One blog post gets Air France to crash on social media

An Air France passenger, Jay Harish Shah, has an unforgettable experience with Air France. Unfortunately, it's not unforgettably good; it's unforgettably bad.

Shah writes a letter to ALEXANDRE DE JUNIAC, chairman and CEO of Air-France KLM. The letter is beautifully crafted, which perhaps led to the letter going viral. You can read the letter here.

 One blog post gets Air France to crash on social media

An Air France passenger, Jay Harish Shah, has an unforgettable experience with Air France. Unfortunately, it's not unforgettably good; it's unforgettably bad.

As he ends the letter, Shah makes his intent overt. "Let me make it very clear, we don't fly your airlines for free and more often than not are the only people flying on this particular sector. You might try and make some damage control but be completely sure, that we will never forget the way we've been treated at the hands of your staff. You have failed miserably in meeting the expectations of your customers based on the promises you've made to them.

I will be circulating this letter amongst popular press and media along with a court summons we're in the process of filing. This is a true account of what happened in Paris, Charles De Gaulle Airport," Shah says, before signing off in French, 'au revoir'.

Till we meet again, is what this means in English. And going by the response on social media, they will meet again, soon.

The letter went viral on 28 October - take a look at what happened on twitter simultaneously.

Chart 1

Chart 1

This is what happened, when mentions and tweets are monitored. All data from Unmetric, the social media agency that we requested for the data. Look at early September when life, for Air France, was calm and sedate, and then look at the end of the graph, when a tsunami engulfs them.

If there was ever a time when the use of the phrase "the calm before the storm" was the most appropriate, October 27 would probably be it. The graph is as flat as a paper dosa, with no hint of the havoc that follows.

Chart 2

Chart 2

While people were talking about Air France at Twitter, there was no discernable change in the activity at Air France's social media team.

And it wasn't just a Johnny-come-lately talking about Air France; Page 3 saw fit to give Mr. Shah a hand and lend his effort some muscle on Twitter. Who, you ask?

Chart 3

Chart 3

That's who. Twitterati with over 50,000 followers each were talking about Air France and Mr Shah's plight. Air France's reputation is taking a pummeling and the brand is set to crash, and there's no parachute around.

That is the story of the celebrities, what about the hoi polloi? Well, they were far from restrained in their support for Mr Shah, and, in great enthusiasm, decided to adorn their tweets with appropriate hashtags. #Fail. #Racism. #Disgusting. And more such stuff

Chart 4

Chart 4

Some time yesterday, geniuses at Air France figured out that life was not good and that they had to act. They tried, with a clumsy attempt at buying Mr. Shah out.

"In closing, we will be happy to assess your case and we would be grateful if you could forward us your bank details such as the name and address of your bank as well as your account number.We trust the above explanations will go some way towards restoring your confidence in our Company and we look forward to welcoming you back to our services in the near future," is how Air France's letter to Mr. Shah ended.

That should be the end of that, no? No. "I will share my Bank Details once you provide details of the Compensation," says Mr. Shah. He's obviously many times bitten, and very, very shy.

This is going to be fun. And Firstpost will give you a runway-side view of all developments.

Updated Date: Dec 20, 2014 23:42:51 IST