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Social media is increasingly becoming the method airlines, hotels, credit cards and consumers get in touch with one another about the latest news, deals and promotions, so I thought I would start a new series on the site on Wednesdays rounding up the latest interesting contests, trending topics and more on social media from the week.
I’ll be combing through Facebook posts, Tweets, Instagram pics and more to find the most interesting things going on during any given week, but if I miss something you’d like to discuss feel free to:
-Post on my Facebook wall
-Tweet me @thepointsguy
-Instagram me @thepointsguy
Here are some of the hottest news stories that have been trending on Twitter and everyone has been talking about.
FAA Near To Enacting New Rules On Electronic Devices On Flights: Following growing pressure from tech-savvy travelers, the Federal Aviation Administration is meeting this week to discuss changing their rules on electronic devices, and among others, the @NewYorkTimes tweeted the latest developments. The new guidelines are expected to ease restrictions on the use of e-books such as Kindles and watching podcasts and videos.
Disneyland changes line-jumping policy: Fox News Travel tweeted that Disneyland and Disneyworld have changed the rules at their parks so that people with disabilities can no longer jump to the front of the line at rides and shows. While it may sound harsh, the change in regulation is aimed at stopping “abuse of the system” by disabled visitors who charge money – sometimes up to $1,000 a day! – to accompany able-bodied guests and allow them to avoid long lines.
Feds Investigate Asiana’s Post-Crash Response: Federal transportation officials are investigating if Asiana met their legal obligations in how they handled the families of victims following the Flight 214 crash at SFO in July. AP Travel reported that in the first investigation of its kind, the FAA is looking into whether the airline provided the families with sufficient aid such as a toll-free number to gather and distribute information, transportation and lodging.
How The Mall Terrorism Attack Will Affect Tourism In Kenya: @usatodaytravel is following the developing story of the Nairobi mall terror attack and whether it will affect Kenyan tourism. The travel industry accounts for one in 10 jobs in the country and 20% of employment, but despite fears that the attack that killed at least 66 could damage the “cornerstone of the economy,” it has is too soon to tell the long-term impact and many state that the terrorists targeted wealthy Kenyans and expats – not tourists.
Hilton Launches New Casual Dining Program: @hiltonhotels had some good news for health-conscious Twitter followers when they announced the launch of their new culinary program, tweeting: “Casual dining is on the rise. New #Hilton dining concept gives guests quick, healthy gourmet options.” Herb N’ Kitchen is a fresh concept focused on injecting local gourmet food into an upscale restaurant and has now made its debut at the New York Hilton Midtown.
New British Airways A380 Lands in Los Angeles: British Airways sparked excitement in the social media world when their new A380 touched down at LAX on Tuesday night, with @BritishAirways tweeting: “Here’s the first glimpse of our new #A380 touching down in LA! #BALovesLA.” The new airliner carries 469 passengers in four cabins – first class, business class, premium economy and economy.
Lufthansa To Launch 747-8 To Chicago from October 27: Lufthansa is also causing a Twitter stir with their new 747-8 service from Frankfurt to Chicago. @airlineroute tweeted: “Lufthansa to Start Boeing 747-8 Service to Chicago from late-October 2013,” while @Lufthansa happily shared a photo of its showcase planes, saying, “You might call it East meets West – we call it big love!”
Chinese Jetliner Delayed Again: @APTravel reported that delivery of the first homegrown Chinese jet airliner has been delayed yet again to mid-2014, marking a further setback for China’s ambitions to challenge market leaders Boeing and Airbus. Originally promised for 2007, the delay in the ARJ21 program has been blamed on China’s inexperience in designing, building and certifying commercial jetliners.
Earn 1,000 SPG points on Sheraton Club Stays: Earlier this week, SPG tweeted an offer for guests who have an upcoming Sheraton Club stay, where they can earn 1,000 bonus SPG points when they pay with their American Express card through October 31, 2013. Sheraton Club lounges are now open seven days a week and offer complimentary breakfast, all-day snacks, beverages and evening hors d’oeuvres. Starwood has recently invested over $120 million to upgrade 120 club lounges worldwide. To be eligible for this offer, you must book online through this page and for phone bookings mention rate code SS1. Complimentary upgrades to the club floor, such as those given to SPG Platinum members, will not qualify for the bonus points.
