Airlines being awesome on Instagram:
NEW!!! Aeroflot: (Instagram: aeroflot) One of the only interactive airlines on Instagram, Aeroflot will actually like photos from other posters. That's a clue that the person behind the account actually likes it. (Southwest also interacts). The only problem? Aeroflot's images are awesome, but they suffer from what we call "Black Bar Syndrome," which have black areas above and below photos when the poster doesn't adjust the image to fit within Instagram's square format. This is a major do-not-do as it makes the poster look lazy and photos generally less appealing.
American Airlines: (Instagram: americanair) Really really recently American Airlines decided to move ahead with Instagram, as evidenced from the excellent shots posted just this last week. So far, so awesome. Definitely worth a follow.
Frontier: (Instagram: flyfrontier) After a name change from frontierairlines, the flyfrontier account is off and flying high. They've even recently used it to announce the addition of Grey Goose vodka to their in-flight beverage line-up. Nice!
KLM: (Instagram: klm) KLM's been on top of Instagram since the day they started posting. Definitely worth a follow, and they've even mastered what we want for JetBlue: the art of Statigram re-gramming. Seriously, check out this one.
NEW!!! Lufthansa: (Instagram: lufthansa_usa) Yay! Lufthansa just joined Instagram this week and, so far, the account is promising. What it needs are some A380s and 747-8 goodness up there to get people really excited.
NEW!!! Qantas Airways: (Instagram: qantasairways) Bravo, Qantas. Only on Instagram for three weeks, they've already got nearly 2000 followers with their excellent images. The goal: show off that red roo, helped along by some Statigram re-grams of passenger images.
SAS: (Instagram: flysas) 199 photos and most of them slick airplane porn. We approve, but always long for more.
Southwest: (Instagram: southwestair) ROUND OF APPLAUSE. Back in December, we named Southwest the undisputed champ of airline Instagram accounts. Guess what? They maintain that lead with gusto. Beautiful, eye-catching stuff from both past and present, all warranting instant "likes," something their nearly 25,000 followers obviously agree on. Follow follow follow!
NEW!!! Swiss: (Instagram: flyswiss) Brilliant. Every month one of their employees will be the "creative behind the lens." For October, it's Angelica, a Swiss crewmember based in Athens. They don't overdo it and are pros at making use of Instagram's filters. Bonus points for the cute bunny.
NEW!!! Thai Airways: (Instagram: thaiairways) So new and yet so great at showing off their aircraft, interiors, onboard service and airports. The photos are doing exactly what they're supposed to when from a brand: make us want to spend our money to experience it all.
Virgin America: (Instagram: virginamerica) From planeporn they've moved into a heavy focus on the people behind the airline, plus some event red-carpety images. A recent campaign involved instagramming how passengers enjoy Virgin America by including the tag #myvxexperience on images. Richard Branson's #myvxexperience included a nap.
Virgin Atlantic: (Instagram: virginatlantic) 93 photos and they're finally getting the hang of it. Sometimes it's an airplane and sometimes it's one of their new ads, but always it makes us drool a little.
WestJet: (Instagram: westjet) Canada is cooler than you thought. WestJet posts pretty frequently and their images are diverse, from airport sunrises to cute drawings from kid passengers.
Airlines kinda confused by Instagram
NEW!!! Aeromexico: (Instagram: aeromexico_com) Off-and-on and good when they're on, but super blah otherwise. No more red carpet celeb photos when there are shiny airplanes waiting for their close-ups.
Air Asia: (Instagram: airasia) Air Asia is one of the airlines we first followed on Instagram and their obvious obsession with it continues. They focus on showing off events and destinations, but it's kinda getting annoying.
Air Asia, Indonesia: (Instagram: airasiaindonesia) Frequent images and bright smiles make this a good follow. Their recent move to Bangkok's Don Mueang Airport from Suvarnabhumi made for some interesting shots.
NEW!!! Air Canada: (Instagram: aircanada) Two months ago, Air Canada uploaded 6 images. It was a good start, but abruptly went silent after. Hmm.
Air France: (Instagram: airfrance) Back from the dead! After a long hiatus, the airline is posting again, but photos are of all sorts of things in their system and a few suffer from "the dreaded black bars" (see Aeroflot above for an explanation).
