indcwby
Topic Author
Posts: 280
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Airline Reviewers/Bloggers vs. Airlines

Tue Nov 20, 2018 1:57 pm

There's many videos/channels out there on Youtube of established Airline Reviewers and their reviews of flights they've taken. Some looking to be interesting and legit. Some recently looking like they've been bought out by the airline to get a "Two Thumbs Up" result in their video.

What's interesting is the latest one I saw which shows one reviewer expressing his opinion on how his trip went horribly wrong. (Horribly may be a bit much since he made it to his destination, but experience wise, I can see it being bad)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SoKL7nnfw9E

In the video, the reviewer posts his flight status mid flight and someone from Malaysia Airlines caught wind of it. I won't spoil how it turned out, but it got me thinking. Do airlines actually care about such posts and proactively do something about it? Should this be a new area of focus, if not already. I know one can say that this is like anyone having a Yelp Account and acting like a connoisseur.

INDCWBY
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B752OS
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Re: Airline Reviewers/Bloggers vs. Airlines

Tue Nov 20, 2018 2:05 pm

Airlines are like any other business - they constantly monitor social media. If they feel a situation warrants a swift response, they will make one.
 
BREECH
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Re: Airline Reviewers/Bloggers vs. Airlines

Tue Nov 20, 2018 2:15 pm

I honestly expected an angry report from Sam Chui complaining he was carried onboard the plane in a golden panaquin instead of a platinum one. :-D
No friendship, love or respect unite people as much as shared hatred.
Sergey Dovlatov
 
indcwby
Topic Author
Posts: 280
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Re: Airline Reviewers/Bloggers vs. Airlines

Tue Nov 20, 2018 2:16 pm

BREECH wrote:
I honestly expected an angry report from Sam Chui complaining he was carried onboard the plane in a golden panaquin instead of a platinum one. :-D


Ha!
A319, A320, A330, A340, B717, B727, B737, B747, B757, B767, B777, CRJ7, DC10, MD88, MD11, E145, E175
"Always remember that you fly an airplane with your head, not your hands."
 
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ClassicLover
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Re: Airline Reviewers/Bloggers vs. Airlines

Tue Nov 20, 2018 2:32 pm

indcwby wrote:
Do airlines actually care about such posts and proactively do something about it? Should this be a new area of focus, if not already. I know one can say that this is like anyone having a Yelp Account and acting like a connoisseur.


Yes, airlines do care about blog posts - I have first hand experience.

When I first went through the Qatar Airways Al Mourjan lounge in Doha, I wrote a review of it which was lukewarm. I posted it and thought little more of it. Someone shared it onto a forum for Qatar's frequent flyers and I was pleased as it meant more people saw what I wrote and they were discussing it.

On my return trip, I popped into the lounge for a quick visit but was met at the top of the stairs by the lounge Manager who stated she had been waiting for me. I then got the VIP experience from then on. You can read what happened here - https://travelupdate.boardingarea.com/surprise-qatar-al-mourjan-vip/

At the end of my visit, before they put me into an electric cart to get me to the gate, they asked for a photo of the staff with me. I have no doubt the photo was to prove that I had visited and had been given the instructed treatment. It resulted in me writing another review of all the food available in the lounge, which I had not sampled the first time, and is actually one of the main selling points of the facility.

Since people can Google these reviews, it is important from a customer facing perspective that all goes correctly. Also, I believe the airlines use them internally in order to make changes to the on board product. Several things I've written about as lacking at a particular airline has resulted in changes. Whether I just happen to have my finger on the pulse of what people are thinking in general or if my writing is influencing things I can't say.

What I do know is that a blog post I wrote about whether it will be Airbus or Boeing for Project Sunrise at Qantas was shared internally around Airbus. So even the manufacturers pay attention to what people write. I'm no star blogger, but if even my stuff rates attention, I imagine that it is common practice for it to be monitored at any airline or company worth its salt.
I do enjoy a spot of flying, especially when it's not in economy!
 
