Much to the relief of many travelers, Air France recently ended a debilitating two week long strike that cost the airline hundreds of millions of euros and affected thousands of passengers. The strike began as pilots expressed concern over the route expansion of Air France’s low-cost airline, Transavia, which was said to begin operating flights outside of France.

On social media, extensive news coverage about the strike was combined with the voices of frustrated passengers venting about Air France and the numerous flight cancellations and delays. Using Digimind’s social media monitoring tool, we can dive deeper into what exactly is being said online and what the data reveals.

Using a day-by-day breakdown, we can see there were nearly 43,000 online mentions generated in English about Air France between September 13th and 29th. Note the major spike in mentions on the 15th – the day the strike was confirmed.

Airfrance concepts

What does this high volume of mentions actually tell us? By looking at trending key concepts, it’s no surprise that talk about the strike dominates all online chatter about the airline. The word cloud reflects the most mentions involving “strike”, “Transavia” and “unions” among others.

Airfrance Trend

More interestingly, how does Air France stack up against their competitors in the midst of this disruption? We compared mentions about Air France with a handful of other airlines including Lufthansa, KLM, Ryanair, and United for the same time period, and found that Air France commanded a majority of the buzz at 35%.

Airfrance Breakdown

However, it’s not just the numbers that are important, but the data behind those numbers that give us a peek into what’s being said.

By looking at the sentiment analysis, we can see that negative sentiment for Air France during this time skyrocketed to 67%, which is significantly higher than any other airline. On the flip side, it’s obvious KLM was largely unaffected by the negative sentiment despite being in the Air France-KLM airline alliance.

Airfrance sentiment

Going further into the individual mentions, the frustration of stranded passengers was evident as they took to Twitter and Facebook to commiserate and express their dissatisfaction with Air France.

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airfrance facebook

Now with the strike being officially over, we should see the bad buzz about Air France slowly level out as flights return to normal.

On the other hand however, pilots of Lufthansa have just announced yet another strike beginning today, September 30th.

How will the social data compare between the two airlines, and what insights can we gain with this social media analysis? Stay tuned to find out more!

Jerome Maisch
Marketing Manager @digimindci. Passionate about big data & social marketing. Photography, music and hiking lover

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