Last week while attending Lufthansa Group’s Annual Social Media Workshop in Frankfurt, I had the opportunity to gain insights into the Group’s Social Media programs and initiatives. The Workshop was attended by representatives from Lufthansa, Lufthansa Cargo, LSG SkyChefs, Lufthansa Systems, Germanwings, Austrian, Swiss, Brussels Airlines and Lufthansa Data Security. The session provided a platform for the companies to share their best practices, successes and opportunities that they see with Social Media and Corporate Communications. It also created a great environment for brainstorming and development of new ideas.

Being the only non-Lufthansa Group individual in the session, it gave me a great “fly on the wall” perspective to see how the various divisions approach their objectives when it comes to communicating with the public.

During my days in Frankfurt I also had the chance to catch up with TLGG (Torben, Lucie und die gelbe Gefahr), the firm behind many of Lufthansa’s online social media endeavors (SceneSpotter, Olympic Bingo, Euro Cup Bingo, MySkyStatus, Blue Legends, etc). TLGG’s Christoph Bornschein provided me with a few insights on what we can expect in the coming weeks and months:

Blue Legends:

This facebook based app creates a community where Lufthansa and other Star Alliance Airline passengers can “check in” via foursquare and earn various badges and awards based on their travel related activity (please note that “check-in” does not mean checking in for a flight). It’s a great way to keep track of your friends who fly Lufthansa and compete with them for Badges, Mayorships, etc. If you are not familiar with Blue Legends, please visit the Blue Legends Website to learn more and to sign up.

Blue Legends was launched earlier this year and has been working well. However, one issue has been the inability for Lufthansa codeshare flight numbers to work consistently within Blue Legends. For example if I am flying on United from Chicago to Los Angeles, there are usually multiple flight numbers (such as a Lufthansa codeshare flight number) for this flight in addition to United’s. In some cases, Blue Legends would not have the codeshare data in it’s database to allow for a foursquare “check-in” for the flight and have it register properly.

There is a fix to this bug on the horizon and we should see it sometime in early 2013. Lufthansa will be creating a dedicated IT (Information Technology) platform in January that will focus on consolidating and cross referencing flight data from flights that have a Lufthansa codeshare flight number. This deepened database should give users of Blue Legends the ability to check in with Lufthansa flight numbers, even when not flying on Lufthansa Aircraft. Great news for those of you that fly a variety of Star Alliance carriers.

MySkyStatus:

MySkyStatus is a useful tool that allows you to enter your flight information for any airline in the world and then have MySkyStatus share your flight status via Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin or email. It’s a great way to keep your friends and family informed of your progress as you travel.

One issue with MySkyStatus has been it’s inability to correctly match certain flight numbers to certain routes. For example, I would enter a United flight number for Grand Rapids to Newark but MySkyStatus would think that the flight number was for a flight from Newark to Charlotte. The reason for this is that some airlines will use one flight number for a direct flight that involves two legs and MySkyStatus would only see one of the legs.

To help resolve this issue, it appears that MySkyStatus will at some point in the near future be integrated to work with AMADEUS data (PNR Locator, Itinerary reference etc). This will allow for the import of a traveler’s exact itinerary and should fix this minor glitch. Additionally, MySkyStatus will go through a minor facelift that will “modernize” it’s interface.

For more information on MySkyStatus, please visit the MySkyStatus website. Its a tool that I use on a regular basis.

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