Airports, Twits and Crazy Crunchie Friday

By | Category: Travel rumblings

Heathrow

A quick question. What would you expect an airport’s Twitter account to be used for? To keep passengers informed you might think. You live in a sheltered world and believe all the techie hype if that’s your answer.
I started monitoring twenty one UK airports just after 7am yesterday morning. Now twenty-fours later let me reveal how airports have harnessed the not-so-new technological wonders to keep their passengers wonderfully and comprehensively informed.
Some airports provided good coverage. Heathrow had 22 tweets yesterday but began by referring to the strike. Seventeen hours ago it stopped so the thought is that there was no disruption and they didn’t need to comment on it. After that, the flight of Wills and Kate to Canada took over. For passengers it would have been nice to have had a two hour update throughout the day even if it said “as of X o’clock, there is still no disruption.” The same applies to all other airports.
Coincidentally, Belfast International’s last tweet was seventeen hours ago and they also said there was no disruption. Gatwick tweeted that most passengers were getting through in under 15 minutes which was exactly the type of information that meeters and greeters would like to hear. Glasgow had one tweet saying it expected no disruption but that wasn’t put up until 10am. Before that you got a sales message about a bargain on fake eyelashes! Manchester said there was little delay and then lapsed into competition news.
Bournemouth on the other hand was beset by Crazy Crunchie Friday (which happens today) rather than using Twitter for keeping passengers up-to-date with the strike. This could be the most fascinating and worthwhile project that has ever occurred at the airport but for passengers and those meeting them…
Not to be outdone, Leeds-Bradford Airport concentrated on a Katy Perry competition and managed not to mention the strike during the day. Norwich airport which dealt solely on the Royal Norfolk Show. Newcastle did admit to a slightly longer than usual delays at one time of the day but said it was due to an orchestra coming through with incorrectly completed paperwork!
So what is Twitter for? The answer after yesterday is unclear. It should be able to combine promotions with information but surely information is more important to passengers. So why wasn’t there more from some airports?

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