August 3, 2009

Airlines turn to Twitter for quick deals

Two U.S. airlines have turned to Twitter, a real-time Internet network, to make flash announcements of eye-grabbing travel deals, the airlines said.

Company spokesman Morgan Johnston said JetBlue had turned to Twitter to promote Cheeps, such as a recently offered get-'em-while-they-last deal for $9 seats from JFK Airport in New York City to Nantucket, a vacation island off of Massachusetts.

By promoting the Cheeps through Twitter, we give the already spontaneous audience of Twitter users a chance to grab great last-minute fares, Johnston told USA Today Monday.

Similarly, United Airlines has turned to Twitter to promote twares, which are ultra cheap offers that may only last an hour or two.

Twares are all about surprising our customers with low fares for a very, very limited time, said spokeswoman Robin Urbanski.

(Twares) sell extremely fast because the prices are unbeatable, she said. They're experimenting with it to see what the value is. Is it better to send an e-mail with a $9 fare or better to Twitter it? founder George Hobica.

I think absolutely airlines and all travel companies need to get in the game and see how it plays out, Hobica said.