Lufthansa has rolled out an online tool designed to allow air travelers to share updates during their journeys via Twitter and Facebook.
Called MySkyStatus, the application takes users' flight information, including departure and arrival data, and matches it to Lufthansa's feed of airline traffic. The result: automated tweets or Facebook status messages when flights take off and land, as well as updates en route.
Lufthansa digital agency Profero in New York devised the tool, available for any flight, as a simple way to prove the brand's differentiation, which is its "passion for precision," according to Profero North America CEO Wayne Arnold.
That passion manifests itself in many ways at the airline. An upcoming ad campaign will tout Lufthansa's industry-leading stats for on-time arrivals and its policy of tasting wines at 30,000 feet, since wines' flavor can change at high altitudes.
"Communications needs to have a use," said Arnold. "Saying we have passion for precision is fine, but it's far more interesting if you can bring it to life."
Profero advised linking the app not just to Lufthansa flights -- but any flight. This not only widens the audience but adds a level of transparency, Arnold said.
"It comes back to open-source marketing," he said. "We believe this is a useful tool for anyone who is traveling. Why just make it exclusive to their own customers?"
Visitors to MySkyStatus can choose whether to have only their departures and arrivals updated or send messages (as often as hourly) with updates of their positions in the air. Thus, the tool could connect with the current mania for real-time communications, Arnold said.
"It's that fascination of your friends knowing what you're doing," he said. "We were joking this could replace the out-of-office [automated e-mail message]."
Lufthansa plans to support MySkyStatus with a marketing campaign, and it is considering integrating that effort with the booking engine on Lufthansa.com, Arnold said.
— Nielsen Business Media