Things go wrong with air travel. It’s just an unfortunate but universal truth.
Between weather, technology, air traffic control, and the miracle of flight itself, problems will arise at some point during your travels. And while calling the airline to sort things out might be your first instinct, the hold times can be lengthy. And you might find the agent who eventually gets on the other line isn’t well-equipped to handle things.
But there’s a better way. Message your airline on Twitter. Seriously.
In our experience, there is no easier or faster way to sort out a problem with your flight than direct messaging an airline on Twitter. If you’re not a fan of Twitter – no judgment here – it could be worth setting up an account just to get a private line into the airline employees who can help you out.
The Power of Direct Messages
My wife and I were 33,000 feet in the air, somewhere over Spain, when we realized there was an issue with our American Airlines boarding passes.
Our TSA PreCheck accounts weren’t showing up. And while TSA PreCheck can be an incredible time-saver no matter the situation, it was urgent this time. With a trip through immigration and customs and less than 90 minutes to make our connecting flight, we needed to save as much time as possible.
So I connected to the inflight Wi-Fi and sent a message to the @AmericanAir account. Within 3 minutes, the airline responded. And within 15 minutes, it was all sorted out.
We refreshed our boarding passes and there it was: The PreCheck logo. I’m sure it would have taken an hour on the phone or more to get it handled. That’s not an option up in the air – and why would you when you can just send a quick message via Twitter instead?
Earlier this year, I needed to cancel some Delta flights after it turned out the airline would not be flying its brand new Airbus A220 planes. I’ve been on hold with Delta waiting for an agent for more than an hour in the past. This time, it took me about 5 minutes to cancel the flights and get a full refund.
It’s a private channel where you can quickly share sensitive information like your flight confirmation number, date of birth, passport number, etc. and quickly solve any issues. What’s not to love.
Major Airline Twitter Accounts
Any airline worth its salt is on Twitter. Many foreign airlines have several, including specific accounts for U.S.-based travelers.
And with few exceptions, they all allow any user to send a direct message – you don’t need to be followed by the airline account to reach out privately, as with most Twitter users.
We won’t list all the accounts here, but here’s a smattering of some of the largest airlines on Twitter.
- American Airlines: @AmericanAir
- Delta: @Delta
- United Airlines: @United
- Southwest Airlines: @SouthwestAir
- jetBlue: @jetBlue
- Alaska Airlines: @AlaskaAir
- British Airways: @British_Airways
- Lufthansa: @Lufthansa_USA
- Iberia: @Iberia_en
- Air France: @AirFrance
- KLM: @KLM
- Turkish Airlines: @TK_HelpDesk
A Word of Caution
Airlines can fix a lot of things on Twitter. An error with your boarding pass. A simple flight change. Adding a lap infant to your reservation. Requesting compensation or bonus miles for an issue during your flight. The list goes on and on.
But when bad weather strikes or you need to change your reservation and find a new flight, talking options through with an agent by phone is likely a better option. There can be so many moving parts to securing a spot on a different flight – especially in the event of cancelations – that calling the airline may be your best option.
At the very least, call up the airline and get your spot in the waiting queue while you message them via Twitter. Cover all those bases!
Twitter can be a godsend when problems arise. Get your account fired up and don’t hesitate to slide into an airline’s DMs next time you have an issue.
Editorial Note: Any opinions, analyses, reviews, or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved, or otherwise endorsed by any card issuer.