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LAX Pats Itself on the Back for Twittering

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Photo by = Manny = via the LAist Featured Photos pool on Flickr

Photo by = Manny = via the LAist Featured Photos pool on Flickr
Usually when LAX is placed on a rankings list, it's about being one of the worst airports. Today, however, officials are tooting a different horn.

"Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) is ranked No. 7 among airports worldwide with the number of followers on the social media site Twitter," officials announced in a press release this afternoon. The number is based on a survey by AirGate Solutions, which focuses on social media and customers at airports.

LAX earns that rank for having just over 3,200 followers since connecting with Twitter. They say it makes them "the only airport on the U.S. West Coast in the top 10." There's also a Facebook page with over 2,100 fans.

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Sure, these are great steps to communicate with travelers, but LAX could do a lot more to be transparent.

For one, it was ridiculous that during a death investigation in Terminal 3 last week, there were zero tweets about the incident. It might be useful to let people know what's going on. Maybe you don't talk about bound hands and a hood over the dead body -- nothing like freaking out the whole airport -- but let people know there's police activity and the area is secured when appropriate.

Another way LAX should use Twitter is to interact with travelers. Logan Airport in Boston actually listens and tries to investigate complaints. And for years, the TSA's blog has been a sounding board for angry travelers that have helped improve policies.

Kudos to LAX for taking a step in the right direction, but there's a lot more work to be done to truly improve relations.