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Friday, May 18, 2012

Cathay Hospitality: Lounges, Klout Scores, and my evil mind

In the scramble to "milk in" the social media boom, you can now Klout your way to the Cathay Pacific lounge at San Francisco International Airport. I ran across the article at my friend's blog, UXmilk. All you need to do is have a Klout score of 40 or above.

The CX lounge in SFO (Photo: TravelWeeklyAsia via UXMilk/@9VSKA)
This move appears to be Cathay trying to market itself to the above average social media population. According to Klout, the average Klout score is about 20. Anything above 20, means the person is relatively influential rather than influenced in social media. To me, this is the social media equivalent of using celebrities or persons of influence giving testimonies on a product.

The problem is, a typical person people with a Klout score between 20 to 60 tend to be social media junkies who tend to follow other social media junkies. News would spread fast... including bad news, and parodies. Now, in my particular case, the same day I read UXmilk's blog article, I came across this in my Facebook, complete with the caption:

CX Hospitality in CGK:
First Class: To the left, through the air bridge and into the cabin, please.
Business Class: To the left, through the air bridge and into the cabin, please.
Economy Class: Get the f*** out, through that door, wait on the tarmac and be patient!
(No, I'm not kidding, the caption is from the Facebook of a Cathay Pacific passenger)
I know the photo was making a joke out of the positioning of the board, but I can't help to think of a desperate-for-existence-social-media-junkie, who found out about the Klout & CX Lounge partnership on his/her way from San Francisco to Jakarta, and decided to tweet anything during the journey and his/her stay in Jakarta to increase the Klout score, in the hope of getting into the lounge on the next trip out of San Francisco... only to be thrown out of the airbridge onto the tarmac and be told to wait. His/her Klout score would go way up from that, and in no time the CX lounge in SFO would be filled with non-CX and non-OneWorld passengers!

Before you get the wrong idea, OF COURSE I AM JOKING! I do hope this partnership extends to other locations, even though I tend to fly non-OneWorld carriers... and I'd much rather show my Klout score rather than dish out a gazillion Indonesian Rupiah for a First or Business class ticket or pay an entry fee at "exclusive airline lounges" that is not so exclusive... Most of the people I know in Klout have a score above 40... this makes the lounge less exclusive than one with a $10 entry fee!

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