Tag: twitter

Get into Travel with Twitter

twitter

As someone who uses Twitter every day to stay in tune with the travel community, I took great interest in Twitter’s new “Lists” feature as it makes it really simple to follow travel vanguards from around the world.  It also makes being found on Twitter (based on your area of “expertise”) much more likely.  In only a few days, Yapta has already been included on 53 lists related to travel.  (Pausing for a Sally Field moment here.)  However, what I appreciate most is seeing who others are following from the world of travel and expanding my own universe.

Earlier today, the popular travel blog Jaunted compiled a handful of their favorite travel-centric Twitter lists.  For those of you who are new to the Twitter game and want to be part of the travel scene, these “top five Twitter travel lists” may give you a jump-start:

@EverywhereTrip/Travel
Compiled by Gary Arndt, otherwise known as “EverywhereTrip” on Twitter owing to the fact that he’s perpetually traveling around the world, this list is also one of the top-ranked on Twitter right now. It’s not a massively large list as it follows only 279, but that just means that it’s well-curated and an easy jumping-off point for getting into travel lists.

@travelpod/list
This is a 500-er, meaning that Travelpod has chosen to feature 500 of the top Twitter travelers in their sizable list, giving you a taste of everyone that’s out there in the world of virtual vagabonding.

@eurapart/travel-500
Here’s yet another 500-er that we’ve found to have quite a good cross section of travel twitters. From MSN Travel to folks chewing the fat over Amazing Race, it’s a good variety. Of course you’ll find us all warm and snug in there as well.

@jessicadebra/travel-tweets
Okay, the last 500 list, we promise. This one comes from a regular old traveler, not a travel website or other media outlet. We love lists like these because the intel comes from those on the ground, actually out there hopping on trains and grabbing the planes.

@IngridaLM/travelers
At 388-strong, this travel list sure doubles up on some folks from the previous lists we’ve mentioned, but when it comes to reading updates from the road and travel tips, our theory is the more the merrier.

Here’ some more travel news you can use:

  • American Airlines is making holiday travel shopping a little more colorful.  The airline has broken out their lowest fares into a holiday calendar for November, December and January that’s color-coded for “low,” “lower” and “lowest” fares.  Some fares start at $56 each way and are available to a number of major locations, including Baltimore, Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Chicago, Washington DC, Miami and Dallas.
  • ABC News notes that airlines are cutting money-losing flights during the current travel slump, and that can cause headaches for passengers who bought tickets on those trips.  The airlines will usually rebook a passenger on another flight close to the original schedule.  But sometimes the change can mean a delay of several hours — even overnight.  Most U.S. airlines say they will offer a full refund if they put you on a new flight that arrives more than 90 minutes earlier or later than you had planned.  But if air fares have risen since you bought your ticket, the refund doesn’t always cover the cost of buying another ticket on a different airline.
  • An Arizona couple is accused of stealing at least 1,000 pieces of luggage from the Phoenix airport and stashing — or at times, selling — the suitcases.  Keith & Stacy King were arrested at their home and were charged with burglary and tampering with evidence  for allegedly stealing luggage from Sky Harbor Airport, then allegedly selling the luggage (and its contents) by hosting regular yard sales.  Airport officials grew suspicious when Keith King visited the airport more than 60 times recently without ever boarding a plane – and walking off with luggage.

  • Miami-Dade officials are proceeding with a plan to install slot machines at the airport.  Commissioners voted Tuesday to apply for a permit, despite staunch opposition from local casinos and race tracks and the long odds it would be approved in Tallahassee.  They want gaming proceeds to repay debt that funded an airport expansion.

The Associated Press reports that discount airlines – which are already outflanking the big network carriers in customer service and low fares – appear to be extending their advantage to social media.

“The discounters often respond with quick feedback to travelers’ concerns on social networking sites, while traditional network carriers peddle last-minute fare deals but seem slow to embrace Twitter and Facebook to beef up customer service.

Customers crave good service and reward airlines that provide it.

A survey cited in a July report by Forrester Research showed that 68 percent of U.S. online leisure travelers say they’d be willing to recommend carriers to family and friends if the company made them feel like a valued customer.

That’s a tantalizing incentive for airlines to transform customer service from the dull telephone and e-mail route into the online networking channel — where every customer can speak his mind to the masses — at a time when the weak economy has caused their revenue to plummet.”

The article notes that JetBlue has 10 employees actively involved with social networking and Southwest Airlines has seven.  Meanwhile, the bigger carriers take a different approach.

“They appear more comfortable hawking fare sales and providing weather updates and information about new routes and flight delays. For example, American earlier this year announced a 5 percent discount sale through its Facebook page.

American thinks that social media shouldn’t be a replacement for existing customer service in which representatives respond to calls and e-mails from customers.

US Airways spokeswoman Michelle Mohr says that while Twitter and Facebook are hot topics right now, the carrier doesn’t believe in ‘just jumping on the bandwagon.’”

Here’s some more travel news you can use:

  • Lufthansa said today that it will offer passengers in-flight Internet and cellphone connections. The service, known as FlyNet, will be available starting in mid-2010. The airline said it hopes to equip a major part of its long-haul planes in the service’s first year, and eventually the entire long-haul fleet.
  • A man wanted by the FBI for the hijacking of Pan Am Flight 281 has surrendered to American police after more than 40 years living as a fugitive in Cuba.  Luis Armando Peña Soltren, 66, arrived at JFK Airport in New York on a flight from Havana after making arrangements with the authorities for his return to the US.  Soltren, who was one of the FBI’s longest wanted fugitives, told authorities that he wanted to come home and face his fate because he missed his family.
  • Here’s a head-scratcher:  Right now, it’s about $300 cheaper to fly from Seattle or Portland to Honolulu than from L.A. — and from Honolulu to Las Vegas than to L.A.
  • An Oregon teen talked his way onto an airplane bound for Chicago last weekend, revealing a little-known hole in airport security.  Kids don’t have to show photo ID.