'India's online travel forums yet to mature'
To what extent has travel improved with increasing number of airports and airlines using social networking platforms to connect with passengers?
The specific area of benefit I see is from stakeholders voicing their issues on Twitter. I read about actor Abhishek Bachchan saying how disgusted he was with Jet Airways, promising never to fly with them.
They must have done something to invite this kind of a reaction from a mature star. Similarly, I read Vijay Mallya's humble apology to Ayesha Takia's sister for the inconvenience Kingfisher Airlines caused to her. However, whether all this has made travel better remains debatable.
Do you think these forums are superficial or have they made operators more accountable?
It has definitely brought some accountability. But I see no depth in these forums. As a regular traveller, I have little time to look into social media except for reading tweets on my mobile.
Has social media been used better in mature aviation economies such as the US and UK?
Definitely, but I don't see the reason why it cannot work in India. We are as mature in terms of social media access as any country in the world and we are getting mature in aviation services too.
Have these new channels of communication helped in cutting passenger complaints against airlines and airports?
I don't think so. They may have helped people to let off some steam, but who reads a common man's tweets today?