Despite a mandated disclaimer, Southwest reaches out on Facebook

The U.S. Department of Transportation requires all airlines to explain they won’t address customer service problems on Facebook, but Southwest is making efforts to connect.

Go to the info page on Southwest Airlines’ Facebook page and you’ll see the following message in two places: “We will not address specific Customer Service issues here.” It’s followed by a mailing address and a link to an online contact form.

And it isn’t exactly true.

“We are required by the [U.S. Department of Transportation] to include that disclaimer on our page,” says Christi McNeill, emerging media specialist at Southwest. “All airlines must comply.”

That means every airline, from the most social-media savvy to those that have never tweeted, uses the same blanket disclaimer—even if the carrier does answer customer service questions on Facebook, as Southwest does.

The airline just brought on three new specialists to handle customer service questions asked via social media, among other outreach efforts.

Building the team

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