Airline disruptions: Is your communication plan future-proof? Presentation from #DCWDubai

Airline disruptions – lessons from a sandstorm

During a major sandstorm in Dubai earlier this year, the airport operations were severely affected, with thousands of stranded passengers and cancelled flights in the region. During this period of disruption, the number of people registered to receive real-time updates via Twitter grew 20 fold. This meant passengers wanted information at their finger tips.

Additionally, the real-time messages from @DXBUpdates, the airport’s Twitter flight information handle, received 62 times the number of replies and 15 times the number of favorites, which meant the passengers appreciated the content. Dubai Airports essentially managed to turn a negative scenario, the sandstorm, into a positive for both the passenger and the airport, a win-win. While @dxbupdates handled is powered by BizTweet, disruptions are common among airlines around the world, and they need to do a much better job of communicating with passengers when something goes wrong.

15below’s Disruption Communications Workshop

I was invited to share my views on how airlines can build better disruption communication strategies, and future-proof their plan, by the folks at 15below, one of the leading passengers communications firms. At 15below’s first ever disruption communications workshop in Dubai last week, I shared that in the age of the constantly connected traveler, it is critical that airlines reach them on a medium they prefer. The presentation that I delivered had a few good case studies, including the Dubai sandstorms, and one where Brussels Airlines rescued me after a cancelled flight, via Twitter!

I’ve embedded the presentation here for your reference. Would love a discussion on Twitter (@simpliflying) and in the comments below. You can view some more photos from the workshop here (Credit: 15 below).

Airline Disruptions – future-proofing your strategy

At SimpliFlying, we are continuously pushing the boundaries when it comes to airline marketing. And social media has changed two-way passenger communications forever. We’re launching a new solution around disruption communications and management for airlines – one that unites Operations, Customer Service and Corporate Communications like never before. It includes a detailed GAP analysis, determining whether your airline is ready for the connected traveller. There are MasterClasses by experts who hold senior executive positions within airlines, and our team can even help re-write your existing standard operating procedures and training manuals if needed. To find out more please feel free to get in touch. 

Some more action from the #DCWDubai workshop on airline disruptions communications

Shashank Nigam

Shashank Nigam

Shashank Nigam is a globally sought-after consultant, speaker and thought leader on airline branding and customer engagement strategy. He is the Founder and CEO of SimpliFlying, one of the world’s largest aviation marketing firms working with over 85 aviation clients in the last ten years. Nigam is also the youngest winner of the Global Brand Leadership Award and has addressed senior executives globally, from Chile to China. Nigam’s impassioned and honest perspectives on airline marketing have found their way to over 100 leading media outlets, including the BBC, CNBC, Reuters and Bloomberg, and into leading publications such as The Wall Street Journal and the New York Times. He writes a dedicated monthly column in Flight’s Airline Business, challenging the typical assumptions about airline marketing. His new book on airline marketing, SOAR, is an Amazon bestseller that’s shaking up the industry and inspiring other industries to learn from the best airlines. Born in India, raised in Singapore, he now lives with his wife and two young daughters in Toronto.
Shashank Nigam
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