Flights: How European budget airlines engage with Twitter, part 2
Following Airfarewatchdog’s lead, I looked at how easyJet, Ryanair, Wizzair, and Air Berlin engaged with Twitter back in March. Here, I extend the treatment to four additional European low-cost carriers: Germanwings, Jet2, Transavia and Vueling.
Germanwings uses its Twitter account to publicize promotional sales, announce contest winners, and occasionally provide direct customer service.
Sample Tweet: Germanschwimms” für unter 100 € – An den Bodensee (Wassertemperatur 24 °C ) fliegen und abkühlen: CGN – FDH http://bit.ly/b2lSzl
Strengths/Weaknesses: With its promotions of special low fares that really grab the eye, this is a pretty successful Twitter account. It is directed in its mission and seldom gets thrown off course. The account is almost exclusively in German, however, which probably limits the breadth of its usability.
Last year, Jet2 used its Twitter account to give away air tickets. This was a brilliant move that got the airline some positive attention. Since late April (at least) the airline hasn’t run any ticket giveaway competitions. Nowadays, Jet2 tweets a standard hodgepodge of customer service and updates.
Sample Tweet: Out with the old and in with the blue! Check out Jet2holidays.com make-over. What do you think of the new layout? http://bit.ly/95zwNa
Strengths/Weaknesses: Jet2’s range of posts, which include weather and volcanic ash advisories, airline updates, musings on the weather and communication with passengers, is entertaining. Unfortunately, the airline doesn’t tweet frequently enough to sustain an interested readership. The last 20 tweets span a seven-week period.
Transavia, the low-cost carrier with Dutch, French and Danish divisions, tweets mostly in Dutch, with forays into English, Danish and German. There is a lot of communication with passengers in the feed, as well as low fare alerts and occasional water-treading tweets that link to Transavia’s booking site.
Sample Tweet: Lekker naar de Algarve, al vanaf €80 all-in. Vlieg vanaf Eindhoven, Rotterdam of Amsterdam. http://tinyurl.com/wktopper #transavia
Strengths/Weaknesses: The account appears to work hard to be responsive to customer needs. The multilingualism of the Transavia feed is mesmerizing, though this feature might be difficult for some readers.
Vueling announces promotions and special alerts via Twitter, sometimes in its curious Spanish-English hybrid (Example: 1.000.000 de vuelos from 30€. ¡Only hasta el 19 de May!). Back in May, Vueling publicized its very innovative Ryanair promotion through Twitter: an offer of a free one-way flight on Vueling for passengers already booked with Ryanair. The airline also operates a customer service Twitter account (@VuelingClients).
Sample Tweet: ¡Xoan, Roger y Cristina ya han ganado! Cada 3 días regalamos un vuelo para 4 amigos en Facebook. Ibiza está en juego: http://bit.ly/bM5utK
Strengths/Weaknesses: The existence of two feeds (a main account and customer service) is a good one, though it could be referenced with greater regularity. The main account is not updated frequently enough.