American Airlines – do you know TimF10? Re-thinking social media engagement for frequent fliers

It may seem like an absurd question – why would an airline know a cryptic user id? But what if he’s a real person, on Twitter? Moreover, if he’s a top tier frequent flier? And tweeting about you all the time too! Then I’m sure the airline would want to know about him.

I just encountered such a person. His name is Tim Feyer, and just by looking at his last 15 tweets, I’m able to tell a log about him.

  1. He’s an Executive Platinum on American Airlines’ AAdvantage
  2. He’s flown 100,000 miles in the last two months, almost all on AA and over 3 Mn lifetime miles!
  3. He almost always only travels First or Business Class
  4. He always uses the Admirals Club
  5. He’s engaging with other fliers on Twitter, and actively sharing his own experiences and helping them out

Now, I’m sure American Airlines has a ton of information about Tim in their AAdvantage database – but do they know how active he’s been on Twitter? Probably not. In fact, after speaking at the Loyalty11 Conference and the Social Media in Travel Conference in February/March, I don’t think most airlines are yet able to differentiate their frequent fliers amongst the hundreds of thousands of social media fans and followers they’re acquiring. And that’s where the goldmine is.

Imagine, if American Airlines is able to identify Tim and more like him…here are some of the things they can do:

  1. Create a Twitter list of all frequent fliers who do more than X amount of miles per year  –  Tim would probably top that list!
  2. Treat this segment differently than other fans – all of their @mentions or comments should be replied to within an hour or two, their praises re-tweeted etc
  3. Make special gestures – EG, Tim seems to feel ripped off by parking in Miami – send him some free parking coupons for next time! (learn from KLM Surprises 🙂
  4. Clear any misunderstandings right away – in his latest tweet, Tim seems to suggest that Admirals Club agent misguided him – why not reach out to him and rectify it?
  5. It seems that in case of some fliers like Tim, Twitter or Facebook may be the preferred means of interaction – so, why not complement that with emails? Conversion rate may be higher!

These are just some ideas into the future of airline CRM? What do you think? Take a look at Tim’s tweets, and decide for yourself 🙂

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