Fake Vueling Twitter Account Upsets Passengers

  "Thanks, Vueling, for one of the worst flights in my life" - "Sure, tell us about your problems, and we will write everything down with our invisible typewriter"

"Thanks, Vueling, for one of the worst flights in my life" - "Sure, tell us about your problems, and we will write everything down with our invisible typewriter"

A simple letter in large caps can wreak havoc with well recognized airline brands.

This is what happened when someone created a fake Vueling profile that, at first glance looked almost undistinguisable from the real one. Instead of @vueling, it was written as @vueiing, but with the first "i" capitalized, making it look like an "l".

@vueling or @vueIing

So this is how Vueling's fake twitter account started sending gibberish or even offensive replies to some of the airlines' real customers that were interacting with Vueling's real twitter account with complains and other customer service requests.

Here are some examples (these interactions were in Spanish or Catalan language):

A passenger complains that it took 15 minutes to deboard the plane.

The answer: "Sorry about, we'll try to put signs on so that you can find the exit next time!"

vueling twitter customer service.jpg

Or this one:

"Really bad luggage pick up service at Barcelona airport, more than half an hour waiting"

The answer: "If there is something missing from your luggage, you may find it on eBay!"

vueling social media.jpg

No need to say those passengers affected were extremely upset, until someone makes them notice that it is a fake account. 

Checking it out a few days later, the fake Vueling account was no longer there, I guess the airline reported it to Twitter (it has since re-emerged with a different name, though).

In any case, some lessons here for airlines' social media managers: pre-emptively reserve any social media names that can lead to confusion!

Many webmasters do already, by purchasing urls that can be confused with their main one, including different domains such as .net, .info, etc.)