Finding Flights Via Twitter? What Will They Think of Next?

In the realm of desperation and seemingly sensible marketing, United Airlines took to Twitter last year in an effort to fill seats that would normally be empty.

Airlines look at flight data from the past few years to determine which flights at various times of the year flew with a large number of empty seats. They then section off seats from the same flight in the coming year for “Twares”, and tweet about the lower fare on these seats. The idea is good one: United seems to sell out all their Twares in a relatively short amount of time. But customers looking for a Tware have to pay close attention to the United Airlines Twitter account, as a Tware tweet is about as common as an authentic Chanel bag in Chinatown. {Gadling}

The United Airlines twitter account also uses the free PR to gently suggest that followers join the mileage program or to let them know of certain services provided by the carrier. The airline also offers free stuff, like fares or money,  in redemption for signing up or doing something else that benefits the company in some way. {Mashable}

While this set up seems beneficial to United and some of their more go-with-the-flow customers, we wonder if the infrastructure is now causing United to lose revenue. It’s no secret that airlines have been cutting the number of flights over the past year, leaving more people to scramble for fewer seats. So United will never know if those seats they blocked off in an effort to generate revenue might have actually sold at the regular fare.

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