Social Media Travel Roundup – News, Contests, Promos, Trends and More
Update: Some offers mentioned below are no longer available. View the current offers here.
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.
Gogo Unveils "Text and Talk" So Flyers Can Text In The Air: A new service from Gogo allows air passengers to receive and make phone calls and texts while in the air, according to @HuffPost travel. The service works by using the airplane's WiFi to send a code to the purchaser. Then, you log in with your code and the calls and texts are technically received through WiFi as your phone is in airplane mode. However, it seems likely that only the text feature will be used as airlines are unlikely to allow calls... but only time will tell!
Should You Earn A Mile For Flying A Mile? Due to codesharing, flyers sometimes may not earn one mile for every mile they fly, and now the fairness of this practice is under scrutiny, tweeted @HuffPost Travel. The investigation into the practice goes into great depth including personal accounts from flyers who were told they would receive a certain amount of miles, or purposely booked flights with several layovers to get miles, and then later were denied them because the flights were codeshares.
What Makes Up Your Hotel Room Cost? In a nutshell, five factors affect the cost of a hotel room, tweeted @HuffPost Travel. These are: building and maintenance, the market (hotels location and competition), number of rooms and amenities, type of hotel (resort, city, etc) and finally the largest one, labor costs.
Boeing Launches New 777X At The Dubai Air Show: @AirTransportWorld tweeted about the new Boeing 777X that already has 259 airlines committed to ordering it, including Lufthansa, Etihad, Qatar, and Emirates. The plane itself features 40 more seats than the 777-300ER, but will actually have lower operating costs and reduced fuel consumption. However, production won't start until 2017 and it looks like these aircraft won't be ready for delivery until approximately 2020.
Priceline iPad App Lets Users Search By Inspiration: Those with the Priceline iPad app can now get creative with their favorite search engine, as @Skift tweets that users can search the traditional way for flights and hotels, but now also have the option to search by themes like "skiing," "romantic" or "child/family."
Qatar Airlines Expands Routes Into The Newly-Opened Saudi Arabia Market: Qatar Airlines will launch domestic operations in Saudi Arabia in the first half of 2014. The name of the subsidiary airline will be Al Maha Airways and flights will begin with Riyadh and Jeddah, the country's two main cities, and then hopefully move into smaller cities in the future, according to @Skift.
New Economy Class Seat Lets Passengers Pay For Extra Space: @Skift tweeted that British design firm Seymourpowell unveiled a new seat design that gives flyers and airlines the flexibility to adjust how much room each person takes up in a row, also allowing flyers to adjust the width and height of the seat and to recline without bothering the passenger behind them.
Younger Guests Make Hotels Rethink Their Loyalty Programs: According to research done by Henry Harteveldt in the study, Who’s Sleeping With You? Detailed Look Into the U.S. Online Hotel Guest, hotel guests are getting younger and younger, and have weaker brand loyalty, tweets @Skift. Harteveldt suggested that hotels get their messages out via new mediums, like online and with mobile apps to cater to this fresh-minded group of people.
Alligator Found Wandering Around at O'Hare Airport: @avwire tweets a story from CBS Chicago about an alligator found hanging out in Terminal 3 at O'hare Airport last week. Airport workers were notified that there was an alligator spotted behind a trash can and grabbed it using a broom and dustpan where it was then taken to animal control. Later, an article from the Washington Post helps explains how the alligator got there-it came along with it's supposed owner on the subway. Chicago Transit Authority has released images of the woman holding the two foot alligator on Chicago's blue line train. Reports suggest she was letting other riders pet the alligator as she explained how she had raised the creature from an early age. The alligator was later found to be malnourished, having a " bent spine, soft bones, soft fingernails and a soft skull,” according to Jason Hood, president of the Chicago Herpetological Society. The woman "owner" may face several fines, as it's illegal to own a live alligator in Illinois, as well as fines for animal cruelty or abandonment of an animal in a public place.
Bid For A Cruise To Help Typhoon Victims: @TelegraphTravel has connected with three major cruise lines and one charity to help raise money for Typhoon Haiyan victims. Cunard Line, Fred Olsen Cruise Lines and P&O Cruises are each offering cruise cabins for two people, with money raised going to victims in the typhoon. A minimum bid of £500 ($800) per cabin applies to each of the 22 cruises offered. Deadline for bids is midnight on November 22, 2013. The 10 winning bids for each cruise line will win, so click here for more details on the prize cruises, and here to bid. Donations will fund the Mission to Seafarers’ charitable welfare provision, including ship visits, post-trauma and bereavement and counseling.
Win A 10 Day Trip To England To Visit The Setting Of New Movie, About Time: @FodorsTravel has a contest where you can win a trip to various cities in England, including London, Bristol, Chester, Edinburgh, and York, where the romantic comedy About Time was set. All you have to do is sign up for the weekly Fodors Travel email by clicking here, but act fast as it only runs through today at 11:59:59 pm EST on November 20, 2013.
Get 20% Off Virgin America Flights And The Chance To Win A New Year's Eve Getaway: Virgin America has a promotion on discounted post-holiday travel. The airline has joined forces with UrbanDaddy, Morgans Hotel Group and Vevo to launch a contest for a chance to win 3 nights during New Year’s Eve in New York City and two roundtrip flights. If you enter now through 11:59 pm PST on November 26, 2013, you’ll receive a 10% coupon code for travel during January 11th-March 6th, 2014. The discount is not valid for travel on Fridays or Sundays, and additional blackout dates are 1/17/14-1/20/14 and 2/14/14-2/17/14. If you share it with your friends, you will receive a 20% coupon. For full terms and conditions, click here.
Win A Trip To Taiwan With CheapOair.com: You and a guest could be traveling to Taiwan if you are one of the lucky winners of CheapOair.com's latest promotion. Visit their Facebook page and hit "Like," then follow the link or click here to enter the sweepstakes now through 12 am EST on November 25, 2013. The winner and a friend will be flown on China Airlines into Taipei, where the Taiwan Tourism Board will provide accommodations and guide you on a tour of Taiwan, including visits to Sun Moon Lake, Fo Guang Shan Monastery, Kaohsiung City and Kenting National Park. For full rules and regulations, click here.
Spend 15 Days In Rajasthan With Saga Holidays: Rajasthan may not be at the top of your bucket list, but with its rich history filled with palaces, temples and hilltop forts, it should definitely be added to it. Now @TelegraphTravel is sharing the news of a sweepstakes hosted by Saga Holidays, where you can win a 15-night tour around Rajasthan departing on May 7, 2014. The prize includes return flights and transfers, half-board accommodation, VIP door-to-door travel service, tourist visas, the services of a Saga tour manager, porterage at all hotels and a number of excursions. Click here to enter now through November 29, 2013.
Uber Allows Passengers To Now Use PayPal: While I always recommend using a points-earning credit card for everything, not everyone feels the same way, which is why Uber are now partnering with PayPal, according to @Uber. Passengers can now pay for rides using PayPal, and now through November 28, 2013, you can get $15 off your next ride when you pay with it (excluding UberTAXI). Of course, I think you should be using the Chase Sapphire Preferred card for Uber because they classify Uber as a travel provider, which gets you double points, so you would be earning 2 points for every dollar spent - but each to their own! For more information on paying for Uber, read my post here.
It's Surfing USA With Hawaiian Airlines' New Promotion: Prove your surf smarts with the Hawaiian Airlines Facebook promotion, and you could win the grand prize of 80,000 bonus miles, plus be entered in a weekly drawing for 20,000 miles. Enter now through December 2, 2013, by answering the surfing trivia questions with no purchase required. For full terms and conditions, click here.