I am currently stranded in Bangkok – experiencing along with millions of other passengers the joys of our new found Icelandic volcano. It is, and has been, a fascinating story and there will be a great deal of learning to be dealt with about how people, organizations and groups communicate in times of crisis. Just to give a few examples, some organizations such as Eurocontrol, have been doing an impressive job at keeping everyone informed by Twitter. As someone who is in real need of up to date information, I must admit that we can really appreciate the effort made:. My understanding is that Aurelie (member of the IABC group) is involved / behind this effort so it would be great to connect with her after this is over.
On the other hand, it seems that most airlines are doing a disastrous job at keeping their passengers informed about the situation. I am myself flying with Austrian Airlines and they have been slow and unresponsive in communicating. So in the spirit of engaged online communication, I have formed a passenger group in the hotel where I am staying in Bangkok and they started to post information about developments on a facebook group we created for the occasion: Facebook: Austrian Passengers in Bangkok
Although we only have 22 people from the flight on the group it is the main place to get the latest news from the airline and the manager of Austrian airlines is relying on us to disseminate information to passengers in an effective way. What makes this even more ironic is that Austrian Airlines has a facebook ‘fan page’ which is, in the spirit of the Nestlé ‘social media suicide’ turning into a forum for people with complaints against them.
What makes this worse is that the local manager told us that they are not allowed to go on Facebook as part of their company policy so neither he nor anyone else is able to respond to a group of frustrated passengers.
More on this when (?) I return.