NEW!!! Air New Zealand: (Instagram: airnz) Air New Zealand has some cool cache, but their Instagram is mostly people at the airline's sponsored events. Very rarely do we see anything involving operations. Sad face.
NEW!!! Bangkok Airways: (Instagram: bangkokairways) C+. What's what all the fare ads and the random waterslide pic?
British Airways: (Instagram: british_airways) A few times a month, BA puts a photo out there. After posting pretty heavily on the Olympics, the airline is slowly returning to an aviation focus (thank god). Occasionally they suffer from Black Bar Syndrome (see Aeroflot, above).
NEW!!! China Southern: (Instagram: csair_wuh) Wow. We did not expect such lovely images from China Southern considering other Chinese airlines aren't messing with Instagram, but it seems they've also taken a break. No photos for three months now. Too bad--they were lovely.
EasyJet: (Instagram: easyjet) Much improved with striking images of their orange planes, but at one photo a month, we're not in love.
JetBlue: (Instagram: jetblue_airways) Only 26 photos and few and far between, but we still hold out hope that they'll get it together and at least re-gram select images of the nearly 20,000 tagged #jetblue by other Instagrammers.
NEW!!! SAT Airlines: (Instagram: satairlines) What is SAT Airlines? They're a small Russian airline that's already done more with their Instagram than the largest airline in the world. Hmm. Too bad they haven't posted in two months. Love this shot, however.
NEW!!! South African Airways: (Instagram: southafricanairways) A trial of six images two weeks ago and now...nothing. Perhaps just testing the water as Air Canada was?
NEW!!! Tiger Airways: (Instagram: tigerairwaysaus) Only 8 photos as they're rather new, but the images are kind of odd and haphazard.
NEW!!! US Airways: (Instagram: usairways) Suffering from a serious case of Black Bar Syndrome (see Aeroflot, above).
NEW!!! Vueling: (Instagram: vueling) Vueling not only jumped on the Instagram bandwagon wholeheartedly, but even launched the first Instagram contest to put images on one of their planes. They don't post much anymore, which takes them out of our "must follow" list, which is sad because they started so strong!
Airlines to unfollow on Instagram
Air Asia, Thailand: (Instagram: airasiathailand) From nothing to everything. Jeez, talk about quantity over quality. Just one well-shot image should beat five from different angles, but they haven't figured that out. Got annoying real fast.
BMI: (Instagram: flybmi) Over and done with. Their last photo was posted 6 months ago and it's no wonder since the airline is being integrated into British Airways. Even their website is due to shut down later this month.
bmiBaby: (Instagram: bmibaby) Also gone. Once a master of promoting new routes and contests on Instagram, they posted their last photo two months ago as the airline ceased to exist.
Brussels Airlines: (Instagram: flyingbrussels) It's been two months since their last photo and they weren't all that interesting. Meh.
NEW!!! Delta: (Instagram: delta) Seriously, Delta. 24 photos from an ice hockey game six months ago and then barely anything until the wine & food fest last week? You're one of the largest airlines in the world with so many exciting projects, and yet we were the first ones to instagram a peek of your upcoming Terminal 4 expansion. Over a billion dollars put into that project, yet not one image.
NEW!!! Merpati Airlines: (Instagram: merpatiairlines) 8 photos and only 4 of them any good from this Indonesian airline. Haven't posted in over a month and we bet they won't be back.
NEW!!! Philippine Airlines: (Instagram: flypal) Over 8,000 followers and they can only muster up some event photos and print ads?
United: (Instagram: united_airlines) Pretty sure this is NOT an official instagram for United, owing to mistakes and misspellings and generally crappy images. Still, fingers crossed they do one day join up. Imagine all the Dreamliner angles they could be posting!
Virgin Australia: (Instagram: virginaustralia and virgin_australia) With two accounts, neither of which are all that official or regular, the airline just leaves us confused.
Did we miss any? Shoot us a note on Twitter (@jaunted) to fill us in, or always find us posting our latest bit of travel photo action on Instagram, @jaunted there too.
[Photo: Jaunted on Instagram, southwestair & british_airways & delta on Instagram]