The Centre for Asia Pacific Aviation had a stab last week at putting together a summary of what various airlines are doing with social media. Not a bad summary, but very light on insight, which is normally their strongpoint. There was one thing that caught my attention.

Another carrier using social networking sites to attract specific target markets is Scandinavian Airlines, which established a website dedicated to the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender/transsexual community

I take a keen interest in what airlines are doing with social media, but this information on SAS was totally new to me. Well, maybe not really that surprising I hadn’t heard about it as I’m hardly in the target market.

One airline that is getting itself a decent reputation (I haven’t flown them, so it is all second hand), is Alaska Airlines.  I was very surprised today to see on their Connect with us through social media page; apart from mentioning the usual suspects like Facebook, Twitter and Youtube, they also linked to Flyertalk. Very brave move, as those pages can be brutal sometimes in their critique of an airline. But social media is big on transparency, and at least Alaska seem to understand that part. And whilst on the topic of airlines understanding social media, here is a dicussion at Lifehacker related to Qantas cross browser support from July. Nicole Leeson who I recall meeting once, but whom I’ve probably only spoken to for a sum total of one minute, quietly gives a factual answer to try and bring rationality to what was becoming a somewhat emotional debate (people do get very passionate about their preferred browser).

The best airlines in social media are not necessarily the ones with the most followers on Twitter.