Wednesday, 21 April 2010

Great use of social mobile media

So I'm trapped, trapped I tell you, in the south of France. I'm having to put up with 25c of brilliant sunshine, blue skies, cheap wine and Golden Virginia at €7 for 40g. Ahh.

We were hoping to fly back today. When I got up everything looked right. The UK and France have reopened airspace and airports, my flight was after 1pm, and the BA website said it was on. By the time my wife got up, the flight was cancelled, and it looked like we were going to have to drive back with a three year old after all.

I got onto the phone to BA, but I kept getting cut off. The queue was absolutely full. So whilst I'm redialling on the landline, I get my mobe out. This is the twitter message I sent

Ahhhgghh. Flight has just been cancelled. Just get engaged tone from BA I can't even get in the queue.

About ten minutes later I read this

@rival It will take a while to update on but you'll be able 2 make your changes on Manage My Booking (if you booked directly with us)

Nice! Even though I can't speak to them, I'm getting some response. Even if it isn't very helpful.

@British_Airways The update booking option is greyed out for me.

Less than one minute later comes the reply

@rival If you booked through a travel agent, they will have to make the changes otherwise, you'll need to call us UK - 0800 727 800

Hmm, that's actually a different number. I try it, and I'm able to join the queue. So while I'm waiting, I read this:

We expect to run flights to all of our longhaul destinations today from Heathrow & Gatwick and our shorthaul services will resume after 1pm

"So why is my flight cancelled?" I think.

@British_Airways So why is my 18:05 flight cancelled?

We still have a large no. of aircraft, pilots & cabin crew out of position,we're working around the clock to minimise any further disruption

Good answer

@British_Airways Yeah, I understand. Thanks.

Jack comes to find out what is going on, so I tell him that I'm talking to the pilot on Twitter. He wants to talk to him as well.

@British_Airways Jack (aged 3) asks "is it because of the voocano?"

Now the thing is, that this is a typo, not Jack having difficulty saying 'volcano'. Anyway.

@rival :) Thank you for sharing Jack's new word.

Wow, they're really putting a human face on a big corporation. Finally get through, only 45 minutes. I genuinely think that is alright, considering.

@British_Airways Wonderful talking to Kelly now. Rebooked for tomorrow. Well done BA! Very relieved I didn't book Ryanair

I even get a retweet along the way from @JamesMerrimanUK along the way.

I think that really highlights some of the ways that mobile social networking has evolved. Its really helped me understand BA's problems and to understand that they're just people too. Thanks BA,

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