Successfully reported this slideshow.
We use your LinkedIn profile and activity data to personalize ads and to show you more relevant ads. You can change your ad preferences anytime.

How Qantas dealt with the 48-hour fleet grounding crisis and the A380 mid-air engine failure


Published on

An awful week or so for Qantas - first, the 48 hour shutdown brought about due to a battle with unions that led to utter chaos and much recriminations on social media. Subsequently, on the same date as the A380 engine blowup last year, another A380's engine decided to stop working in mid-air leading to a flight diversion with a celebrity on more. Find out more about these two incidents, including detailed analysis, in this slide-deck.

Published in: Business, Technology

How Qantas dealt with the 48-hour fleet grounding crisis and the A380 mid-air engine failure

  1. 1. How Qantas dealt with the 48-hour shutdown and the A380 mid-air engine failure Helping airlines & airports engage travelers profitably
  2. 2. Qantas fleet is grounded for 48 hours and chaos ensues
  3. 3. Anatomy of a crisisThe Qantas fleet grounding was adecision made by the QantasCEO, Alan Joyce, on Saturday 29October due to an ongoing battlewith unions.Both customers and employeeswere caught unawares.Employees are not rostered forsocial media duties on weekendsEmployees were not rostered on inkey areas that normally enable andassist in customer response onsocial media.
  4. 4. Qantas‟ initial responseInitial tweets came from@QantasMedia@QantasMedia used as “breakingnews” channelRetweeted from @QantasAirwaysOngoing updates from@QantasAirwaysTone wasformal, accurate, factual, andauthoritative
  5. 5. Responding to the unfolding crisisResponse increased once there wasclarity about industrial situation andif/when services would resumeResponse to customers centrallymanaged through @QantasAirwaysHigh volume of enquiries andresponse which made it difficult torespond to all.Eventually, tone shifted toconversational and caring
  6. 6. Managing service recovery@QFcustomercare assisting@QantasAirways with recovery efforts@QFcustomercare resourced bydedicated Customer Care employeesCaring tone, without being too formalor conversational.Dedicated Twitter Customer Care formused to gather more details privatelyand to ensure an outcome.
  7. 7. FalloutA flood of tweets appeared soon after Qantas‟ announcement suspendingservices. Source: TrendisticQantas‟ initial “mechanical and impersonal” tweets came in for muchcriticism. At its peak, "Alan Joyce", "Qantas" and "Anthony Albanese"were all trending worldwide – indicating in excess of a 1000 tweets perminute.Parody accounts of Qantas and of Alan Joyce, CEO of Qantas have beenset up.
  8. 8. Much anger against the CEO especially!
  9. 9. Social media hellAs thousands of passengersfaced cancelledflights, confusion and chaosreigned supreme, especiallyon Twitter.Moreover, Qantas appeared tobe slow in getting off the ranks.A spate of discussions ensuedon social media, much of itnegative towards Qantas. Source: The Sydney Morning HeraldQantas‟ seeminglyimpersonal, one-wayinformation dissemination onTwitter were severelylambasted.
  10. 10. Virgin jumps in and grabs some cake!Virgin, meanwhile, jumped into rescue strandedpassengers and by allaccounts garnered nearuniversal praise for itspersonal touch in addressingpassengers.Even Richard Bransonhimself tweetedcongratulating Virgin in itsefforts.Meanwhile, Qantas tried tosave face after a horriblestart.
  11. 11. Contrasting tones making the difference?While Virgin kept up a chatty, casualconversation with customers onTwitter, Qantas had to opt forformal, non-engaging tweets.While it‟s true that a conversational tonemakes the brand appear closer to thecustomer and not indifferent to his/herneeds, the situation was unique.In uncertain times, Qantas needed toensure that it was not “playing down theissue” by being casual in itsconversations on Twitter.Moreover, information-disseminationmandated the adoption of such a tone.
