Qantas has had a bad run of luck recently and has also made some questionable corporate decisions. Especially in relation to the ongoing wage negotiations with the Transport Workers Union that is threatening further disruption to the Aussie carrier.
The most recent Public Relations disaster is related to an attempt by the newly formed social media unit to implement a social media campaign.
The Twitter campaign asked users to describe what would be their “dream luxury inflight experience” and use the hashtag #QantasLuxury to generate traction.
The airline probably thought it would generate comments related to Spas, champagne and top quality service.
However, Aussies known for their acerbic wit, jumped at the chance to lay into the beleaguered national carrier. One of the first was, luxury is “giving yourself a pay rise whilst grounding your whole airline and taking local jobs offshore”.
Another example “#QantasLuxury is feeding a family of 5 on pittance they pay their ground staff while Alan Joyce is on $94k a week”
Cherry Pizza came up with “#QantasLuxury is sitting in your first-class lounge chair, watching a failed social media campaign get out of control.” How right she was!
The misjudged campaign was an unmitigated disaster and in an effort to end the suffering, two hours after launching the project, Qantas thanked users for their tweets. Unfortunately for Qantas, social media doesn’t work that way and 36 hours later the topic is rumoured to have generated 14,000 tweets, the best of which are featured in a presentation on slideshare and the topic is still trending high on Twitter.
It didn’t help that the prizes offered were a set of Qantas pyjamas and an amenity kit!