Twitter Airlines Fall into Three Categories
All airlines have a presence on Twitter. Not all of them regularly post cheap airfares on Twitter.
Some are quite active, with announcements and customer service a top priority each day.
Others use Twitter mostly to market cheap fares to waiting budget travel tweeters.
Virgin Blue executives vowed a few years ago that they would launch airfare wars on Twitter. Everyone from the outset saw opportunities on Twitter and other social media outlets.
But these days, most airlines simply link you to their own special offer pages once they post a new sale. Budget travelers know that such special offer pages frequently are the best places to snag a cheap airfare.
If you "follow" an airline on Twitter, you will see these posts fairly quickly and click the link.
Some Examples of Twitter Airfare Deals
JetBlue has set up a separate fare sale account on Twitter called JetBlueCheeps. A typical post here might say something like "Catch some great deals between Boston & Baltimore today only..." followed by a link to a booking page on the main Web site. But by the time you click it, the page might be headlined "This promotion has ended." These are often highly perishable deals!
A sample post on the Twitter site for Virgin Blue: "...1000 seats have sold, 1 hour left: 74 islands from $74..." The message was followed by a link to the sale page, which led to a 74-hour-long sale to the 74 island archipelago near the Great Barrier Reef known as The Whitsundays.
At the Twitter site for Virgin Atlantic, a more typical tweet: "Upper Class seat sale now on..." followed by a link to that sale page.
Some other Twitter airlines sites:
American Airlines has an account that mixes announcements with an occasional link to a deal.
At United, the account, like American, it is a public relations tool but offers up links to the best current cheap airfares.
AlaskaAir on Twitter mixes in only a few deals. Here's a typical sale post: "Ready. Set. SAVE! We have fares as low as $29 ea way!"
Random Twitter Thoughts
Just because an airline is seemingly unwilling to offer up cheap airfares on Twitter this week does not mean the same will be true next week or one month from now. If you use an airline regularly, it pays to follow even if there are few deals that interest you at the moment.
Two other Twitter-related sites to consider: AirfareWatchdog follows new airfare deals as if they are breaking news, posting them quickly. On FareCompare.com they say the company "presides over a kingdom of sophisticated software to find you cheap flights."
DealBase.com has an active Twitter presence, frequently offering last-minute deals on hotels, car rentals and airfares.
Of course, you are also welcome to follow About.com Budget Travel on Twitter at AboutBudgetTrav. I'll try to post or retweet breaking fare deals when possible.