Is a TikTok Ban Coming? Here Are the U.S. Airlines That Rely on it Most

Skift Take

TikTok is a big deal in the airline industry, with most of the major U.S. carriers using the platform to enhance brand recognition and loyalty.

Are some of the world’s biggest airlines about to disappear from TikTok? For now, it remains a theoretical prospect, but events in Washington D.C. on Wednesday could make it more likely.

On Tuesday, the Senate approved a controversial bill that could ultimately see TikTok banned in the United States. It gives the platform’s Chinese owners 270 days to sell the app, or risk it being prohibited in the U.S.

The bill was signed by President Biden on Wednesday.

It formed part of a larger foreign military aid package, helping the proposals receive the green light from the White House. Biden has previously been vocal in his support for greater scrutiny of the social media platform.

The law would ban TikTok from U.S. app stores unless it is spun off from its Chinese parent firm, ByteDance. It is widely believed that the company will launch an appeal, which could delay any forced sale.

ByteDance did not immediately comment on the developments.

A U.S. ban wouldn’t be entirely without precedent. In 2020, India suspended new downloads of the platform, along with dozens of other Chinese-owned apps, amid frosty relations with Beijing.

What’s the Potential Impact on Airlines?

TikTok is used by around 170 million Americans and has become an important source of news and information, particularly for younger generations.

It’s also a valuable marketing tool for companies around the world, including airlines and travel firms. Skift spoke with TikTok’s Stuart Flint last month about the platform’s soaring popularity among travelers and businesses alike.

We’ve also discussed the topic with Ryanair Group CEO Michael O’Leary. Despite describing the app as “mindless rubbish,” he said it was a great way of reaching people at little or no cost.

Most of the largest American carriers post regularly on TikTok. Companies such as United and Southwest have garnered millions of likes for their lighthearted viral content.

However not everyone is on board. American Airlines and JetBlue both have ‘official’ accounts but don’t post content. Spirit, Sun Country and Allegiant don’t appear to have any formal presence on the app at all.

With uncertainty about the app’s future in the United States, here’s a round-up of the U.S. airlines with the largest TikTok following, along with some of our favorite clips:

#1: United Airlines

Account: @united
Followers: 855k
Likes: 8.9m
Bio: ‘everyone is the main character on our flights’

@united @Jesse & Kay are all of us #Airport #Travel #EWR #Newark #UnitedAirlines ♬ original sound – darcy stokes

#2: Delta Air Lines

Account: @delta
Followers: 561.4k
Likes: 16.4m
Bio: ‘We can take you there ✈️

@delta dream team #deltaairlines #avgeek #pilot ♬ Drilla

#3: Southwest Airlines

Account: @southwestair
Followers: 324.8k
Likes: 14.1m
Bio: ‘The one with the funny Flight Attendants.’

@southwestair He’s been waiting his whole life for this moment 💯 #airportdad #flightattendant #dadsoftiktok #southwest #travel #funnydad ♬ original sound – Southwest Airlines

#4: Alaska Airlines

Account: @alaskaair
Followers: 178.6k
Likes: 1.6m
Bio: ‘The most nonstops from the West Coast. ✈️ Flying into your TikTok feed like…’

@alaskaair ✅total solar eclipse from 35,000 feet #solareclipse #eclipse ♬ original sound – Alaska Airlines

#5: Frontier Airlines

Account: @flyfrontier
Followers: 82.7k
Likes: 1.2m
Bio: ‘At home in the clouds. ✈️’

@flyfrontier Consider yourself “saved by the bell.” #themoreyouknow #airbus #millenialsoftiktok #flyfrontier #frontierairlines #travel #airbus #meme #90skids #90s @Frontier Airlines ♬ original sound – samantha_romane

#6: Hawaiian Airlines

Account: @hawaiianair
Followers: 31.4k
Likes: 585.8k
Bio: ‘Sharing aloha since 1929 ✈️🌺’

@hawaiianair There’s only one right answer… 😋🧃 #hawaiianairlines #fyp #pog #aviation #travel #hawaii ♬ original sound – sav

Airlines Sector Stock Index Performance Year-to-Date

What am I looking at? The performance of airline sector stocks within the ST200. The index includes companies publicly traded across global markets including network carriers, low-cost carriers, and other related companies.

The Skift Travel 200 (ST200) combines the financial performance of nearly 200 travel companies worth more than a trillion dollars into a single number. See more airlines sector financial performance. 

Read the full methodology behind the Skift Travel 200.

Go to Source...