WayexTDI
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Re: Airline Reviewers/Bloggers vs. Airlines

Tue Nov 20, 2018 2:41 pm

ClassicLover wrote:
indcwby wrote:
Do airlines actually care about such posts and proactively do something about it? Should this be a new area of focus, if not already. I know one can say that this is like anyone having a Yelp Account and acting like a connoisseur.


Yes, airlines do care about blog posts - I have first hand experience.

When I first went through the Qatar Airways Al Mourjan lounge in Doha, I wrote a review of it which was lukewarm. I posted it and thought little more of it. Someone shared it onto a forum for Qatar's frequent flyers and I was pleased as it meant more people saw what I wrote and they were discussing it.

On my return trip, I popped into the lounge for a quick visit but was met at the top of the stairs by the lounge Manager who stated she had been waiting for me. I then got the VIP experience from then on. You can read what happened here - https://travelupdate.boardingarea.com/surprise-qatar-al-mourjan-vip/


At the end of my visit, before they put me into an electric cart to get me to the gate, they asked for a photo of the staff with me. I have no doubt the photo was to prove that I had visited and had been given the instructed treatment. It resulted in me writing another review of all the food available in the lounge, which I had not sampled the first time, and is actually one of the main selling points of the facility.

Since people can Google these reviews, it is important from a customer facing perspective that all goes correctly. Also, I believe the airlines use them internally in order to make changes to the on board product. Several things I've written about as lacking at a particular airline has resulted in changes. Whether I just happen to have my finger on the pulse of what people are thinking in general or if my writing is influencing things I can't say.

What I do know is that a blog post I wrote about whether it will be Airbus or Boeing for Project Sunrise at Qantas was shared internally around Airbus. So even the manufacturers pay attention to what people write. I'm no star blogger, but if even my stuff rates attention, I imagine that it is common practice for it to be monitored at any airline or company worth its salt.

Glad you had a great experience.

But, as I see it, it is now reserved to those who scream the loudest. I do not participate in social media, by pure choice as I believe it's nothing more than exposing your life and how everything offends you.
Companies will positively respond to those who were served 6.9 oz of wine (instead of 7 oz) and go scream on Facebook/Twitter/etc they were cheated; but they won't respond to people face-to-face. I think this is very bad for everyone, and ultimately be to the general detriment of a brand and its loyal customers.
 
yonikasz
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Re: Airline Reviewers/Bloggers vs. Airlines

Tue Nov 20, 2018 4:13 pm

I think Delta does a pretty good job. If any of you guys follow Jeb Brooks on YouTube he emailed Ed Bastian and got a response back in less than a day. Then Bastian invited him to an interview. In addition, Bastian is pretty candid. Said he has "fake medallion status". https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AzxCNB3Xt4s Bastian said that he doesn't mind him filming on the plane if the crew is okay with it because it is free marketing.
 
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ClassicLover
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Re: Airline Reviewers/Bloggers vs. Airlines

Tue Nov 20, 2018 6:39 pm

WayexTDI wrote:
But, as I see it, it is now reserved to those who scream the loudest. I do not participate in social media, by pure choice as I believe it's nothing more than exposing your life and how everything offends you.

Companies will positively respond to those who were served 6.9 oz of wine (instead of 7 oz) and go scream on Facebook/Twitter/etc they were cheated; but they won't respond to people face-to-face. I think this is very bad for everyone, and ultimately be to the general detriment of a brand and its loyal customers.


I can see what you mean with regards to those who scream the loudest. I think a lot of it is to do with reach - one post online can be seen by thousands of people, so any kind of damage control has to be swift. It's why the airlines have social media teams now, to assist customers and what not. Weirdly, things seem to be moving away from the phone in a lot of respects, with people using instant messaging like Twitter to contact airlines instead.

My guess would be that the social media teams are not only responsible for handing queries, but also for keeping an eye on what is being said about the airline on the various digital platforms.
I do enjoy a spot of flying, especially when it's not in economy!
 
WayexTDI
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Re: Airline Reviewers/Bloggers vs. Airlines

Tue Nov 20, 2018 6:44 pm

ClassicLover wrote:
WayexTDI wrote:
But, as I see it, it is now reserved to those who scream the loudest. I do not participate in social media, by pure choice as I believe it's nothing more than exposing your life and how everything offends you.

