“Please hold – a representative will be with you in *5 hours*.” How many have you have had to hear a message similar to this when calling an airline in the last couple of years? There had been some calls where the hold times extended into double digit hours! In times like this, many customers seek for an easier avenue of contact.
The United Airlines Twitter Team is the Best – IMO
Smart companies have built out their social media teams to handle requests from customers who have trouble reaching them on the phone. Some companies have also been working on robots to help handle the more simple requests. I have turned to Twitter quite a bit in the last year for help with airlines and most of them really do not do that well (one airline recently made news for responding years after the flight being talked about had flown).
How to Contact United on Twitter
Just head over to this link and you will see the little envelope near the “Follow” button. That is the button to send them a direct message. Click on that to send them a private direct message for help. DO NOT send any information of a personal nature directly to them on Twitter, only send your trip information via the DM function.
This post is not about naming and shaming those that are not good at it but to highlight my personal favorite and tell you why they are so great.
Forget the Phone – the Twitter team is awesome
This all started last year when I had a segment cancel on a United reservation and there was a technical error dealing with it online (international flight with partners) and the phone agent kept giving me inaccurate information. After playing hang-up-call-back and dealing with looong hold times, I headed to Twitter.
The United Airlines twitter team came through for me with the changes on the flights several times last year as we had to make a couple of changes due to the issues with borders and flights. Each time, they were back to me with options in a matter of hours, if not less than 30 minutes. They were able to make all changes and for any flights where I had to pay extra, they had someone call me to take my credit card information to finalize the reservation.
Fast forward to this fall and I have even more reasons to sing the praises of the United twitter team.
Almost every time I have contacted the United twitter team in the last few months, it was not urgent so I would always start my message by saying they could take their time, I didn’t need an answer that day because I knew they were busy. However, it would never fail that they would be back to me within hours with the solution and flight change options.
Contrast this to the hold time on the phone and it was no contest – send a message via Twitter and have them get back to me with the solution while I was able to do other things vs waiting on hold for an hour or more to then have to still go through one or two people to get the same help.
I have had schedule changes as well as needing to make schedule changes voluntarily due to plans changing. Unfortunately, both revenue tickets and award tickets were having problems online or else I would have just done it online. The United twitter team was able to quickly help me and let me know of my options and even suggest others that I had not thought of.
Once I was good to go, they would take care of it all after receiving a positive answer and the next thing I knew, I would have an e-mail in my inbox with the fresh itinerary.
Never once have they NOT been able to help me – they are quick, professional, and helpful every time.
United vs Others
I have had to tweet other carriers, a North American carrier (not located in the US) and European-ish carriers (neither are in the EU), in the last couple of weeks and the difference was appalling. On the North American carrier end of things, I ended up calling and talking to a rep because I was lucky enough to get through right away so messaged them again to tell them the problem was solved. I received an answer days later saying “ok”. Not ok since they didn’t address the original one for a while also. The European-ish carriers were worse. I am still waiting on responses to some queries – from three years ago.
As to the US carriers, that can be hit and miss with them I have found. United has been the most consistent one and I really, really love it. If they had a “tip” option available in Twitter DMs, I would have tipped their team a couple of times now for their performance and help.
Because there are always those that wonder – this treatment is not because I am a blogger. I have contacted them (and others I know have as well) with another Twitter account and they have been just as responsive and professional in those circumstances as well.