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How Delta Airlines handled the US Army excess baggage crisis
Delta Airlines Charging US Army for excess baggage<br />What went wrong, and lessons learnt from the crisis<br />http://www.SimpliFlying.com<br />
Chapter 1<br />What went wrong?<br />Delta Airlines charges $2800 in baggage fee from returning US soldiers<br /> http://www.SimpliFlying.com<br />
Excess bag fee justified for returning soldiers?<br />Staff Sgts. Fred Hilliker and Robert O’Hair of a Reserve unit in Georgia, posted a video on Youtube outlining their plight of being charged for bags. <br />O’Hair explained that the unit showed up with four bags each but were told they could only bring three each and would have to be charged $200 for the fourth. The final tally came to more than $2,800, according to O’Hair.<br />He said there’s a contract between the U.S. government and Delta that allows them to bring up to four bags. He goes on to say that the fourth bag contained a weapons case. (A Delta rep says the contract does not allow soldiers to carry an extra bag.)<br />http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sX8luPQZ2I0&feature=related<br />
Chapter 2<br />The Impact and Anger<br />The video goes viral, reaching over 200,000 views on YouTube within a few hours of posting<br /> http://www.SimpliFlying.com<br />
The news spread like wildfire…<br />Delta received 3.5X as many mentions on Twitter as all other US airlines combined, <br />on 8 June 2011, and 8X their normal mentions!<br />
Why Delta did the best job they could<br />This was a Bizzarecrisis – Unexpected and something Delta probably never thought of<br />This was a baggage policy all airlines in the US followed, not just Delta (and most changed it following Delta)<br />Delta was fast in responding – within 2 hours of the topic peaking on traditional and social media<br />The response was not through a press release, but done on a blog – which is indeed the appropriate response to a YouTube video<br />Delta made sure that the response was personal, with the author relating personal stories<br />An Update was provided on the blog itself, based on the initial comments received<br />The detractors weren’t providing constructive feedback. Most were emotional rants, hence didn’t need regular responses<br />
In Conclusion<br />Recognizing the fact that Delta didn’t expect a response to a policy that’s existed for a long time, especially the response being so emotionally charged, they’ve probably done best job they could in managing this crisis by releasing a statement on the blog, and keeping it personal. <br />What do you think? Let’s discuss on Twitter (@simpliflying) and in comments.<br />
As the expert puts it…<br />“Never let a good crisis go to waste. Communicate and take action when the whole world is watching!” <br />- Rahm Emanuel<br /> http://www.SimpliFlying.com<br />