Great news for family and friends of KLM passengers as it becomes the first airline to offer WhatsApp service for its customers and inner circle. The airline has launched ‘Family Updates’ on WhatsApp. This new service lets passengers start a WhatsApp group to keep friends and family updated about their flight status. This way, KLM meets the needs and wishes of its customers to reassure people at home and keep them informed – as soon as there is an update.
After booking a flight on klm.com, customers can opt-in to receive their booking confirmation and flight status updates via WhatsApp. Once the customer opts –in they’ll receive a WhatsApp message saying: “Would you like KLM to keep your friends and family informed about your flight status?” They will also receive a link to activate their WhatsApp group. When they click on this link, KLM automatically creates a WhatsApp group and invites the customer to join the group. KLM sends them an introductory message after which they can immediately start adding their friends and family to the group.
KLM passengers who receive their boarding pass via WhatsApp will get an invite to use this latest KLM WhatsApp service, free of charge. KLM will then send a message to the friends and family of participating passengers as soon as the flight has departed. Immediately after landing or if the flight is delayed – even before the passenger has Wi-Fi or data roaming – the home front will receive a notification. In addition to these proactive automated messages, group members can also ask KLM about the flight’s progress. With this service, KLM wants to make their passengers’ journey easier and hopes the home front finds more peace of mind.
At present this feature is available in English.
Artificial Intelligence and privacy
KLM uses Artificial Intelligence to understand the questions it receives via an @KLM message. KLM cannot read the messages that group members send each other. After sending the notification that the passenger has arrived at its destination, KLM will leave the group. The WhatsApp group will remain active, so members can share more updates such as holiday photos or further travel plans. All messages are protected by WhatsApp’s end-to-end encryption.
KLM on WhatsApp
KLM has been communicating through WhatsApp since September of 2017. Customers can ask KLM questions through a verified WhatsApp business account. On request, here the airline also sends passengers their booking confirmation, check-in notification, boarding passes, and other flight information. Via WhatsApp, KLM sends more than 10,000 boarding passes each day and the airline receives about 35,000 service requests through social media channels each week. More than half come in through WhatsApp.
KLM on social media
KLM has been a pioneer in social media services and campaigns since 2009. We have more than 28 million friends and followers on a variety of social media. Through these channels, KLM receives more than 180,000 messages a week, 35,000 of which are questions or comments. The world’s largest social media team, consisting of 300 service staff, respond to the messages personally. KLM offers customers support 24/7 on WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, Twitter, WeChat, and KakaoTalk in Dutch, English, German, Spanish, Portuguese, Italian, French, Chinese, Japanese, and Korean. KLM was the world’s first airline to offer its customers flight documents and status updates via WhatsApp, Messenger, and Twitter. What’s more, it was the first western airline to use the Chinese social media channel WeChat.