Twitter Tweeps Rescue a Traveler

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Day 428: Buenos Aires, Argentina

Wondering why I love Twitter?

I have been traveling for 14 months but today I started my trip back my home country. I’m giddy when I get on the plane and see the Canadian television channels.

 

It’s familiar. It’s home.

 

The pilot explains that there are some volcanic ash issues in Chile and they are waiting for an alternative path so I watch Community and Modern Family while the flight attendants hand out water to keep everyone more comfortable.

But things takes a turn for the worse.

Everyone must get off the plane. The flight has been cancelled. Normally this would be bad but when things go wrong Latin Americans get very animated, very loud, very angry.

 

This is not good.

 

We’re at the luggage carousel and no one knows what is going on. People are yelling at the airline employees. They are completely losing it. I finally hear that we’re all heading to a hotel.

Thank you Air Canada for not making us sleep in the airport.

But people are still angry and it makes the long and tiring wait for the taxis unbearable as people are already speculating we’re staying in a dump.

Turns out they were wrong and we’re dropped off at a nice hotel, told at 9pm they’ll have a dinner for us and the next morning we’ll be told about our new reservations.

I am a bit stressed because I have plans in Vancouver before TBEX but there is nothing I can do.

girl in bath with beer

Well there is something I can do. I take a bath and have a beer from the mini fridge.

 

Things will be fine.

 

But the next morning no one seems to know anything. I call the Air Canada office in Buenos Aires and they have no information. At breakfast there are speculations we could be here for days.

I decide to hide out in my room, the other passengers are triggering my anxiety.

 

It is time to take things into my own hands.

 

I start tweeting Air Canada. I had sent a tweet the night before but they didn’t respond so I get a bit more aggressive with my tweets, after all why have a Twitter account if you aren’t going to talk to your customers?

Finally I get a tweet back, to follow Air Canada so we can direct message privately and they share the latest information. I beg to be put on any flight; they ask me to hold tight.

I reach out to every one I know and all my travel blogging friends to tweet Air Canada to get me to Vancouver for TBEX on Thursday. Within 45 minutes 77 people ask Air Canada to put me on the next flight.

 

I wait.

 

One last desperate attempt I call Air Canada again and find out they know nothing, can I call back in a few hours?

But two minutes later I get a tweet that all Star Alliance Network flights have been cancelled for the day but I am confirmed on tomorrow’s flight as long as it runs but they’ll keep me updated on twitter.

Lesson learned?  Twitter is not a waste of time.

 

Join the Conversation

  1. Camels & Chocolate says:

    YAY! Glad Twitter came to the rescue for you, as it has done for so many others. After Scott and I were stranded for 48 hours last Christmas due to a canceled flight, enough people Tweeted American Airlines for us, and a week later, a rep called me and offered us $400 in travel credit. It didn’t get our $700 towing fee back, but hey, it was a start (and is getting us to Boston for free in August).

    Speaking of you being back in Canada, are we going to cross paths in Halifax after all? I’m going to be in eastern Canada from July 2-9…

  2. Amazing, thank god for twitter, who’d have thought as well as letting me waste loads of time it could also be quite helpful!

  3. Victoriana says:

    My dad is always complaining about social networking and trying to insist that it’s a “useless pastime of ignorant youth” and I’ve struggled to defend twitter at all. I will keep this story in mind the next time he’d complaining about it.

  4. Ah the power of social media. As long as you don’t get the fail whale you are golden.

  5. Sebastian says:

    Power of Social Media ๐Ÿ™‚ I got a refund from Iberia by tweetingโ€ฆ They didn’t respond to three of my emails but after about 20 more or less angry tweets I got a refund immediatelyโ€ฆ

    Customer care of airlines is so bad, they only respond to you when they feel a little pressure or their reputation is affectedโ€ฆ bad bad bad!!!!

  6. Natalie T. says:

    Well said, my friend. “Why have a Twitter account if you arenโ€™t going to talk to your customers?” I think this is what companies need to learn. If they don’t guess what? People are going to start talking and it’s not going to be good. Social Media is the easiest way a company can show their customers that they care. Air Canada (more so Air Canada Vacations) is notorious for making their customers (and travel agents) wait.

  7. It’s great that Air Canada is on the Twitter bandwagon — I have tweeted a couple of hotels in the past, with narry a response…

  8. Hopefully more airlines and travel companies will realize just how important social media is! Sadly, many of them just don’t get it yet. But this is proof positive that Twitter can be an especially handy and valuable tool to both travelers and travel providers!