Companies will positively respond to those who were served 6.9 oz of wine (instead of 7 oz) and go scream on Facebook/Twitter/etc they were cheated; but they won't respond to people face-to-face. I think this is very bad for everyone, and ultimately be to the general detriment of a brand and its loyal customers.


I can see what you mean with regards to those who scream the loudest. I think a lot of it is to do with reach - one post online can be seen by thousands of people, so any kind of damage control has to be swift. It's why the airlines have social media teams now, to assist customers and what not. Weirdly, things seem to be moving away from the phone in a lot of respects, with people using instant messaging like Twitter to contact airlines instead.

My guess would be that the social media teams are not only responsible for handing queries, but also for keeping an eye on what is being said about the airline on the various digital platforms.

I'm not blaming social media teams; or even companies who participate in social media (they pretty much have no choice). I'm blaming it on social media themselves (Facebook, Twitter and the likes) and the people who abuse it (meaning 90+% of people participating in it).
 
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TheFlyingDisk
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Re: Airline Reviewers/Bloggers vs. Airlines

Wed Nov 21, 2018 4:00 am

indcwby wrote:
In the video, the reviewer posts his flight status mid flight and someone from Malaysia Airlines caught wind of it. I won't spoil how it turned out, but it got me thinking. Do airlines actually care about such posts and proactively do something about it? Should this be a new area of focus, if not already. I know one can say that this is like anyone having a Yelp Account and acting like a connoisseur.


Not just airlines, and not something that's new. I've been involved in Social Media marketing since 2011 and this is actually old news for me.
I FLY KLM+ALASKA+QATAR+MALAYSIA+AIRASIA+MALINDO
 
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dik909
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Re: Airline Reviewers/Bloggers vs. Airlines

Wed Nov 21, 2018 7:39 am

BREECH wrote:
I honestly expected an angry report from Sam Chui complaining he was carried onboard the plane in a golden panaquin instead of a platinum one. :-D


Heh, I chuckled.. :D

But, I must say, Sam Chui is not nearly as insufferable as one other flight reviewer I can think of who is very young, does nothing but first class & premium reviews, and is always finding something wrong with them - not to mention that he injects his politics & sexuality into every other review. Please, spare me..

Personally, I like reviewers who don't focus on themselves, who don't speak into the camera. Rather, I much prefer the "impartial" experience with gentle music, and which simply shows the airplane, flight, experience, etc., and has either subtext, or maybe a voice narration.
 
BREECH
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Re: Airline Reviewers/Bloggers vs. Airlines

Wed Nov 21, 2018 12:39 pm

dik909 wrote:
BREECH wrote:
I honestly expected an angry report from Sam Chui complaining he was carried onboard the plane in a golden panaquin instead of a platinum one. :-D


Heh, I chuckled.. :D

But, I must say, Sam Chui is not nearly as insufferable as one other flight reviewer I can think of who is very young, does nothing but first class & premium reviews, and is always finding something wrong with them - not to mention that he injects his politics & sexuality into every other review. Please, spare me..

Personally, I like reviewers who don't focus on themselves, who don't speak into the camera. Rather, I much prefer the "impartial" experience with gentle music, and which simply shows the airplane, flight, experience, etc., and has either subtext, or maybe a voice narration.

Oh, I HATE subtitles!!! I just can't read and watch simultaneously, and most of the time they are too fast, so I have to constantly roll back the video. Meh... I have to say I just don't like "trip reports" in general. Maybe one would be interesting, but how many "first class experiences on Airline X" do we really need?

And I just realized I misspelled "palanquin". :-(
No friendship, love or respect unite people as much as shared hatred.
Sergey Dovlatov
 
jchaase
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Re: Airline Reviewers/Bloggers vs. Airlines

Wed Nov 21, 2018 3:03 pm

yonikasz wrote:
I think Delta does a pretty good job. If any of you guys follow Jeb Brooks on YouTube he emailed Ed Bastian and got a response back in less than a day. Then Bastian invited him to an interview. In addition, Bastian is pretty candid. Said he has "fake medallion status". https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AzxCNB3Xt4s Bastian said that he doesn't mind him filming on the plane if the crew is okay with it because it is free marketing.


