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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. Here’s a look at the latest interesting 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 biggest news stories and promotions that everyone has been tweeting about this week.
Corporations Rally To Raise Money For Typhoon Relief: In a desperate attempt to aid the people of the Philippines, companies, banks and the NBA have pledged millions of dollars to relief efforts in the typhoon-ravaged areas, reported @CNNMoney. With more than 2 million people, including 300,000 pregnant women or new mothers, needing food and aid, and 600,000 homeless, donations have been pouring in from big corporations. The NBA and the NBA players’ union have given a total of $500,000, half to UNICEF and half to World Vision, while Royal Caribbean Cruises, which employs nearly 13,000 Filipinos, is matching donations from employees in an effort to raise $1 million. Fed Ex has been working with a number of disaster relief organizations to help transport equipment and relief supplies to the worst affected areas, and Air Asia and Zest Hotels are offering free flights and accommodation to aid workers. Those interested in donating can make contributions to the American Red Cross through Apple’s iTunes, or can go directly to the websites of the Philippine Red Cross, the World Food Program, UNICEF and CARE, according to CNN Money.com.
What Is Next For US Airways And American Airlines Customers? With the upcoming merger back on the horizon, @USAToday gave a rundown of what flyers of both airlines can expect in the near future. The deal is set to be finalized in December but a complete integration of the airlines remains many months away. While members of both loyalty programs will be able to earn miles on the other, USAToday.com warns that US Airways frequent flyers will soon lose their ability to earn or redeem miles on Star Alliance partners like Lufthansa, All Nippon Airways, Air Canada and Thai Airways as the “new” American will be part of the Oneworld Alliance.
US Airways Tweets About Settlement With DOJ In Regards To American Airlines Merger: While countless travel outlets shared the news that the US Airways and American Airlines merger is another step closer to going ahead, @USAirways tweeted their own announcement, telling followers that the two airlines have “settled with DOJ & state attorneys general and now expect to complete merger by December.” In the official press statement attached to the tweet, Doug Parker, chairman and CEO of US Airways, and incoming CEO of the combined airline, said: “Thank you as well to the U.S. Department of Justice, the state attorneys general and the U.S. Department of Transportation. We are pleased to have this lawsuit behind us and look forward to building the new American Airlines together.” For more information on the merger and my thoughts on it, read this post.
Dallas/Fort Worth Named The Best Airport By Business Travelers: Road warriors who spend much of their work week traveling have named Dallas/Fort Worth their favorite airport, according to @USATodayTravel. The results come from a survey by USA Today sent to 1,600 frequent business travelers who like DFW because it is well-designed, it is easy to quickly move between terminals and has plenty of dining options. Amsterdam’s Schiphol airport came in as the top international hub, with Chicago’s O’Hare and Charles de Gaulle being the least favorite among voters.
Notorious Criminal Hideouts Become Tourist Attractions: When gangsters such as George “Machine Gun” Kelly and Bugsy Siegel holed themselves up away from the law, we are sure they never expected their secret hideaways to become vacation spots. But that is exactly was has happened, according to @HuffPost Travel, who have provided a list of the top historical hideout-theme tourist attractions. Included on the cross-country crime spree are Little Bohemia Lodge, where John Dillinger and Baby Face Nelson both escaped from the FBI, and Bonnie and Clyde’s secret garage in Joplin, Missouri.
Hilton Hotels Donates Soap For Homeless Veterans: In honor of Veteran’s Day on November 11, Hilton Hotels donated over 70 boxes of soap for
@USArmyReserve soldiers to deliver to homeless, tweeted @HiltonWorldwide. Veterans Inc. worked with the teams of the 1st Battalion, Army Reserve Careers Division to distribute donations of soap to three homeless shelters in the Boston area.
Travel Channel Greenlights Five New Series: There’s not one but five new shows going into production at the Travel Channel, according to @Deadline. The channel has unveiled two hosted series, Eat Secrets with foodie Adam Richman, who takes viewers on a hunt for the most unique dishes across the country, and Resort Recon hosted by hospitality consultant Shane Green, which exposes problems at various resorts. Castle Secrets & Legends, Hotel Secrets & Legends, and National Park Secrets & Legends have all also been ordered under the Secrets & Legends umbrella.
