Consumers with a complaint might send a social media message
directly to an organization’s Twitter handle. But travelers who are
enjoying themselves are more likely to broadcast a chipper message
to their social network—making that positive feedback more difficult
to capture and analyze.
To help solve that paradox, Australia-based Qantas Airways
partnered with Local Measure on a pilot project to track social media
messages generated in the airport lounges.
“The project can help us understand what products and services
in the lounge are popular, how people use the space and their general sentiment toward Qantas in an organic way,”
says Jo Boundy, Sydney, Australia-based head of digital and entertainment at the airline. “That understanding in-
forms future decision-making about how we design and manage our lounges.”
Because of the large volume of data being collected and analyzed, a key project challenge is ensuring the informa-
tion is shared with relevant parties consistently. In addition to the team members in the Qantas head office who
manage social media channels, the project team built a mobile app to make the data more accessible. That allows
on-site staff to handle pressing feedback as it’s generated.
The pilot project, which began in July 2013, has sparked projects this year to launch similar services in all premium
Qantas lounges, from Hong Kong to Los Angeles, California, USA. —Rekha Radhakrishnan
You Are Here
Receiving flight updates by text message is nothing new for modern travelers,
but American Airlines wanted to take the experience to the next level. The airline
partnered with SITA, an air transport IT and communications company, to test
The pilot project, launched in June, allows travelers to download a smartphone
app that pushes information about everything from boarding times to gate directions to insider tips on the nearest lounge. The geo-targeted app delivers communication that’s more precise and more effective than standard airline messages.
Yet launching the project required taking into consideration the high security
and regulations of major airports. For this, the project team drew upon SITA’s lessons learned from past projects. “There were some technical and logistical challenges with this trial, but nothing more than you would expect when introducing
such new technology into a secure area like an airport,” says Kevin O’Sullivan,
lead engineer at SITA Lab, Brighton, England.
To gauge the project’s success—and the possibility of a future rollout across
multiple airports—the project team is currently tracking metrics such as the num-
ber of downloads, the level of interactivity and feedback from passenger surveys.
“The project can help us understand what products and services in the
lounge are popular, how people use the space and their general sentiment
toward Qantas in an organic way. That understanding informs future
decision-making about how we design and manage our lounges.”
—Jo Boundy, Qantas Airways, Sydney, Australia