    I’m so glad everything worked out so that I could meet you at TBEX!

  9. Seattle Dredge says:

    hehe YAY! So glad that it worked out.. and that is a pretty amazing story. It’s definitely a good thing that you didn’t have to sleep in the airport; thank goodness for angry tweeters! ๐Ÿ˜€

  10. Tweeting Paypal has really saved my bacon. i find people are much more reactive in a public stream like Twitter — where you’re also forced to be brief and not wibble — than in conventional email interaction. Glad you got it all sorted.

  11. Oh man this is an amazing story… I hope one day my tweeting habit of a junkie will come to good use like this. I could only hope it does pay off for something.

  12. Twitter to the rescue! Glad to hear your Twitter story. I recently joined, but had previously been wary of another social networking site. I’m glad to hear the upsides of it! Bon voyage, have a safe flight! ๐Ÿ™‚

  13. Lorna - the roamantics says:

    OMFG!!! i had no idea about this! go tweeps! between the power twitter yields and introducing us to fantastic new friends with similiar interests who GET us, i’d say twitter is absolutely 100% not a waste of time! ๐Ÿ™‚

  14. Michael Hodson says:

    still annoyed I had to delete my increasing scheduled tweets of rage, since you got Air Canada to reply so fast…

  15. Erich Nolan Bertussi Davies says:

    I Recently had to start my life all over from scratch.

    Pretty much everyone who came to the rescue were people I met on twitter.

    Things like clothes dishes, bedding towels, you name it all my tweeps came to the rescue.

    The kewlest thing I have learned is you can still meet just like in the heady 90s awesome people on-line, twitter is like an awesome chat platform that helps you connect with people not only all over the world but in your local community or region.

    I’d not be able to come back and bounce back so high so fast without the connections I have made on twitter.

    ENBD..//

  16. Lily (Explore for a Year) says:

    Hi Ayngelina,

    Great to see you got a flight and made it to TBEX. I was one of the 77 people who tweeted AirCanada and am happy to see the joint effort had some influence. Companies shouldn’t have to be attacked with tweets to take action, but I guess there’s nothing like public pressure to speed up the results!

    – Lily

  17. I’ve never really understood Twitter, but then I was very late to join Facebook – and still struggle with that ๐Ÿ˜‰

    I’m amazed you actually got any response from the airline in that way though. I guess you managed to cut above the routes everyone else was trying. Interesting.

    Good luck with the next flight…

  18. Nicely done.

    I’m also back in my homecountry (but it doesn’t feel like home anymore, I feel a bit lost). I left the 6th of june and I was actually on the last plane that left (so they told me)

  19. Twitter really can ‘save your bacon’ can’t it? haha. So glad you got a good outcome…just goes to show; Twitter is the way forward when it comes to customer satisfaction! =)

  20. adventureswithben says:

    That’s awesome. Glad you made the flight so we could meet-up!

  21. The Travel Chica says:

    Happy to help! I didn’t realize you were already on the plane when they canceled your flight.

    Many others were actually stranded here for days. Some people are still having trouble flying back into Buenos Aires. Lucky girl ๐Ÿ™‚

  22. Roy | Cruisesurfingz says:

    The power of networking huh? Amazing

  23. Andi of My Beautiful Adventures says:

    I had a similar situation with Delta. Amazing what the power of social media can achieve! I’m so happy you made it home safe & sound.

  24. Justin Hamlin says:

    Have to love getting a little help from your friends ๐Ÿ˜‰

    Glad you made it safely too

  25. I totally agree with you! When I travelled to Buenos Aires, I had the same problem, all the flights cancelled, I didn’t know what to do. So I asked the travel agency that I booked my activities in Buenos Aires to help me out and they told me to follow them in twitter. There I will receive the latest news about everything involve with turism in Buenos Aires. Thank God I received all the news and could travel to Buenos Aires without delays. Here is the agency if someone needs it twitter @bsas4u

  26. That’s a great story! Yeah for Twitter ๐Ÿ™‚

  27. Wow, amazing, I never would have thought it. The power of the internet!

  28. Gene Bowker says:

    Twitter is good.. sometimes you don’t want to hear more than 140 characters of commentary ๐Ÿ™‚

    I’ll have to doublecheck and make sure I’m following you on Twitter too :)@Genebowker

  29. Jen Green says:

    How fantastic! Thanks so much for sharing your story. I’m glad it worked out (so far!). Thanks!

  30. I’m so glad this worked out. I remember when you did it and I thought it was an ingenious use of technology and social media. Thanks for the lesson!

