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What You Can Tell About an Airline From the Passengers Who Tweet at It

What You Can Tell About an Airline From the Passengers Who Tweet at It
Taylor Rains

Social media has become a powerful tool for airline customers to voice their opinions about their experiences. From frustration, praise, and appreciation, Twitter, in particular, has seen it all. So Insure My Trip conducted an analysis to see just what passengers had to say when they reached out online. They looked at 96,000 tweets from a two-week period in August for each of the nine U.S. airlines. Each tweet was categorized as negative or positive and the airlines were ranked based on how many of each they received. Here are the results:

Top Negative Comments

To no one’s surprise, Spirit Airlines and Frontier Airlines came in first and second for the most negative comments made by Twitterverse users. Of all the tweets mentioning Spirit, 69% were negative. Frontier was not too far behind with 64% negative. Of the big three airlines, American had the most amount of negative comments with 56%. United was second with 49.5% negative comments and Delta narrowly scored the best with 49%. JetBlue tied with United at 49.5%. The main keywords that showed up in negative comments were “delay,” “cancel,” and “customer service.”

Top Positive Comments

Southwest Airlines came in first for most positive comments from customers, which is no more shocking than Spirit and Frontier’s performance. Southwest considers itself the “LUV” airline and it is certainly feeling the love of its passengers with 70% of the carrier’s tweets being positive. One interesting finding was that in the category of “seating”, Southwest fared the worst with the highest amount of twitter complaints. This is interesting as Southwest has a first-come-first-serve open seating policy. One can only assume these grievances came from families being split up or someone being forced into the middle seat.

One front runner of the pack was, to many people’s surprise, Allegiant Air. Of its tweets, only 36% were negative, putting the carrier in second place for the most positive tweets. Alaska was right on Allegiant’s tail with 38% negative.

Ronni Kenoian, the Manager of Marketing and eCommerce for InsureMyTrip explained Twitter’s part in passenger-airline communication, “Social media is often where passengers turn to voice their opinions in real-time and Twitter is one of the most powerful communication tools available. It is interesting to see how positive and negative customer feedback stack up – and, in turn, how airlines respond in an effort to improve customer service.”

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