  12. 12. But give credit where it‟s due!In a difficult situation that was undoubtedly not as well managed asit might possibly have been, Qantas did try to salvage some pride.• Online claim and refund forms were created to assist customers and reduce call volumes• Dedicated Customer Care social media team responded to as many enquiries as possible• @qantasairways working closely with @qfcustomercare to direct customers to the dedicated recovery team• @qfcustomercare posts increased on average 167.35% per day since the account was „reactivated‟ after the grounding• Issues are resolved via DM or a link to a dedicated Twitter form that is then handled by the Customer Care social media team• Using Customer Journey Managers to communicate directly with Flight and Cabin Crew onboard, as well as our passengers to assist with sharing of information
  13. 13. The Verdict: Don’t Shoot the Messenger!Those in charge of handling theresponse were not necessarily theones responsible for the crisis.• There was no prior warning, it affected the whole fleet, there was little information available, and there was no immediate forecast• No information was available to the team beyond key messages• The volume was simply too high to successfully respond to all customers• It was necessary to provide accurate information to the public.
  14. 14. Handling the crisisProblem: Minimal informationavailable initially.Solution: As information flowedin, social media played a roll inthe larger communicationsstrategy through core accounts(Facebook and @qantasairways)to avoid mixed messaging andconfusionRisks: Sensitivity of the situationfrom a legal and communicationperspectiveA potentially volatile audience ofstakeholders.
  15. 15. Putting the response in the context of limited resources available• There are 4 dedicated full-time employees that monitor and respond on social media (including the Customer Care social media team)• During the recent Qantas fleet grounding there was one full-time employee to broadcast messages until further information about the lockout and subsequent grounding was available• After receiving clearer information about the situation, 6 full-time employees were put on a rotating roster to respond to all genuine customer enquiries and recover affected customers• Social media employees normally operate approximately 9am – 5pm, however during the crisis employees worked many extra hours
  16. 16. What the numbers sayIncrease of over 10,000Facebook fans since Saturday 29OctoberIncrease of over 10,000 Twitterfollowers of @qantasairways sinceSaturday 29 OctoberOver 242,000 mentions ofQantas in all social mediaexcluding Facebook betweenSaturday 29 October and Tuesday1 November (unprecedented forQantas in a three-day period)
  17. 17. Lessons for the futureBe Prepared: Develop crisismanagement contingencyplans. It seemed that Qantaswas caught on the backfootwithout any previously plannedclear crisis managementstrategy in place. They‟d wantto change that.Flow of information: Improvethe flow from top managementto those handling the responseso that passengers receivespeedy, transparent andeffective communications.
  18. 18. Click here to download.
  19. 19. A380 engine failure on an ominous date with a celebrity on board
  20. 20. Just when you thought it couldn‟t get worse...As if many planeloads of problemsweren‟t enough, one of the 4 engineson a Qantas A380 from Singapore toLondon failed in mid-air and the flightwas diverted to Dubai.Coincidentally, this happened exactlya year to the date of the Qantas A380engine explosion over Singapore lastyear.To top it all, the British writer, actorand importantly HUGE Twitter celeb(3.5 million+ followers) Stephen Frywas on board. And he wastweeting…
  21. 21. Long delay, interminable pains?Already irate, Fry realises he‟s lefthis wallet on the plane after thegroup had been bussed to thetransit lounge.Luckily, Qantas‟ response teammanaged to change Fry‟s irritationto relief as he quickly recoveredhis wallet.He also tweeted a photograph oftheir crisis-response flyer whichwould undoubtedly get Qantassome positive sentiment inTwittersphere.
  22. 22. The Verdict: Breathe easier. But only slightly.In this case, Qantas showed thatthey do have the mettle to handlecrises.They were speedy to respond to asituation that came out of nowhereand addressed most concernshead-on.The crisis-response flyer was a neatouch.On Twitter, they tried their best toget some positive publicity by beingpro-active.
  23. 23. Got a crisis of your own? Here‟s how you can help yourself!
  24. 24.
  25. 25. For more Helping airlines & airports engage travelers profitably