Today is Twitter’s seventh birthday and I’ve been giving a lot of thought to how much this microblogging tool has grown in such a short time and how powerful it has become in sharing information. Especially in light of something that’s happened recently.
Last Saturday, I was flying from Fort Lauderdale to Los Angeles and while milling around the gate area, I heard a surprising announcement from the gate next door. The agents were offering passengers without carry-ons except for a personal item to board the plane early, after first class and the elite frequent fliers.
I thought this was interesting so I sent this simple tweet: “I wonder if @AmericanAir is testing out a new boarding procedure. They just invited those without carry-ons to board 2nd.” Not surprisingly, American Airlines’social media team responded within minutes: “We know that the WAS airports were trying a new boarding system, John, but we hadn’t heard that FLL was too.”
I retweeted their statement and a few days later, Genevieve Shaw Brown (@gsbrownabc) from ABC News contacted me for a quote. After her story ran today, it’s been picked up by numerous news agencies including CNN, The Los Angeles Times, USA Today, Daily Mail (U.K.) and I just got a call from NBC News. That’s truly amazing and just shows the kind of power Twitter has.
As far as American’s new boarding procedure goes, I think it makes sense. Alaska, Southwest and Frontier have all been doing it for a while and it seems to work. Two main reasons it makes sense? It speeds up the boarding process and it incentivizes people to check their bags, which is a source of revenue for the airline.
What do you think? Do you like the idea of allowing those without carry-ons to board before the general public?
Oh, and Happy Birthday, Twitter! If it weren’t for you I wouldn’t be getting so much press.
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Editorial Note: The editorial content on this page is not provided by any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.