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ITNTW: Time for some airlines to call MAYDAY on their reputation 

Qantas recently called mayday on a flight with an engine failure, but they might need to start calling mayday on their reputation. The latest Qantas drama comes after passengers heard a loud bang mid flight where one of the engines had shut down, forcing the plane to call mayday. It landed safely in Sydney but left the public concerned over the safety of flying with Qantas moving forward. 

Whilst an engine failure caused safety concerns, another incident where Qantas had to turn their plane around after 45 minutes because of a ridiculous paperwork issue, left a plane full of passengers very frustrated. A service based industry relies heavily on the public’s perception as it builds their brand image. For airlines, their customer’s feedback shows whether an airline is recommended because it’s reliable and safe or not recommended because of its delays and poor customer service. 

Qantas isn’t the only airline causing a stir in the media, with lots of delayed and canceled flights in and out of Bali over the last few months, JetStar’s customers are not holding back on social media about how they feel. In a recent post by JetStar one customer comments, “Both flights were canceled at the airport before checking in, I’ll never fly JetStar again” and “if only your scheduling was as good as your marketing”. 

Whilst it’s easier said than done to fix delays and control disturbances, airlines do have the ability to use social media to communicate openly and honestly with their customers about ongoing issues and complaints. Airlines need to be careful how they treat their customers otherwise their social media will be flooded with negative comments and reviews which creates a bad brand image. Anyone following JetStar at the moment can see that they have plenty of negative comments on their pages with customers trying to call the airline out for their poor decisions and lack of customer service. 

From a PR perspective it’s been proven to be more beneficial for brands to create open conversations with their customers by being honest and quick with their responses. Hearing feedback and concerns to better improve their experience in the future. Otherwise customers will continue to give airlines a reputation they can’t fly away from!


By Tilly Powell – PR & Influencer Coordinator at InsideOut PR and #AsSeenOn

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