 747.
    ••• United Airlines Boeing 747. Photo courtesy of United Airlines

    The agents behind this carrier's account are always there to chat, but they also point travelers where they need to go for further help. The account highlights content from its inflight Hemisphere magazine. There are also quizzes, great photos, contests and fun facts about the airline and its fleet.

  • 12 of 13
    Virgin America Airbus A320s at San Francisco International Airport
    ••• Virgin America Airbus A320s at San Francisco International Airport. Photo by Benet J. Wilson

    I like the fact that this carrier is clear that they don’t do customer services responses on Twitter, but they give you alternatives for help. But what you do get is a nice mix of photos, video and information on the carrier covering everything from their Elevate frequent flyer program to celebrating Sir Richard Branson’s birthday.

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  • 13 of 13
    Virgin Atlantic at Orlando International Airport
    ••• Virgin Atlantic at Orlando International Airport. Photo by Benet J. Wilson

    I like that this airline has the names of the agents who control its account, and I'm glad that the account is now operated 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The airline does a great job offering its followers “news, banter & assistance.” They offer personal tweets to followers, video, great pictures and highlights from a contest that gave followers the chance to win trips to New York City and London.