I'm a PM on Delta, e-mailed Ed Bastian in response to an interview he did a couple years ago, got a response a few days later. Their Twitter team is also excellent.
 
jetwet1
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Re: Airline Reviewers/Bloggers vs. Airlines

Wed Nov 21, 2018 4:07 pm

ClassicLover wrote:

I can see what you mean with regards to those who scream the loudest. I think a lot of it is to do with reach - one post online can be seen by thousands of people, so any kind of damage control has to be swift. It's why the airlines have social media teams now, to assist customers and what not. Weirdly, things seem to be moving away from the phone in a lot of respects, with people using instant messaging like Twitter to contact airlines instead.

My guess would be that the social media teams are not only responsible for handing queries, but also for keeping an eye on what is being said about the airline on the various digital platforms.


Here is the thing, social media teams are there to answer questions and help with issues, not escalate them, I 100% agree that there are some on Youtube etc that feel the airlines need to bend over backwards to cater to them (or else) , however, Josh is not one of them.

How MH handled the whole thing is a textbook example on how not to deal with a social media issue, the purser approaching a passenger and becoming confrontational with them will get the airline (or any business) nowhere, now, the reply from his "friend" at MH is the way it should be dealt with, bad meals happen, we have all had one on a flight, broken IFE happens, even on new planes, find a way to make it right, turn a negative into a positive, but confronting someone is never the way to go, confronting someone who has a big enough social media footprint that your social media team is aware something bad is happening almost instantly is just stupid.
 
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TheFlyingDisk
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Re: Airline Reviewers/Bloggers vs. Airlines

Thu Nov 22, 2018 12:35 am

jetwet1 wrote:
Here is the thing social media teams are there to answer questions and help with issues, not escalate them, I 100% agree that there are some on Youtube etc that feel the airlines need to bend over backwards to cater to them (or else) , however, Josh is not one of them.

How MH handled the whole thing is a textbook example on how not to deal with a social media issue, the purser approaching a passenger and becoming confrontational with them will get the airline (or any business) nowhere, now, the reply from his "friend" at MH is the way it should be dealt with, bad meals happen, we have all had one on a flight, broken IFE happens, even on new planes, find a way to make it right, turn a negative into a positive, but confronting someone is never the way to go, confronting someone who has a big enough social media footprint that your social media team is aware something bad is happening almost instantly is just stupid.


Well there's two sides to a story as always. Apparently according to MH's response to The Sun, he had requested an upgrade but because F & J are full, they can't accommodate him. So, are we really sure that the confrontational nature of the crew didn't stem from his actions?

And therein shows the power of Social Media, and the potential for misuse by giving viewers only one side of the story.

https://www.thesun.co.uk/travel/7792071 ... -airlines/
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jetwet1
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Re: Airline Reviewers/Bloggers vs. Airlines

Thu Nov 22, 2018 11:19 am

TheFlyingDisk wrote:

Well there's two sides to a story as always. Apparently according to MH's response to The Sun, he had requested an upgrade but because F & J are full, they can't accommodate him. So, are we really sure that the confrontational nature of the crew didn't stem from his actions?

And therein shows the power of Social Media, and the potential for misuse by giving viewers only one side of the story.

https://www.thesun.co.uk/travel/7792071 ... -airlines/


I get what you are saying, but again, what does MH and the crew gain from being confrontational with the guy ?

Anyone who has worked with the general public has had an interaction with them that was, let's say less than pleasant, but you get nowhere as a business by "attacking" the customer.
 
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TheFlyingDisk
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Re: Airline Reviewers/Bloggers vs. Airlines

Thu Nov 22, 2018 1:50 pm

jetwet1 wrote:
I get what you are saying, but again, what does MH and the crew gain from being confrontational with the guy ?

Anyone who has worked with the general public has had an interaction with them that was, let's say less than pleasant, but you get nowhere as a business by "attacking" the customer.


