Lufthansa Finds Success Blending Social Media With Flight Status Updates

  |  June 4, 2010   |  Comments

MySkyStatus is Lufthansa’s first foray into social media in the U.S.

Lufthansa has seen significant uptake of a site that lets people broadcast information about their travels while in the air.

According to the German airline, visitors to its MySkyStatus website have created over 400,000 updates directly on MySkyStatus, 80,000 on Facebook, and 21,000 on Twitter since it launched about a year ago.

The site is Lufthansa’s first foray into social media in the U.S. Any traveler can use the service by entering information about their airline, departure date, flight number and reason for travel at MySkyStatus.com. The site can then issue real-time updates to popular social networking sites when the flight takes off and lands, and while it’s en route.

The features are not limited to Lufthansa flights, but can include any major airline.

"Since we opened it up to every airline, we’re reaching out to...a huge audience and it’s much broader," said Nicola Lange, director of marketing and customer relations at Lufthansa. "And every time the message gets out, it says it is ’powered by Lufthansa,’ so we are creating huge exposure for the brand."

Site users can choose whether their friends get updates on networks like Facebook and Twitter only upon takeoff and landing, or during the flight as well.

Lufthansa launched version 2.0 in May, adding support for LinkedIn and the ability to create a profile native to the site - potentially creating value for frequent fliers. Additionally, status updates now include more creative options such as notifying friends when you have traveled the equivalent of a round-trip to the moon.

MySkyStatus is Lufthansa’s first attempt at social media marketing geared specifically to the U.S. The company has a Twitter account aimed at the German market. The account has over 25,000 followers and has focused on creating tangible value for customers. For example, during the flight delays that took place across much of Europe due to the ash cloud from the Icelandic volcano Eyjafjallajokull, the company was able to update customers via Facebook and Twitter.

Lange said Lufthansa began thinking about its U.S. strategy about eight months ago.

"Our customers travel a lot and are very engaged in social media and we decided whatever we created needed to link the social media sites they mostly use with a travel aspect since they like to tell and update their friends," Lange says. "That’s how the idea of MySkyStatus was born."

Lufthansa worked with digital agency Profero on the campaign.

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Lisa Lacy

In addition to ClickZ and Search Engine Watch, Lisa's work has appeared in The Huffington Post, The Luxury Spot, LearnVest, MarthaStewart.com, GoodHousekeeping.com, amNewYork, and The Wall Street Journal. She's a graduate of Columbia's School of Journalism.

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