Qantas, whose brand has come under some hammering of late, took to an online forum on Sunday to reach out to its customers and spruik the arrival of its first Airbus A380 aeroplane.
And its executive general manager, John Borghetti, made an instant impression. Within minutes of joining the Qantas online forum Borghetti not only achieved sexual stardom but was also asked on a date.
“John, the Qantas A380 is as sexy as you are…Would you like to come on a date with me on the A380?” said internet user Juventina after watching the inaugural ceremony via a webcast.
Borghetti dealt gallantly with the fan’s advance before moving on to answer other questions about fares and fuel efficiency: “Hi Juventina, Thank you very much for your kind words. I think our staff do an amazing job and the future of Qantas is very bright indeed.”
But the forum, which lasted two hours, also provided an opportunity to delve into some of the technical aspects of the plane.
One user, Ben, asked if the flight, which departed from Toulouse, had a functioning entertainment system.
“Our email connectivity was working during the delivery flight as well as our full in-flight entertainment offering. Our system is state of the art and offers over 1000 entertainment options including everything from the latest release movies to our Lonely Planet destinational information as well as our tail mounted panoramic camera,” said Borghetti.
Asked by the same user about Internet connectivity, Borghetti replied: “Our live Internet content will be available in late 2009 until then we have a cached version of qantas.com. Live webmail and webchat is now available.”
In conducting the forum, Qantas joined a fleet of Fortune 500 companies such as Wells Fargo and Wal-Mart that are experimenting with the Web in an effort to provide more transparency with customers.
Sunday’s official launch of the Airbus A380 was a big moment for Qantas. The airline has weathered quite a few blows to its reputation over the last few months, coming into question over a string of technical failures, emergency landings and oxygen tanks exploding in mid air.
Borghetti says Qantas will be having more online forums in the future on various topics.