Eindhoven Airport rewards Facebook VIP’s with designated parking spot and fast track

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By Raymond Kollau, airlinetrends.com

Eindhoven Airport, the Netherlands’ second-largest airport, has embraced social media technology in a novel way by offering a select number of its Facebook fans several perks when they fly via the airport.

Anyone who likes Eindhoven Airport’s Facebook page and is due to fly from it can sign up to its ‘VIP’ scheme, and two fans are selected each month from the pool of entrants. The ‘VIP fans’ can then enjoy the benefits of one free airport meal (breakfast, lunch or dinner – flight-time dependent), fast-track security screening, personal accompaniment and free parking at a designated Facebook-marked spot in a prime location near the terminal entrance point.

The Eindhoven Airport Facebook VIP programme sign-up process is straightforward. Once the airport’s Facebook page has been ‘liked’, there’s a simple form to complete, requiring users to input their name, date of birth, email address, telephone number, the number of people travelling, the date of travel and the relevant flight number. Video of the program here.

Social media presence
In the past 7 months, Eindhoven Airport has added over 11,000 fans on Facebook and with the Facebook VIP scheme the airport wanted to do something in return for its online fans. Says Eindhoven Airport’s CEO, Joost Meijs, “Eindhoven Airport is working very hard on its online presence, with regularly the highest engagement rate on Facebook of all Dutch airports and the sixth position in the list of most popular check-in spots in the Netherlands. With a rapidly growing number of Facebook fans the time was right for us to offer our fans something extra.”

Adds Eli Lejeune, the airport’s marketing manager: “Through Facebook, people normally get money off or they are able to win tickets. But this VIP programme actually plugs into the actual customer journey. We couldn’t find any other airport in the world that does this. Facebook is an important way for us to stay in touch with our guests. Normally these passengers are in touch with airlines or booking agencies, since the actual deal is between them.”

Foursquare, Klout
Eindhoven Airport Facebook VIP initiative follows earlier efforts by airlines such as Air New Zealand and Cathay Pacific. A few years ago, Air New Zealand rewarded foursquare users – who were the mayor of select airports and terminals served by the airline – with free admission to its lounges just by showing their mayorship status and boarding pass.

In May 2012, Cathay Pacific partnered with social rating tool Klout to offer anyone with a Klout score of 40 or higher free access to the airline’s lounge at San Francisco International Airport, even when they were not flying with Cathay that day.

A similar perk is currently offered by American Airlines, which grants people with a Klout score of 55 and higher free access to nearly 40 airport lounges worldwide.

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