United's Twitter Team Saves the Day at Newark
When United shared the news that it had begun utilizing a new tool to help determine when to hold flights to avoid having passengers miss connections, I'm not sure Twitter is what the carrier had in mind. But, sometimes, good old fashioned social media is all it takes to get the job done.
Last week, United flyer Laura Webb was making her way from Tampa (TPA) to Dublin, Ireland, (DUB) for a wedding, with a connection in Newark (EWR). Unfortunately her first flight ended up getting hit with a two-hour delay. Ultimately, the flight arrived just four minutes before her Europe connection's scheduled departure time of 7:25pm.
As the flight was pushing back in Tampa, Laura sent a direct message to United via Twitter, including all of the key details — her confirmation number, origin, destination and connecting city. United responded as Laura was en-route and, ultimately, the agent called gate 123 in Newark to request that the door be held open for a few extra minutes.
In the end, the flight ended up pushing back a few minutes behind schedule, but due to generous transatlantic tailwinds, arrived in Dublin ahead of schedule — with Laura onboard.
United confirmed the account, saying: "We are focused on every customer, every flight, every day and this is a terrific example of collaboration between our social media team and our employees at Newark to make sure we did everything possible to get these customers to Dublin."
Laura's story does not appear to be an isolated one.
While it doesn't hurt to be, say, the son of one of the world's most famous professional athletes — as in Marcus Jordan's case below — this gesture goes to show that the airline's Twitter team is willing to go out of its way to help, regardless of social or frequent-flyer status.
Passengers miss connections every day, but by being proactive and reaching out to the airline's social media team — with key details that allowed them to assist — this wedding guest was able to avoid getting stuck in Newark, and United managed to build a bit more loyalty with Laura, and perhaps the thousands of other flyers who have seen her Facebook post so far.