After British Airways allegedly lost luggage belonging to Hasan Syed’s father he, like many of us, took to Twitter to vent. However, instead of just complaining to his own followers Syed reached out to a much larger audience.
He purchased a promoted tweet through Twitter’s self-service ad platform with the message reading "Don't fly @BritishAirways. Their customer service is horrendous."
Promoted tweets are usually brought by brands and companies to highlight specific products or campaigns to a larger audience. They appear in searches, in the list of trending topics and sometimes in users’ news feeds. However, this seems to be the first time the platform has been used to complain about a brand.
Syed, who uses the handle @HVSVN, has not disclosed how much the tweet cost, but aviation marketing consultancy SimplyFlying recording that the message received more than 25,000 impressions in the first six hours online.
BA have now responded to Syed’s message, asking him send his baggage reference to them directly so that they could help reunite him with his possessions.
The airline also released the following statement: "We would like to apologise to the customer for the inconvenience caused. We have been in contact with the customer and the bag is due to be delivered today.”
Although Syed’s use of promoted tweets is new, it seems the airlines are a particularly inviting target for the wrath of internet users. In 2009, Dave Carroll and his band Sons of Maxwell released a video title ‘United Breaks Guitars’ to complain about the mishandling of his instruments by United Airlines.