Final words and stats on Flight EI123 and the death of the Aer Lingus brand

The response to my rage-post about our treatment by Aer Lingus really resonated with a lot of people. Here's a few interesting tid-bits.

I’ve been calling Twitter the Hate Machine and LinkedIn a Roach Motel for a long time. But they both really came up trumps with my EI123 blogpost.

Leprechaun Airlines

Unsurprisingly it turns out that IAG airlines have been treating passengers like garbage all over Europe and they are getting worse by the day. I received a large number of stories both publicly and privately that show a company which seems to detest the people who keep them in business.

The only contact I had from Aer Lingus was from a clearly under-resourced Head of Social Media. He was very helpful and ensured our statutory compensation claim was expedited. Others who didn’t make my level of noise are still waiting for their claim to be processed.

Go Shannon Go

The main positive outcome for me was re-discovering Shannon airport via several recommendations. Despite the horrible N20 drive (which is actually not too bad early on a Sunday morning), every other aspect of getting to/from Raleigh was fantastic. A one minute walk from the car to the terminal. No queue in security. Maybe 10 people in the Pre-Clearance queue. Nice flight via United to Newark which has improved immensely since I was last there in 1998. The onward flight to Raleigh took much less time than quoted. On the return leg, I barely waited 5 minutes for my bag in Shannon. Then on the road to Cork in another 2 minutes.

I can’t recommend Shannon highly enough. I heard a United flight attendant telling a passenger that the Newark route had been a huge success for them this year. Unfortunately it is shutting down for the winter. So Shannon is clearly still heavily reliant on tourism traffic. Given the number of people talking about avoiding Dublin at all costs when on both flights, the airlines in Shannon need to promote it more for business travel. And roll on the M20.

Show me the numbers

This was the bit that really shocked me. Whilst I still have plenty of followers on Twitter despite my absence, I barely ever use LinkedIn and didn’t expect much of a response. Ditto Facebook. Boy was I wrong about LinkedIn!!

So here are the raw numbers:

Blog post itself

The stat that blew my mind here was the average time spent reading the post. In the first few days it was 12 minutes! I struggle to read anything longer than about 5 minutes so thank you all for your attention! A lesson for media outlets that when people care about what they are reading, they stay engaged. Also you should curse more.

Google Analytics


I started with Twitter and found it interesting that, despite few retweets, the views just kept on coming. They are just about to hit 10,000.



Facebook saw little interaction but the 12 shares included some very influential people (thanks Frank!), which means it drove similar levels of traffic to the blog as the others.


LinkedIn - The site that keeps on giving

Wow. Just wow. Not only is it about to go over 15,000 views, 487 of them are from CEOs or equivalent level. It also seems to have been shared privately by many, as I was contacted by multiple people I don’t know to tell me similar stories of horror from IAG companies. Including one person who was on the original EI123 but managed to escape via another airline to Chicago.


I’ve also had several people tell me that they continue to see the post via their contacts. It’s extremely interesting that in a social media world with the attention span of a goldfish, my post has had some longevity. People are clearly sick to death of IAG’s behavior.

That’s the first thing I’ve ever written where the majority of the traffic came from LinkedIn instead of Twitter.

Google Analytics


I’m sure I could drive another bunch of traffic to the site if I posted it to or Reddit. I might still. I even half-jokingly considered using some of our compo to pay for a Promoted Tweet campaign. But it didn’t look like very good value.

Final words

I don’t know if there is anyone in Aer Lingus who thinks that great customer service can be a differentiator. It’s quite clear from everything I’ve learned over the past few weeks that the spreadsheet jockeys running IAG are destroying the Aer Lingus brand with each passing day and people are beginning to actively avoid all IAG airlines. By the time it starts affecting the bottom line, causing them to pay attention, it’ll already be too late.

Finally, I almost admire the balls on the marketing people who posted this on the 29th. “Aer Lingus, we love Chicago-bound Irish rugby players. Irish runners, on the other hand, can go fuck themselves”. Presumably the same geniuses responsible for this. #AerSleazeus

Conor O'Neill

Tech guy who likes running slowly

Bandon, Cork, Ireland