Take Flight with American Airlines

Dolores Montavez Ruz    February 6, 2015


Posted on February 6, 2015 by: Dolores Montavez & Christian Ismodes

Organization Name: American Airlines.

Industry: Airline

Name of contact:  Doug Parker

Web References:www.americanairlines.com

American Airlines Gets Social Media Right

From a business perspective, social media allows a company to extend its reach, gain visibility and build meaningful relationships with customers worldwide. Darren Booth

In this video Jonathan Pierce, Director of Social Media Communications at American Airlines tells Shashank Nigam, CEO of SimpliFlying, How AA is Driving Results from Social Media.

American Airlines not only informs and responds to customer questions on Twitter, but does so in a sincere and human approach which is refreshing for such a large organization. American’s social media team has consistently answered questions and even proactively initiated a discussion and built rapport using Twitter.

Socialbakers recently began ranking industries and brands according to “social devotion,” or how attentive they are to customers on Twitter. Surprisingly, troubled American Airlines ranks ninth among all U.S. brands (American has a response rate of 94%)

Top Benefits of Social Media Engagement with Customers:

  1. Social media is naturally effective as a reputation management tool, market research/product feedback tool and awareness building tool
  2. Social media is naturally most effective at generating awareness within the purchasing decision process
  3. Any businesses that uses social media will be able to generate benefits by doing so

Flying on this month? Check out or get ur digital copy (GsPeeps)

Winter storm is bringing snow to the Central US. Check here for travel options:

“… We’ve got a good crew with a great work ethic…”-Russ Hoschar, Fleet Service Lead Customer OPS,

3 days left to take advantage of our 100 Mile sign-up bonus with Details:

Because of winter storm , we’re canceling many flights. Check your flight status before braving the snow:

Our flight crew prepping earlier today to bring our first 787 home.

Big thanks to for donating $50K to help provide assistance to those in need.

Jan Rezab, CEO of Socialbakers, believes this has to do with a lesson learned from Superstorm Sandy. Finding they had to deal with a system-wide near shutdown, American Airlines turned to social media to manage the crisis. They’ve remained faithful to social media channels ever since. Busines Insider

A closer look at their use of social media to communicate and engage their customers, not just during emergencies, but on a regular business day reveals a commitment to transparency and customer satisfaction. They make true the quote from Orison Swett Marden “Put yourself in your customer place”.

American Airlines Twitter Stats:

  • Tweets 790K
  • Following 53.1K
  • Followers 1.03M
  • Favorites 3,950
  • Lists 
  • American Airlines stood out from the others, not because of the sheer volume of social mentions, 572,901, but because it was the most engaged and active with customers, responding more than 68,400 times, totaling 36 percent of overall mentions.
  • Coming in last, Delta responded only 307 times, .3 percent, and AirTran did not respond at all.
  • Southwest had the highest percentage of positive mentions, 36.5 percent, and U.S. Airways had the highest percentage of negative mentions, 27 percent.
  • American Airlines was also mentioned every 18 seconds on social, while AirTran was mentioned every 20 minutes.
  • Twitter is not just a promotional tool anymore and has evolved into the 21st-century version of a comment box. Its latest user experience places a heavier emphasis on images, so now instead of just telling a company about a service problem, consumers can also show it to them.

Statistical Analysis of Social Media Impact on American Airlines

The impact on basic social media metrics such as Facebook fans was immediate; the airline went from a slow and steady growth to explosive growth overnight. The percentage of engaged fans also shot up, reaching as high as 11%, well above the aviation sector average of 4.5%. Impact

American Airlines Social Media Platforms

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In conclusion:
It took a storm of huge proportions for American Airlines to realize the full potential of social media to communicate and engage their customers base.   Business who do not act of the lessons learned by others  do so at their own peril.  There is no need to wait for an emergency to take full advantage of  social media to provide service and add value to the customer experience.

What we can learn from American Airlines: 

  • Put your customers first, ensure their safety and keep them in the knowing when unforeseeable situations arise.  Empowered customers tend to be loyal.
  • Be honest about having to improvise and share the learning freely. There is no shame in humility and transparency are human qualities the average person recognizes.
  • Let you customer know, by any means available, of your plans and strategies to deal with the situation at hand.


Submitted by: Dolores Montavez and Christian Ismodes – SMBP Student, University of Waterloo.

To contact the author of this entry, please email at: montavez3@hotmail.com and Christian.ismodes@gmail.com

If you have concerns as to the accuracy of anything posted on this site, please send your comments to Peter Carr, Program Director, Social Media for Business Performance.