The airlines that are most — and least — likely to answer your Twitter query

American Airlines received the highest rating for Twitter responsiveness. — Reuters pic
American Airlines received the highest rating for Twitter responsiveness. — Reuters pic

NEW YORK, Jan 10 — Have a beef with your airline or a question about your flight and want to take your query to Twitter? Your odds of receiving a response are best if you're flying American Airlines, Etihad and JetBlue. But if you're traveling on carriers like Air Canada and United, good luck with that.

That's according to the newly released Conversocial Airline Benchmark Report, which ranked the "leaders and laggers" of the airline industry in, what they call, digital "social care."

Overall, the report found that North American airlines are faster at responding to tweets compared to carriers in Europe, Middle East and Africa: 20 minutes, versus an average response time of 1 hour and 41 minutes among EMEA airlines.

On average, European, Middle Eastern and African airlines responded to three tweets an hour, compared to 11 responses per hour for North America.

On the flip side, EMEA carriers posted better performance in responsiveness, replying to a larger share of tweets at 28 per cent, compared to an average of 22 per cent for airlines in North America.

The winners and losers in that category? For North America, American Airlines was the top performer, responding to a third of Twitter queries, while Air Canada received the dubious distinction of being the least responsive, at 10 per cent.

Along with showing consumers which airlines are more likely to be reactive to their grievances -- because let's face it, most turn to Twitter to air grievances rather than heap praise -- the report aims to emphasize the importance of a strong social media team.

"If a customer glances over an airline's social account and sees regular and timely responses, they will feel more confident in reaching out on that channel," reads the report.

"Companies can increase that confidence by actively directing customers to their social channels via confirmation emails, in-app promotion and at airline check-in gates, for example.

For the data, analysts matched up replies to mentions on airline Twitter handles and calculated the time taken to respond to each case. 

Here are the airlines most likely to respond to your Twitter question (or complaint):

North America

1. American Airlines
2. Delta
3. Southwest
4. Virgin America
5. Spirit
6. JetBlue
7. WestJet
8. Alaska Air
9 United Airlines
10. Air Canada


1. Etihad
2. Emirates
3. Finnair
4. Qatar
5. Ryanair
6. Icelandair
7. KLM
8. Virgin Atlantic
9. easyJet
10. Lufthansa

Here are the airlines with the fastest response times for North America: 

1. JetBlue 4mins 50s 
2. Virgin America 4mins 56s
3. Alaska Air 5mins 10s 
4. SouthwestAir 6mins 36s 
5. Air Canada 9mins 1s 
6. WestJet 10mins 47s 
7. Spirit Airlines 14mins 15s 
8. American Air 20mins 19s 
9. Delta 31mins 4s 
10. United 1hr 34mins

and for EMEA

1. Lufthansa 9mins 15s
2. Etihad 11mins 21s 
3. Ryanair 16mins 23s 
4. Icelandair 19mins 57s 
5. Virgin Atlantic 20min 37s 
6. KLM 20min 0s 
7. Qatar 1hr 39mins
8. Emirates 3hrs 39mins 
9. easyJet 4hrs 17mins 
10. Finnair 5hrs 33mins

— AFP-Relaxnews

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