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How Delta Airlines handled the US Army excess baggage crisis
 

How Delta Airlines handled the US Army excess baggage crisis

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Delta Airlines faced a tough crises when it charged returning US soldiers for excess baggage, and when the Youtube video of this went viral, they dealt with it on their blog. We analyze how they did.

Delta Airlines faced a tough crises when it charged returning US soldiers for excess baggage, and when the Youtube video of this went viral, they dealt with it on their blog. We analyze how they did.

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  • Full Name Full Name Comment goes here.
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  • Andreas - I agree with the fact that agents should have known. But in the aftermath of the emotional outburst, it'd have been difficult for Delta not to change the rules, don't you think?
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  • The fact that got lost was that the soldiers has a procedure to follow. Pay for excess baggage and file for expenses when they get to their base. The soldiers seemed unaware of this and I suspect this is the reason why the video disappeared so quickly and the military refused to comment. They knew they goofed.
    Instead of meeting the storm with facts, Delta chose to increase the baggage allowance. For me as a taxpayer - this is good, For the troops - status quo except less paperwork. For Delta: lost income.
    The emotional issues here made this a lost case for DL under any circumstance, but had the agents in Baltimore informed the troops better about the rules, this would have been avoided. I find it hard to understand how agents in an airport like Baltimore could fail to do this. Baltimore has daily military charters coming in and many of these passengers connect on DL and other airlines.
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    How Delta Airlines handled the US Army excess baggage crisis How Delta Airlines handled the US Army excess baggage crisis Presentation Transcript

    • Delta Airlines Charging US Army for excess baggage
      What went wrong, and lessons learnt from the crisis
      http://www.SimpliFlying.com
    • Chapter 1
      What went wrong?
      Delta Airlines charges $2800 in baggage fee from returning US soldiers
      http://www.SimpliFlying.com
    • Excess bag fee justified for returning soldiers?
      Staff Sgts. Fred Hilliker and Robert O’Hair of a Reserve unit in Georgia, posted a video on Youtube outlining their plight of being charged for bags.
      O’Hair explained that the unit showed up with four bags each but were told they could only bring three each and would have to be charged $200 for the fourth. The final tally came to more than $2,800, according to O’Hair.
      He said there’s a contract between the U.S. government and Delta that allows them to bring up to four bags. He goes on to say that the fourth bag contained a weapons case. (A Delta rep says the contract does not allow soldiers to carry an extra bag.)
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sX8luPQZ2I0&feature=related
    • Chapter 2
      The Impact and Anger
      The video goes viral, reaching over 200,000 views on YouTube within a few hours of posting
      http://www.SimpliFlying.com
    • The news spread like wildfire…
      Delta received 3.5X as many mentions on Twitter as all other US airlines combined,
      on 8 June 2011, and 8X their normal mentions!
    • Top influencers tweet about it too
    • Mostly negative comments across the board
      The story peaked between 4pm-5pm ET on June 8, 2011, with over 800 Twitter mentions an hour
    • Anger vented on multiple online forums
    • Chapter 3
      Delta Responds
      A blog post goes Live at 5:09 pm, followed by a Tweet by @DeltaAssist, immediately revising policy
      http://www.SimpliFlying.com
    • Delta posted a response through a blog post
      Despite a public apology and policy change to accommodate more bags, emotional comments were received, almost all negative
    • The response was personal
    • Top influencers tweet again…
      This time, about the apology…
    • Chapter 4
      Analysis of the crises handling
      Despite the emotionally-charged discussions, Delta did probably the best job they could
      http://www.SimpliFlying.com
    • First, let’s understand…
    • American Airlines Flight 24
    • Why Delta did the best job they could
      This was a Bizzarecrisis – Unexpected and something Delta probably never thought of
      This was a baggage policy all airlines in the US followed, not just Delta (and most changed it following Delta)
      Delta was fast in responding – within 2 hours of the topic peaking on traditional and social media
      The response was not through a press release, but done on a blog – which is indeed the appropriate response to a YouTube video
      Delta made sure that the response was personal, with the author relating personal stories
      An Update was provided on the blog itself, based on the initial comments received
      The detractors weren’t providing constructive feedback. Most were emotional rants, hence didn’t need regular responses
    • In Conclusion
      Recognizing the fact that Delta didn’t expect a response to a policy that’s existed for a long time, especially the response being so emotionally charged, they’ve probably done best job they could in managing this crisis by releasing a statement on the blog, and keeping it personal.
      What do you think? Let’s discuss on Twitter (@simpliflying) and in comments.
    • As the expert puts it…
      “Never let a good crisis go to waste. Communicate and take action when the whole world is watching!”
      - Rahm Emanuel
      http://www.SimpliFlying.com
    • Data Analysis courtesy of…
      Airline Twitter Sentiment Analysis Tool
      http://www.SimpliFlying.com
    • For more case studies, visit SimpliFlying.com
      World leaders in helping airlines go social
      http://www.SimpliFlying.com