Twitter delivers travel deals and help
See how airlines, hotels and tour operators "tweet" their top deals
Want to be the first to hear about airfare sales and hotel deals? You might want to join the microblogging service Twitter.
Twitter has become the latest place for airlines, hotels, tour operators and attractions to "tweet" their top deals. Twitter can take you deep into the Internet to find the latest information about hotels, restaurants and airfares, Everett Potter wrote in his Twitter primer for travelers in Travel + Leisure magazine.
JetBlueCheeps tweeted some $9 Boston-to-New York fares last month. United Airlines, Southwest Airlines and American Airlines also are on Twitter, as are hotels, tourist offices and numerous travel writers and sites that gather travel deals and information. BestTravelDeals.net, for example, has just expanded its services to include travel deals from Twitter. You can see them to the right on the website or follow the company's Mary Song on Twitter.
Sascha Segan from Frommer's points out Twitter can not only help you find travel deals, it can also save you hours on the phone trying to get through to hotel or airline customer service. And she lists a number of travel pros to follow if you need help.
Tony Wagner of Washington, D.C., pleaded for help on Twitter when he found out he wasn't seated next to his wife and 2-year-old daughter on a Memorial Day weekend JetBlue flight and couldn't get anywhere with customer service on the phone, reports Michelle Higgins of The New York Times' Practical Traveler. He got a response via Twitter in 19 minutes.
In recent weeks, Twitter has made it easier to do searches for attractions, places or companies, say for Tweets mentioning Disney or (using the hashtag) #Disney. If you're looking for a particular business or location, start with a search. You may find that you don't want to participate in Twitter all the time, but just search when you need specific information.
Dennis Schaal of Online Travel Riffs and Notes believes the new Twitter search will change Google, Bing, Facebook and Kayak, as well as Carnival Cruise Lines, JetBlue, Hertz and Mark Travel.
If you travel a lot, even only via armchair, you might find some value in following travel writers and other travelers, or even residents of place you're planning to visit. Writes Wendy Perrin, consumer news editor for Conde Naste Traveler and author of the Perrin Post travel blog: "I know of no faster or more effective way than Twitter to have a real-time dialogue with other travelers."
Do you have any favorite travel Tweeters? Or do you find the whole service more trouble than it's worth? By the way, Smart Spending is on Twitter, too.
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ABOUT SMART SPENDING
Editor Bev O'Shea lives and works in the foothills of the Appalachians. A former copy editor for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution and the Orlando Sentinel, she joined MSN Money in 2007. She's a fan of sunsets, college football and free shipping, among other things.
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A writer for MSN Money since January 2007, Donna Freedman won regional and national prizes during an 18-year newspaper career and earned a college degree in midlife without taking out student loans. She also writes about smart money tactics for magazines and on her own site, Surviving and Thriving.
Mitch Lipka has been warning people about scams and shining light on questionable business practices for more than 20 years. Mitch, the consumer columnist for The Boston Globe, has also been a reporter and editor at The Philadelphia Inquirer, Consumer Reports, South Florida Sun-Sentinel and AOL. He won the 2010 New York Press Club award for best consumer reporting online and was honored in 2011 for his reporting on child product safety.
Marilyn Lewis is an award-winning writer with a passion for getting readers clear, straight information that helps them stay out of financial trouble. A former reporter for The San Jose Mercury News, she works from her home in Port Townsend, Wash. Contact her at MarilynLewis@Outlook.com.
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