5 Best (and Worst) Airline Social Media Posts

The Airline Social Media secret?...Don't be a Drag.

There’s a secret to Airline Social Media. Would you like to  know what it is?


Confused? Don’t be. A writers “voice” has existed in the world of Drama and Screenwriting for decades. You see, some lucky people (including social media managers) develop their voice leading others to label them as “witty” or “quick”. Others get all the content stuff right from the get-go, but have a hard time finding something distinctive about how they write.

They need to find their “Voice” 

The voice is like any skill or muscle and can be learned. It needs to be developed and practiced over time in order to gain confidence. With confidence, you are no longer afraid to take chances. There’s an abundance of people who have it, but don’t have the support or outlet to take those chances. But those that do – are in high demand. A good social media manager can tweet his way into serious success. It can also be cultured in a team environment of like-minded people. 

Best Social Media Team 

Let’s use a practical example. And for that we need to discuss the Blue and Yellow Elephant in the Twittersphere. Ryanair. If you haven’t yet discovered the genius that is the Ryanair Twitter account then get over there and mash that follow button. To say they have a unique approach to customer interaction would be an understatement. These people have the Voice. 

Lets examine why the Voice works – so you can understand how to apply it. 

The Voice follows three simple (screenwriting) rules:  

1. Everything is Conflict 

2. Know your Sub-text 

3. Never be Boring

Let me explain. All drama is conflict. But if you think conflict is just arguing –  then you need to expand your mind. Conflict is when two competing ideologies or opinions collide. We hide away from conflict in our real lives, but we like it in our TV shows and films. We love it in our Social media. Sub-text is what is implied in this conflict – but only understood by your tribe. What do we mean? Well, Ryanair (and you!) know what they do well. Cheap, no frills seats – “Play by our rules and you win – Don’t, and you lose”.

This is Ryanair’s sub-text Superpower. They know their customer and their loyal tribe knows themEveryone one else just spews on Twitter, asking those Ryanair brutes why they didn’t get a flat-bed seat and teriyaki salmon with their €9.99 flight from Bristol to Copenhagen!. Oh, the humanity…

So what do Ryanair do? They divert this endless energy into their social media superpower engine.  And this Superpower is never boring as we watch it pummel these “no-window”, “no leg-room” types into the sun. Ryanair’s loyal customers scoff, knowing the sub-text, because they found religion many moons ago when Ryanair (and Herb Kelleher) showed us it needn’t cost a fortune to fly between London and Paris or New York and Boston. Delta, KLM, Japan Airlines or Emirates won’t take this approach. It doesn’t suit all brands. But not all superhero’s wear capes. 

michael o leary

So how to take that formula and make it your own? What’s the “angle” for let’s say, Virgin or Qantas. Two airlines that most definitely have edge and sense of humor and have a loyal following. The secret is in that loyal following and their connection to the brand. You need that back and forth with your customers. Its imperative to jolt them into action or reaction when you engage with them. Deliver the sub-text that your tribe understands and gets. Get them to understand why they choose you and use that sub-text in your communications with them.

This is the essence of tribalism. 

5 Best Best Airline Social Media


Southwest Airlines has a dedicated social media customer service team that responds to inquiries and complaints within minutes. But they have a solid white collar approach that’s well balanced and doesn’t try too hard. 


Delta tops our best Airline for the Right Reasons in 2022 poll.

Delta doesn’t just tweet out offers and sales. It engages with their audience. They also offer personalized solutions to customers by sending direct messages to resolve issues on social media


We love the Dutch. You should too. 

KLM Royal Dutch Airlines has a strong social media presence and actively engages with its followers by asking for their travel stories and featuring them on its social media and LinkedIn platforms. They just have a good vide without trying too hard. 


Virgin Atlantic has long been a supporter of the outsider. They were championing the LGBTQ+ communities since before there was an alphabet. They also hosts social media contests and giveaways, such as its “Wander Wall” campaign, which encourages users to share travel photos for a chance to win a trip.. 


United Airlines responded quickly and transparently to a crisis when a passenger was dragged off a flight, offering apologies and a detailed plan for how they would prevent similar incidents from happening in the future. They also provide a personalized journey guide.

Worst Social Media Team 

Sometimes it goes wrong. Not every Ryanair tweet hits the spot and in 2023 there’s always gonna be some group that will interpret your message in the wrong way. People are smart and (mostly) will take things in the context they are provided. If not, then conflict provides metrics and that’s never a bad thing. But then there’s straight up errors, lapses and mistakes – to borrow from old Airline safety parlance. 


Now part of American Airlines, US Airways faced backlash after posting an inappropriate photo on its Twitter account, which was deemed offensive by many users. What happened was someone demanded a freebie and an Admin sent a link to a site on the internet unsuitable for some. No doubt hilarious at the time to the person, this is when the untrained and inexperienced “voice” filters do not exist. 


Spirit Airlines are interesting cats. They have the balls (see below) to try “edgy” in an attempt (we assume) to appeal to their market – Young folks heading to Florida for spring break. Dropping balls, maybe. Mocking Oil spills, calling out MILFS and Wieners?. Nosireebob.  

Spirit balls drop ad


The World is changing folks. ChatGPT is moving in and you better get used to it. In 2022 Frontier closed its human customer service center and in its place put AI. Will other airlines follow suit? inevitably. Will it be better? I kinda think it might…

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