While stuck in a lengthy security check queue at Heathrow Airport on Thursday morning, I idly posted a Twitter update moaning about my predicament.
Within a few minutes the customer service team at Heathrow Airport replied via Twitter:
"Morning @benjaminbland Let us know which terminal you're in and we'll get in touch with our team there. Hope you're on the move again soon."
Unfortunately, I didn't see Heathrow's reply until much later so wasn't able to test out whether this was just PR or whether they actually would have sent more staff down to the security area if I had told them where I was stuck (I suspect the former).
Nevertheless, it made me feel appreciated as a customer (a rare feeling in the glorified shopping centre that is Heathrow) and served as a timely reminder about the very public nature of social media sites like Twitter.
This afternoon, I arrived at Jakarta airport, where - I suspect - posting a Twitter update complaining about the length of the interminable queues at the visa-on-arrival and immigration counters would have made no difference whatsoever.
If, on the other hand, you were to retain the services of one of the friendly and well-connected fixers that hang around the arrivals building, there's the very real chance that you would be whisked through as if you were Ban Ki-moon...or so I'm led to believe.