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KLM launches Family Updates on WhatsApp

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2 min read

KLM has launched Family Updates on WhatsApp. The new service lets passengers start a WhatsApp group to keep friends and family up to date about their flight status.

KLM passengers who receive their boarding pass via WhatsApp will get an invite to use this latest KLM WhatsApp service, free of charge. KLM will then send a message to the friends and family of participating passengers as soon as the flight has departed. Immediately after landing – even before the passenger has Wi-Fi or data roaming – the home front will receive another notification. If a flight is delayed, the group members will be informed as well. In addition to these proactive automated messages, group members can also ask KLM about the flight’s progress. With this service, KLM wants to make their passengers’ journey easier and hopes the home front finds more peace of mind.

KLM is believed to be the first airline to offer a WhatsApp service for customers and their inner circle. Currently, it is only available in English. If the service proves successful, KLM will extend it to other social media channels and languages.

Artificial Intelligence and privacy

KLM uses Artificial Intelligence to understand the questions it receives via an @KLM message. KLM cannot read the messages that group members send each other. After sending the notification that the passenger has arrived at its destination, KLM will leave the group. The WhatsApp group will remain active so members can share holiday photos and updates. All messages are protected by WhatsApp’s end-to-end encryption.

KLM on WhatsApp

KLM has been communicating through WhatsApp since September of 2017. Customers can ask KLM questions through a verified WhatsApp business account. On request, here the airline also sends passengers their booking confirmation, check-in notification, boarding passes, and other flight information. Via WhatsApp, KLM sends more than 10,000 boarding passes each day. KLM receives about 35,000 service requests through social media channels each week. More than half come in through WhatsApp.

Jeanette Briedenhann
Jeanette Phillips joined the team in 2016. She developed a passion and love for all things-travel related in her role as travel journalist, a position she held for over seven years. A brief exodus into the corporate marketing sphere proved that there is no better industry than the travel industry. Research and writing are two of Jeanette’s greatest passions, but she is always open to new challenges and different ways of doing things.

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