Qantas’s Twitter contest backfires: A PR fiasco

Qantas, out to repair its damaged image because of the ongoing labor disputes that culminated in strikes and a lockout by the airline that had left thousands of passengers stranded across the globe, misjudged public reaction when it launched a Twitter contest asking people to describe their “dream luxury in-flight experience.” The contest drew angry responses instead from erstwhile customers who were still fuming over the disruptions and long wait for compensation.

When Qantas grounded its entire fleet in late October, Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard called the action “extreme and irresponsible”. Most customers would have felt that the airline had given scant thought to their interest.

The “Qantas Luxury” contest which was launched on November 22 turned out to be a big PR booboo. You don’t ask customers for a “dream” experience when they had just gone through a dirt patch. That time may heal, do not stir the smoldering ashes.

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About David Leo
David Leo has more than 30 years of aviation experience, having served in senior management in one of the world's best airlines and airports. He continues to maintain a keen interest in the business, writes freelance and provides consultancy services in the field.

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