AU MA Social Media

A class blog about social media.

Alaska Airlines Saved its Reputation via Facebook

Posted by wonghyhelen on August 8, 2012

Last Friday, a customer from Bend, Oregon posted “sad story” on his Facebook page about witnessing the ticket agents from Alaska Airline refusing to help a disabled and physically challenged man to board. The airline responded on its Facebook page later by blaming the disabled man for trying to board with an oversized suitcase and showing signs of inebriation.

However, by Monday afternoon, the president of the airline apologized on its Facebook page that they could have handled the situation more appropriately. Also, they refunded the man’s roundtrip ticket as compensation and will partner with disability advocacy group Open Doors to discuss ways to better serve the needs of disabled travelers.

It is a good example of how a company can possibly solve a crisis by closely monitoring its social media sites. The airline shows its willingness to engage and listen to their customers by responding their concern on Facebook timely. Although the first response with blame was rude, the apology from the president was well enough to prevent the crisis from getting more serious. By mentioning the action that has taken (refund) and will take (partnering with Open Doors), the airline shows their sincerity and how serious they treat each customer’s opinion.


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