#QantasLuxury Twitter campaign spectacularly backfires on Qantas

Is there anything that Qantas can do right? Not it seems at the moment. Just weeks after having been slammed for its bad social media service as its aircraft were grounded the Australian airline thought it had a nice little idea to restore its reputation.

A simple Twitter competition run by the Qantas PR via the @QantasAirways Twitter account. It asked for passengers to send in their luxury flying experiences under the #QantasLuxury hashtag. Simple enough. What could possible go wrong? Let’s start with everything.

Qantas asked passengers to be creative as they shared their “luxury” experiences. Bad move. They were very creative and a trending storm has been unleashed that has jumped from Twitter to YouTube in a brilliant Downfall parody that is well worth a watch.

Passengers were to be rewarded for their creative efforts with a Qantas first-class gift pack. Most had no interest.

It only took an hour for the #QantasLuxury hashtag to trend as passengers, and Australia in general, vented their spleen at Qantas with tweets such as:

“#qantasluxury is chartering a Greyhound bus and arriving at your destination days before your grounded Qantas flight”.

Timing is, as they say, everything, but it is a phrase that apparently means little to the Qantas marketing team. They didn’t seem to grasp that it is far too soon to be asking customers to share their love with the troubled Aussie airline.

It was only a few weeks ago that the Qantas management team walked away from negotiations with trade unions and shut the airline down. In doing so it stranded passengers around the world for several days. It is almost as if it is now asking for customers to thank it for doing so.

It is as, some have noted, a great example of how consumers can hit back and very quickly take hold of your social media campaign and make it their own as the tweets and this great video below show.

A Qantas spokeswoman said the #qantasluxury competition had been launched as part of its “ongoing social media strategy”. Really? There is strategy here?

“We receive positive feedback from customers via social media about the Qantas premium inflight products. Over the past 12 months we have conducted a number of competitions for customers, fans and followers on our Twitter feed (@qantasairways), giving away these products,” the spokeswoman said.

“We launched the #qantasluxury competition as part of our ongoing social media strategy. The competition is giving away Qantas First Class pyjamas and amenity kits and a number of people have legitimately entered the competition.

“A large number of our customers were disrupted and inconvenienced by the recent industrial action and fleet grounding. However, services have returned to normal and our customers can book flights with absolute confidence that they will not be disrupted by industrial action.”