WhatsApp and KLM Royal Dutch Airlines have started testing a new service via WhatsApp. KLM now offers its customers booking confirmation, check-in notification, boarding passes and flight status updates via the official WhatsApp Business application. The service is offered in 10 different languages on WhatsApp.

KLM is one of the first companies and the very first airline worldwide with a verified WhatsApp business account.

Together with a small number of businesses, WhatsApp is testing ways for businesses to communicate with customers using WhatsApp. WhatsApp wants to “create value for both customers and the businesses they connect with in their daily lives”. This pilot programme is part of that effort. To this end, WhatsApp has created an enterprise solution that makes it possible for businesses like KLM to connect with their customers in a fast and personal way on WhatsApp. The rollout has already started in a limited number of countries, and the service will become more widely available in the coming days and weeks.

Be where your customers are

KLM President & CEO, Pieter Elbers, said: “I am very proud that KLM is the world’s first airline with a verified WhatsApp account. This unique partnership with WhatsApp underlines our position as an aviation pioneer. We want to be where our customers are and, given the 1 billion users, you have to be on WhatsApp. With an account verified by WhatsApp, we offer our customers worldwide a reliable way to receive their flight information and ask questions 24/7. This truly is a major next step in our social media strategy.”

KLM notes that: “Messages are secure so that they can only be read by the customer and KLM, and no one else, not even WhatsApp.” Customers can recognise verified businesses using the official WhatsApp business application through a green checkmark badge next to the contact name.

Social media at KLM

KLM already has a large social media presence, with over 25 million fans and followers on various social media platforms. Through these channels, KLM receives over 100,000 mentions every week, 15,000 of which are questions or comments. These are monitored and answered by more than 250 service agents, who KLM says “form the world’s largest, dedicated social media team”.

KLM was the world’s first airline to offer customers the option of receiving flight documents and status updates via Messenger, Twitter and WeChat.