The airline’s responses focused on the contest and ignored the grievance tweets.
Qantas launched a competition on Twitter, offering 50 pairs of Qantas First Class pyjamas and amenity kits to those who tweet a creative response to the question “What is your dream luxury inflight experience?” using the hashtag #QantasLuxury. Unfortunately, this backfired when the feed became inundated with angry tweets from unhappy customers.
One tweet read: “giving yourself a pay rise whilst grounding your whole airline and taking local jobs offshore”. Another person tweeted: “being abandoned at Heathrow for 4 days in the snow with no customer support while trying to get home to 8mo pregnant wife!” These grievance tweets were followed by hundreds of sarcastic ones criticizing the timing of the campaign and branding it a PR disaster.
The airline itself chose to focus on the competition and tweeted responses that ignored the unhappy customers, such as: “Wow! Some very creative tweeps out there. Keep the entries coming”, although it did acknowledge the high number of tweets it had received: “At this rate our #QantasLuxury competition is going to take years to judge”.