Quick Guide To Toiletries That You Can Carry-On: Confused about what you can pack in your carry-on?
@FoxNewsTravel is breaking down the essential toiletries that you can take on a plane without checking in a bag. According to the TSA website, solid deodorants are exempt, but “paste”-like products must adhere to the limits, so even semi-solid hair grooming products must be placed in that quart-size plastic bag. Be sure to remember that if you are flying through the UK, then all liquids must be placed in a clear plastic bag of a specific size.
Titanic Exhibition In Atlanta Closed Because Of Water Damage: In a case of…titanic…irony, the Titanic Exhibition at Atlanta’s Premier Exhibition Center was closed because of water damage last week, revealed @HuffPost Travel. The show features hundreds of objects recovered from the Titanic, as well as historically accurate recreations of rooms aboard the ill-fated ship. Fortunately unlike the fatal collision with an iceberg in April 1912, a box-office salesperson in Atlanta told The Huffington Post they’d been “closed for less than a day,” and the water damage was “nothing serious.”
The Top Holiday Markets Around The World: The holidays are the perfect time of year to shop for unique gifts and @FrommersTravel has a guide to the best markets around the world. From Christkindelsmärik in Strasbourg, France, which has been selling traditional gifts since 1570, to Tivoli Gardens’ Christmas Market in Copenhagen, Denmark, where you can buy local delicacies like aebleskiver – or Danish pancakes – and glogg, a warm combo of red wine and spices, there is surely something there to spark present inspiration.
UK Airline Flybe To Cut 500 Jobs: @Skift announced the sad news that regional airline Flybe will cut 500 jobs in an attempt to save its struggling business. The UK-based airline that flies around Great Britain and to mainland Europe will reduce costs further by reviewing all aspects of the business, including cutting some routes and using planes and crew more efficiently, announced new chief executive, Saad Hammad.
Seven First Class American Airlines Passengers Give Up Their Seats For Marines: With so many ways to honor veterans, @AmericanAir shared the heartwarming story of seven first class passengers who gave their seats up for Marines coming home from service on November 7. “We have the best customers. Thanks for flying with us,” the airline’s official Twitter page posted.
Best Western “Happy Hour” Hotel Sale Every Day: Go to the Best Western website between 12-6pm EST every day this week for discounted rates at featured destinations. Locations across the US include Boston, MA, Gettysburg, PA, Kansas City, MO and Arlington, VA, starting from $60 per night. There are also participating properties in Canberra, Australia, from $135 AUD per night, and Mexico City from $70 per night.
Avis Becomes The First Car Rental Company In Google Wallet: @Skift reported that Avis has joined Google Wallet, making it the first car rental company to become part of the marketing channel. Travelers can now use the Google Wallet mobile app to enroll in Avis Preferred, which enables users to skip the lines at the rental counter and proceed right to the lot in the U.S. and Canada, and save their Avis Wizard number in it.
British Airways “Yourope” Campaign Lets Travelers Design Their Own European Adventure: British Airways has launched a new “Yourope” campaign to inspire US travelers to visit Barcelona, Rome, Berlin and Paris in their own style. Set around music videos by emerging artists, the promotion lets travelers choose between “posh” or “punk” Berlin and “classic” or “curious” Paris, and cater their trip to their personal needs. Simply click on the city that you’re interested in, experience it through the video, then if you want to live it real-life you can print the specific itinerary and receive travel package details for the catered trip based on the lowest-priced flights available. The campaign launched on November 12, 2013, and in the upcoming weeks, British Airways will be launching six second postcards through Vine, featuring a snapshot of each city.
A Guide To Giving Back As You Travel: Charity is definitely in the air as we get closer to the holiday season and @HuffPost Travel is sharing simple ways you can give back while traveling. From donating leftover change to UNICEF’s Change for Good on your plane ride home, to using your extra luggage space to pack much needed supplies for local communities through charities like Pack For A Purpose or donating unused miles through your airline loyalty program, there are lots of little ways you can help that will have a big impact on someone else’s life. For more information on Pack For A Purpose, read my post here – and discover how I used a great eBags deal to make a charitable donation.