Gatwick Airport's Innovative Use of Social Media Wins Award

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(London) Gatwick Airport has scooped the award for its 'Innovation in Online Customer Service' at the Econsultancy Innovation Awards 2010, recognising innovation and best practice within the digital industry.

Gatwick Airport (http://www.gatwickairport.com) has scooped the award for its 'Innovation in Online Customer Service' at the Econsultancy Innovation Awards 2010, recognising innovation and best practice within the digital industry (http://econsultancy.com/uk/blog/7054-announcing-the-winners-of-the-econsultancy-innovation-awards-2010)

Chosen by an international panel that included representatives from organisations such as Mercedes Benz, Dupont, O2, ebay and the BBC, the judges chose Gatwick for providing "probably the most holistic use of social media seen in a customer-focused business."

Gatwick's recognition for innovation in online customer service comes only one year on of being under new ownership. Nearly £1 billion is being invested in the UK’s second largest airport to transform it into an even better airport for its passengers and airlines.

This means departing passengers having easier check-in and security processes, enjoying an extended retail offering and on-time departures. For arriving passengers its about experiencing swifter taxi-ing to gates, less time queuing at immigration, shorter waits at baggage reclaim and accessible information to make informed choices about onward travel and leisure options.

Working with social media agency Rabbit (http://www.therabbitagency.com), Gatwick has been continually developing and introducing new ways to use online tools to better communicate with its passengers.

Activities have included:

  •     Inviting passengers to feedback on Twitter by placing physical prompts in and around the airport and using this social media as 24 hour response tool, so no matter what time of the day or night, if a passenger is at check in and has a comment to make, the airport is able to capture that comment and where appropriate action it there and then
  •     Becoming the first airport worldwide to use 'Stickybits' giant mobile barcodes to help communicate its £1 billion investment programme to passengers. While most of the work is out of sight, hidden behind hoardings, passengers who have downloaded the free stickybits mobile application can now go on a coded ‘Gatwick Discovery Tour’ and take an audiovisual peek behind the scenes to see how their London airport is changing

Commenting on the industry award, Gatwick Airport’s Head of Airport Communications, Samantha Holgate, said, "Many of our passengers are social media savvy so introducing new ways to enable them to feed back to us in real time has allowed us to act on their comments quicker.

“The airport is going through a major programme of improvement designed to benefit the passengers and we delivered a fun and interactive way to communicate about how the money is being invested, what work is going on behind the hoarding and how they will eventually benefit.

“We are thrilled that our efforts have been recognised by other social media innovators by being given this prestigious award. However, this is only the first stage of our programme to use social media to inform, listen and talk to our audiences and so there will be much more to come in 2011.”

For further information, Bridey Lipscombe or Dirk Singer, 044 208 123 9541

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Dirk Singer
Rabbit
0044 208 123 9541
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