Who said customer service was dead?

One of the few “real” enhancements in air travel has come in the form of communication. Airlines are finding more and more ways for customers to engage, that don’t involve picking up the phone and listening to smooth jazz for an extend period of time. In this revolution, Twitter has become the most useful means of communicating with an airline for issues from rebooking to assistance. Southwest just took “customer assistance” a step further – live tweeting a basketball game for a passenger unable to watch it live in flight.

a group of people standing in front of a planeMarch Madness

In the United States, March Madness, also known as the NCAA College Basketball Championships drives people absolutely bonkers. Lucky outfits come out, parties are planned, Bud Lights are consumed and people jump with joy, while simultaneously crying. People hold dear allegiance to their alma maters and the tension of NCAA Basketball becomes all consuming. Naturally, being stuck on a plane during game time is less than ideal, especially when wifi isn’t quite “there” yet.

No Streaming

Southwest Airlines passenger Renée Stoeckie was gutted that the wifi connection on her Southwest flight would not quite support the streaming of her beloved Xavier University match up. She paid $8 for wifi and wanted results, rightfully so. But what Southwest did next to make up for things, was nothing short of legendary.

Live Twitter Feed

Airline communications are only as good as the people sending them, and Mike from Southwest is undoubtedly now in the books as one of the all time best. Responding to Renée’s frustration, Mike apologized and proactively offered up the half time score. On the off chance that Mike might chuckle – let alone actually do it, passenger Renée asked if Southwest Mike wouldn’t mind live tweeting the second half. And guess what: he actually did.


Everyone Won – Except Xavier

Mike tweeted a feverish point by point account of the closely contested match. All in, sending more than 20 tweets to keep his passenger happy. This is undoubtedly one of the more touching gestures an airline has shown to a passenger in recent memory – you know, with the whole “dog” things and all. We love that Southwest Mike won the internet, and we’re sorry to Renée and Xaxier Mens Basketball for their loss. Now you know – if something goes wrong during your travels, talk to your airline. They just might impress you…

Have you had great results using airline Twitter teams?

HT: The Points Guy

Gilbert Ott

Gilbert Ott is an ever curious traveler and one of the world's leading travel experts. His adventures take him all over the globe, often spanning over 200,000 miles a year and his travel exploits are regularly...

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