  31. Debbie Beardsley says:

    This is a great example of how to use Twitter. Thanks for sharing this because I probably wouldn’t think of it if I was stuck somewhere.

  32. Jozef @ Where Now says:

    haha what a great story! That annoying ash cloud almost held us up in Australia too!

  33. Love this story- love you- I’d tweet to anyone for you! ๐Ÿ™‚

  34. Jeremy Branham says:

    I think I was one of those 77 – so awesome to see the power of social media. It still blows me away to see the effect that technology has. And glad you made it to Vancouver – it was fun meeting you! ๐Ÿ™‚

  35. Also learned: You adoring fans love you.

    Come back to BA I miss you!

  36. So glad we were able to see you! I saw the messages and were hoping you wouldn’t have a problem getting to TBEX.

  37. The power of twitter is pretty amazing. My own flight out of Sydney to LA via Auckland got cancelled last week because of the ash and I had a response about my flight on Twitter from Qantas nearly straight away. To get them on the phone took five hours.

    I usually hate dealing with Qantas, but I had to give them props for strengthening their presence on social media during the crisis rather than retreating.

  38. I was so glad to read that you were confirmed after the massive tweeting everyone did for you! This proves that social networks can have an influence (even if minor) in companies and that you don’t lose anything by trying things.

    So cool I was able to meet you on TBEX and glad my little tweet took part of this! ๐Ÿ™‚

  39. What an amazing name for a blog, i love beer-can nearly as much as you probably love twitter now.

    Just found your blog, i’m lovin it!

  40. So glad to hear that twitter has some practical use! I actually found twitter helpful recently when someone stole a blog post – other twitter friends reached out to help and the issue was resolved promptly!

  41. Result!

    Very resourceful – well done!

    1. Ayngelina Author says:

      Aww thanks Robin!

  42. Hi Ayngelina, wow, thats a great story for sure! But I think airline companies should do this regardless. Imagine few years in future when all passengers start tweeting – this twitter thing will just become another customer service desk at the airport…. But who knows, by then we’ll have something new!

    1. Ayngelina Author says:

      I hope its more of an open conversation.

  43. There’s something comforting about being able to reach out period and getting such a tremendous response! It’s a testament that like Anne Frank once said, that she still believed that people really are good at heart. With everything going on today that showcases man’s limited-less inhumanity to man, it’s nice to know that people do care and when called upon, they will act. Glad you made it back safely.

  44. that is pretty awesome!
    I used the power of twitter like that once when I was getting poor customer service at a big box chain store while trying to get a camera fixed and it ended with the head office calling me and me getting a new camera ๐Ÿ™‚

  45. Yay! This is so epic, and something I hadn’t thought too much about. So great! ๐Ÿ™‚

  46. Cornelius Aesop says:

    I don’t know if I keep tweeting because I blog or keep blogging because I tweet but they do go hand in hand. I don’t know if I’ve seen twitter used to my advantage in a rally of twitter support but it I’m glad it did for you. Especially if it put a smile on your face after a stressful day.

  47. Micamyx|Senyorita says:

    Thanks for this advice. Now the lesson there is never underestimate the power of Twitter! ๐Ÿ˜€

    1. Ayngelina Author says:

      Yes more than just tweeting what you had for lunch!

  48. That is an amazing story! good point, why should a business have twitter if they don’t speak to their customers.

  49. It’s truly amazing how much influence social media has on people.

  50. Maddy @ I'm Not Home says:

    How timely. I was just bitching about twitter to a fellow travel blogger when you tweeted your link to this post! Naturally I clicked. What a great story and technique for getting things done! I’ll be using that one in the future!

    1. Ayngelina Author says:

      You can get the attention of a lot of people very fast on Twitter.

  51. Great wait to use tweeter! I also had an issue with my phone insurance service tied to my bank account after a few aggressive tweets and hey presto all was resolved!

  52. Noor - Desert to Jungle says:

    I don’t quite believe it but this thread has convinced me I’ve got to drag myself into this world of Twitter! I’ve purposely avoided it so far but keep reading how I should ‘get with the program’

    I will just have to make sure to always engage my brain before my fingers because that doesn’t always happen.

  53. Tirthankar Bose says:

    Even I faced the same kind of issue with one of my airlines in India. Their customer care department had no answers for my next flight.
    And the only answer they had was to check their twitter handle. I am not a twitter fan but for them I had to install it.
    It was a mess out there. Haha…I was irritated to my core ๐Ÿ˜›
    Btw, you mentioned a great point and that is hy should a business have twitter if they donโ€™t speak to their customers.

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