Fed up with British Airways' handling of his father's lost luggage, Hasan Syed took the matter to Twitter by complaining via its self-service advertisers' platform. It got the airline's attention, along with that of millions of others.
Hasan Syed was unhappy with British Airways’ efforts to find his father’s luggage, which was lost during a Chicago-Paris trip this past weekend. While other Twitter users might keep their gripes to those in their own social circles, Syed, a businessman, took his to the next level: He used Twitter’s self-service ad platform to pay for a tweet that was given higher prominence in British Airways’ feed and seen by many more people as a result. Ten hours later — and six hours after the tweet appeared on the Web site Mashable and was retweeted and commented on by thousands — the airline tweeted a reply asking Syed to contact their baggage department.
What’s the Big Idea?
The success of Syed’s approach — his father should receive the bag today, according to the airline — could be the start of a new trend, says SimpliFlying CEO Shashank Nigam. Social media promotional tools “are easy to use and brand detractors have the same access to them as corporations. I’d guess that this cost less than a thousand dollars to buy…Airlines are going to have to start having 24/7 customer services and maybe they need to train up call centre reps to respond to messages on Facebook and Twitter.”