When most airlines get a dinged-up airplane, they tend to hide it from the public. There's no good reason for this - almost always the aircraft can be easily repaired - but airlines tend to think photographs of damaged planes will scare customers.
Before digital cameras and social media, the policy worked well enough. But now, these photos can be shared anywhere. If a plane is damaged in a hail storm, or if an aircraft crashes into a jetway, people will know immediately. There's no reason to hide. It's not effective.
American Airlines is more open that most carriers. American knew that Terry Maxon, reporter at the Dallas Morning News, had photographs and information about a Boeing 787 damaged by a hailstorm last month near Beijing.
Instead of basically pretending it didn't happen - yes, other airlines do this, even when pictures are on the internet - American gave Maxon some interesting details about the damage and how the airline fixed it.
"It was pretty easy,” Kevin Mosblech, 787 line maintenance manager for American, told Maxon “After we do the hail, the heavy landing, the heavy turbulence and the engine inspections, then basically we had to change the radome, changed some of the navigational lights and then built a blank-off plate for one of the landing lights that we didn’t have a cover for at the time.”
Then, American released a tongue-in-cheek tweet linking to Maxon's story.
I like American's approach and its tweet. What do you think?
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