Qantas Could Improve Communication After Emergency Landing

The Story

Fifteen minutes after taking off in London, a Qantas A380 flight made an emergency landing because of engine failure.  Fortunately, no one was hurt, but people on board were frightened, grounded passengers wanted more information, and Twitter was abuzz with misinformation.

Discussion Starters

  • Who are Qantas' primary audiences for communication during this incident?
  • What were Qantas' missed opportunities in communicating about the plane damage and emergency landing?
  • What communication media are available to Qantas, and which should take priority for their messages during this time?
  • Read the grounded passenger's perspective about communication from Qantas.  What could airline personnel have done differently for the Los Angeles passengers?

Assignment Ideas

  • Create a communication plan for potential future airline crises.  Identify all internal and external audiences, objectives for communicating with each audience, preferred media for each group, and sequence of messages.
  • Read the article about Qantas' lackluster Twitter response.  Write a few Tweets on behalf of the company to address these concerns.