Southwest listens to the blogosphere

Southwest Airlines is a listening kind of airline. As it celebrates the first anniversary of its blog – called Nuts about Southwest – it has been listening hard to the comments made about its advance booking policy.

Fuming travellers had been telling the airline they were mad about not being able to book tickets over 90 days ahead. In total an avalanche of 274 people joined in.

So, Southwest has changed. As Michael van Houweling, online manager at the airline said at last week’s Airline Distribution event in Ft Lauderdale: “You blogged, we flamed, we acted.”
There are a handful of airline blogs out there, but measuring their value is virtually impossible.

To web believers, the ability to have an open dialogue with your customers is essential. Sceptics question whether the effort of getting a blog up and running (actually very easy) and then keeping it going with good stuff (harder) is worth it.

For an airline as large as Southwest the blog is all about developing a dialogue with its customers. It has put up over 250 posts and received over 6,000 comments.

Midwest Airlines is another using the web for its own purpose, in its case a petition, while the UK’s Monarch Airlines allows customers to post reviews of hotels and holiday resorts.

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One Response to Southwest listens to the blogosphere

  1. Brian Lusk 2 May, 2007 at 4:09 pm #

    Thanks for the kind comments about Southwest’s blog, Nuts About Southwest. During the past year, the dialogue that we have developed with our Customers on the blog has been nothing short of amazing. Our goal has been to make our blog a “living room” where we can converse and form relationships with our Customers. We have learned a lot in the process, and the learning process continues. Of course, that continues going forward, and we look forward to many more years of being a part of the blogosphere.
    Brian Lusk–Southwest Blog Team

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