To inform its passengers and guests with up-to-date information about the airport, Hamburg Airport used the strike of ground security staff to introduce a new push service: via WhatsApp, passengers were regularly informed on the consequences of the strike, and the expected waiting times at check-in – a novelty at German airports. All smart phone users were invited to use the WhatsApp push service by Hamburg Airport.
Inquiries Were Answered Individually
The opportunity to test the new service was provided by the Verdi strike on 23 January that affected operations at Hamburg Airport. The staff at all security check points was called to stop work from 1 to 4 p.m. On its website and through its social media channels, Hamburg Airport reacted to the strike by publishing a phone number at which interested passenger could register via WhatsApp to receive strike updates as a push service. All inquiries were answered individually.
Passengers Gave Positive Feedback
The advantage: by using WhatsApp, passengers were able to an application most of them had already installed on their smart phone, and thus receive messages with an existing and frequently used app service, and thus without complicated installations or registrations. More than 150 passengers used the temporarily established information channel. “The feedback from passengers was very positive,” says Stefanie Harder, Head of Press and Public Relations at Hamburg Airport. “The travellers felt very well informed. This is confirmed by the individual messages we received on our strike updates and comments in our social media channels.”
Hamburg Airport is now considering to use the messenger service WhatsApp for direct communication also in future, for instance in the case of strikes, events, or operational limitations due to poor weather conditions.