How to Fight Back When Airlines Leave You HangingSaturday, January 29, 2011
Twitter, that social networking tool that is the butt of so many jokes (many of them more than 140 characters long), could be the secret to surviving a flight cancellation.
Well, my friend, Kim-Marie Evans, for one. She's the mom of four who lives in Connecticut, where the snow just keeps on coming this winter. She made plans to take the family to Disney and was scheduled to fly south just as another blizzard hit the Northeast, canceling her flight. And, as all of us traveling parents know, it's not that easy to rebook five seats on a new flight, especially if the kids are young enough that you want to be able to sit together.
You can imagine her pain.
It wasn't until she reached out to JetBlue via Twitter that she got a satisfactory response--her entire family on the same flight, seated together.
It helps, of course, that Kim-Marie is fixture on Twitter (she's @LuxuryTravelMom) with a strong following. She was definitely someone JetBlue wanted to keep happy.
Why? Because unlike a regular Jane who keeps getting disconnected after 20 minutes on hold with customer service and then calls her best friend to complain, Kim-Marie was tweeting about her frustration. In turn, her 5,000+ followers were sharing the news with their followers, spreading the news of her discontent with JetBlue across the Internet and around the world. That's what social media is all about.
The New York Times today has a story about other ways to flight back if your flight is canceled, but I'm officially a fan of the Twitter approach. But then, like Kim-Marie, I'm a heavy hitter on Twitter, at least when it comes to travel issues. (I'm @CindyRichards if you'd like to follow me for travel news.)
Cindy Richards is a the travel writer for Chicago Parent and editor of TravelingMom.com. She was recently named one of the top 100 travel influencers on Twitter, along with her friend, Kim-Marie Evans.