West Jet has always had an interesting relationship with its customers. Since it’s inception in 1996 they have always bucked the perception that they were big business. Beginning with the unusual concept that each employee was also an owner and personally invested in making your flight a better and more fun experience.
Flying West Jet was a completely unique experience from the beginning. With hilarious flight attendants and early amateur viral videos they were off to a good start.
In recent years West Jet have become experts at engagement with social media. Beginning with their highly shareable and feel-good Christmas videos that include telling Santa what you want at your departure destination, a fun and frantic shopping trip by many employees to deliver the gifts at the arrival destination. The video was a huge success and has had almost 45 million views. Not bad for a little airline from Canada. After launching a similar campaign in 2013 West Jet bookings increased by 77% and revenue rose 86% (Globe and Mail Report on Business)
Another more serious example of West Jet’s exceptional use of Social Media came last summer when the airline experienced four bomb threats in just five days. This had the potential to be a disaster for the company, but instead they managed the crisis with extraordinary finesse. They wasted no time and communicated directly with their consumers via twitter. They shared as much information about the bomb threats as possible so that the customer felt that they were in the loop. They were actively reassuring their customers and responding to their fears quickly and personally. This form of crisis management allowed them to tell the world that: Safety was their top concern and that they were committed to being completely open with the travelers that use their airline (marketingmag.ca). All this projected their brand values of safety, honesty, open communication and keeping commitments.
West Jet continues to master social media engagement.