United Goes All Out For Million Miler: Over at Frequently Flying, Darren recently crossed 1,000,000 miles on United and sent them a tweet letting them know. They tweeted back a fun picture of the social media team writing out 1,000,000! It was a fun and clever social media move by United and a small gesture that meant alot to the customer here.
Starwood’s Take a Spin Promotion: Starwood launched their Take a Spin promotion earlier this week, where you can win a number of instant prizes such as free nights or Starpoints, and be entered to win the grand prize of 250,000 Starpoints. You can enter online once a day now through October 10, 2013, or you can also enter onsite at several Starwood sponsored events. Each day, SPG will be giving away 46 instant prizes such as free nights or Starpoints including 5 chances at 5,000 Starpoints, 10 chances at 1,000 Starpoints, 25 chances at 500 Starpoints and two daily winners will receive a Kate Spade New York SPG tote. There will also be one grand prize winner selected at random who will receive 250,000 Starpoints. You might as well enter since it only takes about 30 seconds.
Win Up Free Up To 5 Free Nights And Hyatt Gold Passport Points By Playing “The Chase” Game: Another current Hyatt promotion is “The Chase” game, where you can win a range of prizes up to 5 free nights at any Hyatt hotel. Eligible Hyatt Gold Passport members will receive a promotional email. Click the link and enter your number to be taken to the online game where you have to track down three virtual trunks around the world. This is a closed promotion and only open to Gold Passport members, and please note that the cash and points displayed onscreen during the game are fictitious. Prizes include a one night stay at a Hyatt property, 5,000 points, Diamond status or a Suite upgrade, through to the grand sweepstake prize of 5 free nights at any Hyatt hotel. The promotion runs from now through 11:59:59 p.m. CST on October 31, 2013. By confirming (or entering) your Hyatt Gold Passport membership number and opening a trunk, you will also automatically be registered in the Hyatt Gold Passport “New Possibilities” offer, which provides eligible Hyatt Gold Passport members the opportunity to earn bonus points on eligible stays completed by November 30, 2013.
Get Up To 200,000 Air Canada Aeroplan Miles With The “Amazing Race Canada” Promotion: Air Canada is launching an “Amazing Race Canada” promotion for up to 200,000 bonus miles. To enter you have to register from September 16, 2013, through to November 17, 2013, and book domestic and international flights on Air Canada, Air Canada Express, and Air Canada rouge from September 24, 2013, through to December 15, 2013. To register, click here. If you pre-register before September 24 you will earn 500 RaceWings, or 250 RaceWings on or after that date, and 200 more RaceWings for every take-off or landing on an Air Canada, Air Canada Express, and Air Canada rouge flight. You can also earn badges for taking certain challenges, tasks and activities in the game. A combination of RaceWings and badges add up to Aeroplan miles, varying up to 200,000 bonus miles. Click here for full terms and conditions.
Want to be featured in our social media Wednesday series? Send your stories to email@example.com with the subject Social Media and we’ll choose our favorites each week to include. They can be Instagram photos you’ve taken, tweets you’ve received, contest you’ve won – send them our way! There’s no telling how much longer these cards will be around and available for new applications because of the Marriott takeover, so now might just be the perfect time to apply. Apart from hotel redemptions, you can transfer Starpoints to over 30 airline partners, and now also transfer points from Starwood to Marriott Rewards at a 1:3 ratio, opening up even more redemption options.
There’s no telling how much longer these cards will be around and available for new applications because of the Marriott takeover, so now might just be the perfect time to apply. Apart from hotel redemptions, you can transfer Starpoints to over 30 airline partners, and now also transfer points from Starwood to Marriott Rewards at a 1:3 ratio, opening up even more redemption options.