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The Most Twitter Rage is Aimed at These Two Airlines

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American Airlines and United Airlines leads all air carriers as the “most negative” on social media, with JetBlue as the “most positive”

Have you ever sent an angry tweet to your air carrier when travels go awry? If you have, you’re not alone. Fortune reports a recent study found nearly half of social media users don’t have a favorable opinion of their airlines.

The research was a project of Crimson Hexagon, a company specializing in big data. In their study, they found 47 percent of Twitter users have an overall negative sentiment of American airlines. Research also discovered that more people are tweeting about airlines, with over a 200 percent increase in mentions over the last three years.

Which airlines drew the most scorn from flyers? According to the research, both American Airlines and United Airlines drew the most anger from flying Twitter users, with 56 percent of tweets to the airlines being negative in nature. Subsequently, both airlines also had the largest Twitter presence. During the 82-day study period, American Airlines sent 594,000 tweets to their customers, though the study did not signify if the tweets counted came solely from the AA account or also from the former US Airways Twitter account. United posted over 400,000 tweets in the same time period, while Delta Air Lines posted over 230,000 tweets.

“Social media provides customers an avenue to share frustrations and express disappointment,” John Donnelly, senior vice president of global sales and marketing at Crimson Hexagon, told Fortune. “Since air travel inevitably brings headaches, it’s no surprise that negative sentiment toward airlines is commonplace on social channels.”

JetBlue Airlines received the highest positive rating according to the study, but not by much. While 33 percent of tweets to JetBlue were positive, 45 percent were still negative.

According to researchers, the study shows that there is an opportunity for airlines to better serve their flyers via Twitter. “What airlines need to understand is that every tweet from a disgruntled customer is an opportunity to also connect with that customer and strengthen the relationship,” Donnelly told Fortune.

[Photo: iStock]

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In fact, I was wrong. The survey was 5 US domestic airlines.


There is a whole world outside of North America. Perhaps headlines could be written to inform the reader that the survey of social media was only conducted reviewing 10 domestic US airlines.