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KLM Surprise

Schiphol airport before flying back to Shanghai

Two days ago I needed to check a KLM reservation, but I could not log onto the KLM site with my frequent flyer number. So I tweeted about it and KLM later sent me a reply wishing me a good flight, which I retweeted to my followers. A few hours later while boarding for a flight from Shanghai to Amsterdam, I gave my boarding pass to one of the ground staff at the gate and instead of the usual green light a red light turned on… She didn’t know why but told me to go to the desk to find out what was wrong.

Before I could even walk over to the desk 2 KLM employees approached me and told me that they had a surprise for me, that’s why my boarding pass set off an ‘alarm’. They told me that because of my tweets they wanted to thank me with a gift, and they handed me a Nike paper bag containing an Nike iPod sensor! Because they followed me on Twitter they read I am a runner, so this was an excellent gift. The KLM social media reps also took a picture of me with the present for their site, I must have looked really surprised in the picture.

I just did a Google search and found that KLM does this more often, they even have a site for this: They describe the concept there as follows: “To see how happiness spreads, we committed little acts of kindness to brighten a passenger’s day. So next time you fly with us, we might just pop up somewhere unexpectedly.”

I really appreciate this KLM, especially considering our love-hate relationship on social media over the past years. Based on some tweets of mine Dutch newspaper Het Parool even wrote an article about among others KLM’s Twitter policy. At that time (over 2 years ago), KLM did not really have one yet, but that has changed since. KLM is since a few days 24 hours a day active on social media like Twitter – despite their Twitter profile still saying 8 AM- 11 PM.

Thanks a lot for the surprise KLM. I am impressed by your new social media strategy, lots of other companies (not only airlines) can learn from this. One of my personal social media slogans is “The more you give, the more you’ll get”, so I am sure for you this strategy will lead to more positive results as well.

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  1. I have some same experience. On an big conference, I shouted in my sina weibo about how bad the receptionists were (the front desk was really messed up). The boss of the event host replied immediately and let one of their staff come to find me to apologize. However, the performance of their receptionists were still bad.

  2. Dear Marc
    You’re convincing me that I should Tweet. But couldn’t Google + take care of tweeting as well?

  3. Dear Marc
    You’re convincing me that I should Tweet. But couldn’t Google + take care of tweeting as well? By the way, to comment in WP blogs I have to use vpn an then log into a net evading free proxy site. It’s not easy.

  4. I think this is a great program and a sincere response from you goes a long way in helping KLM with validating their social media efforts.

    Have a good trip eh!