FRUSTRATED by long wait times on the phone and inadequate responses at airport counters, travellers are increasingly turning to Twitter to lodge complaints with airlines. But before angrily whipping out an iPad while stuck in a departure lounge, it is worth considering one important factor: the continent on which the offending carrier is based.

For those travelling on an American airline, the chances of a fast response are good—much faster, in some cases, than over the phone or in person. But for those using a European carrier, it may be better to stick to the old-fashioned ways of demanding service.

A new report from Conversocial, a social-media customer-service firm, looks at how responsive airlines are to tweets. And while there are stark discrepancies among individual airlines, the most striking thing is the chasm between the two sides of the Atlantic Ocean.

If you tweet at a North American airline, you are likely to get a response in one hour and five minutes on average, according to the report. And a European airline? Be prepared to wait more than three times that...Continue reading