KLM Social Media India

KLM finds itself amid social media controversy twice in one week


By Charlotte McEleny, Asia Editor

July 19, 2019 | 4 min read

Dutch airline brand KLM has been the focus of two social media controversies within the same week.


KLM finds itself amid social media controversy twice in one week

The brand was first in hot water after its India team posted a tweet which explained to customers that they should aim for a seat at the back of the plane if they didn’t want to die in a crash.

According to USA Today, the now-deleted tweet had a picture explaining that seats at the back were safest, while the tweet said: read: "According to data studies by Time, the fatality rate for the seats in the middle of the plane is the highest. However, the fatality rate for the seats in the front is marginally lesser and is least for seats at the rear third of a plane."

The airline has now apologized for the tweet, saying that it didn’t intend to upset its customers.

KLM tweeted: “We would like to sincerely apologize for a recent update. The post was based on a publically available aviation fact, and isn't a @KLM opinion. It was never our intention to hurt anyone's sentiments. The post has since been deleted."

Around the same time, the airline faced criticism from customers online after a customer wrote on Facebook that she’d been told that women who breastfeed on planes risk being told to cover up in order to not upset other travellers.

The airline tweeted its official response to the claim, saying: “Breastfeeding is permitted at KLM flights. However, to ensure that all our passengers of all backgrounds feel comfortable on board, we may request a mother to cover herself while breastfeeding, should other passengers be offended by this.”

According to The Guardian, the incident then spurred Twitter users to call on competing airline brands to clarify their stance on people breastfeeding during flights. The report explained that BA had said there was no policy but that people that wanted privacy could request it from the cabin crew.

It's not the first time KLM has had to apologise for tweets offending or causing controversy among customers. The brand tweeted about Mexico being knocked out of the World Cup in 2014 with an image of a moustached Mexican with a sombrero. It deleted the tweet and issues an apology not long after.

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