Boy what a rough past week for KLM in social media as a result of three separate instances of self-pwnage.
First they tweeted out advice on where to sit to have the best chance surviving when a plane crashes. That hardly inspires confidence in their operation if their communications shop believes this is important information for their customers to consider.
This it the tweet KLM India prudently decided to delete pic.twitter.com/yXUI1pz06b
— zerohedge (@zerohedge) July 17, 2019
Then they told a breastfeeding mom she had to cover up on board.
A spokesperson even doubled down explaining this is ‘policy’ because “not every culture is “comfortable” with breasts being visible” and this is necessary” and “request[ing..] a mother to cover her breast” is necessary “to keep the peace on board.”
Finally KLM is out saying that same sex couples may be asked to quit holding hands on their aircraft.
Gay brothers and sisters, @KLM will approach you and let you know someone has complained about you holding hands on board. The crew will decide the best course of action. Cc: @stonewalluk pic.twitter.com/t8dJTBwcsy
— Erin ‘Normalise It’ Resists (@ErinClaireSF) July 18, 2019
The airline now “says the email does not ‘represent our official point of view at all’.” While it may not represent their point of view once called out, they also don’t say their point of view is the opposite of this either.
Copyright: flaperval / 123RF Stock Photo
The first incident is dumb, airlines don’t question the safety of air travel, that’s been a basic rule since the earliest days. However the second and third instances may be more revealing than they may seem at first blush — culturally and institutionally rather than saying something unique to the airline itself.
While robust in offering a safety net and environmentally conscious Northern Europe is often far more market-oriented in its tax and regulatory policies than social democrats realize, and a much more homogeneous culturally. Airlines are often the most tolerant vanguard of the societies in which they’re based, and have a tricky road to navigate in that regard.