I don't see MH attacking the guy to be honest. The one crewmember, maybe. But what I can see is that everyone else had tried to bend over backwards for him.
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VTCIE
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Re: Airline Reviewers/Bloggers vs. Airlines

Sat Dec 01, 2018 1:32 pm

dik909 wrote:
BREECH wrote:
I honestly expected an angry report from Sam Chui complaining he was carried onboard the plane in a golden panaquin instead of a platinum one. :-D


Heh, I chuckled.. :D

But, I must say, Sam Chui is not nearly as insufferable as one other flight reviewer I can think of who is very young, does nothing but first class & premium reviews, and is always finding something wrong with them - not to mention that he injects his politics & sexuality into every other review. Please, spare me..

Who, pray, is he? When you talked about sexuality, I had Mr Schlappig in mind.
5H-TCG
 
BREECH
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Re: Airline Reviewers/Bloggers vs. Airlines

Sun Dec 02, 2018 1:11 am

VTCIE wrote:
Who, pray, is he? When you talked about sexuality, I had Mr Schlappig in mind.

No idea who that is. (Please don't tell me!) :-)

Sam Chui is a Chinese spotter who has some very deep-seated connections in the Chinese airline industry and is often seen being escorted to the airside by airport managers and heads of security so that he could take close-up photographs. He was spotted at handover ceremonies and various other insider industry events. His reports on youtube (of which there are a lot) include first class cabin flights on the most expensive airlines. And his website has just frozen my web browser. He irritates some, others say he is a lovely person. I don't have a valid opinion on him.
No friendship, love or respect unite people as much as shared hatred.
Sergey Dovlatov
 
VTCIE
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Re: Airline Reviewers/Bloggers vs. Airlines

Sun Dec 02, 2018 10:49 am

BREECH wrote:
VTCIE wrote:
Who, pray, is he? When you talked about sexuality, I had Mr Schlappig in mind.

No idea who that is. (Please don't tell me!) :-)

Sam Chui is a Chinese spotter who has some very deep-seated connections in the Chinese airline industry and is often seen being escorted to the airside by airport managers and heads of security so that he could take close-up photographs. He was spotted at handover ceremonies and various other insider industry events. His reports on youtube (of which there are a lot) include first class cabin flights on the most expensive airlines. And his website has just frozen my web browser. He irritates some, others say he is a lovely person. I don't have a valid opinion on him.


If not you, I have to tell others. One of the most popular miles-and-points blogs on BoardingArea is One Mile at a Time. Both the main writers are homosexual (male, to be precise), but not the other writers. No offence intended.

And, yes, B. Schlappig almost always reviews premium classes, like Sam Chui. So I was reminded of him. But he is not in the least a self-conscious little d**k. He may be young, but I find him to be quite mature. I am NOT promoting that blog here.
5H-TCG
 
spacecadet
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Re: Airline Reviewers/Bloggers vs. Airlines

Mon Dec 03, 2018 7:08 am

It would surprise the hell out of me if airlines, like any other business, did not pay attention to social media posts.

Obviously, those with more followers will get higher priority. Someone like Sam Chui gets special treatment because he has 850,000 subscribers. He also caters to the high-end business market, which an airline is going to take into account as well since they make a disproportionate amount of their profits from that market. A good review from him is like free marketing to a whole bunch of high rollers.

This guy Josh Cahill only has 60,000 subscribers but this video's been viewed 526,000 times. So it's not *only* subscriber numbers that count. A good social media team is paid to know when something can potentially go viral and they will try to avoid any bad publicity resulting from that. That said, I worked for many years in internet and social media marketing and this is not an easy thing to get right (whatever "training" someone claims to have in this, it's always more or less a guess based on nothing but past experience). So sometimes you will see airlines fall flat in YouTube videos where it seems like they obviously should have done something different to avoid bad PR. It obviously wasn't obvious to them in those cases.

I don't have a problem with all this, personally. If someone's got the skill and personality to gain hundreds of thousands of subscribers, then it almost seems irresponsible to me for a business *not* to give them special treatment. Again, it's basically free marketing. And alternatively, if you *don't* give them special treatment, it's potentially negative PR for no reason whatsoever. It costs the airline almost nothing to give someone like that an escort to the gate or priority boarding. They'd be dumb not to do it.
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