No airline can be held responsible for the recent ash-induced delays in flights to and from Europe, but they have displayed remarkably divergent attitudes to communicating with customers. Gartner's Jeffrey Mann contrasts the differing approaches of KLM and Air France to the crisis.
Picture by NASA Goddard Space Flight Centre
While both airlines have the same parent company, they didn't display the same approach to using Twitter, Facebook and other networks, as Mann points out:
Even though Air France and KLM are two brands within the same company, they took radically different approaches to using social media during this unprecedented crisis in the European travel industry. While KLM embraced it, Air France ignored it. The results were clearly visible in comments on their respective Facebook walls. KLM’s were generally favourable, with lots of people thanking them for their efforts. Certainly, some complained and the worst of them were deleted, but the comment stream was not overly sanitized. The Air France page mostly contained astonishment from fans that the company was doing so little to communicate with or help customers.
I've personally been impacted by the crisis, but I have to admit that I never even considered looking on social networking sites for information — I went straight for the official sites and hit the phones. How well do your favourite travel companies make use of new media? Share your experiences in the comments.