While some might consider it primarily for time wasting and navel-gazing, but Twitter can be useful for at least one thing: finding great travel deals. Major airlines, mom-and-pop motels and everyone in between is tweeting now. Follow the right ones and you'll find private sales and outstanding discounts on last-minute getaways. Here are a few accounts worth following:
- @JetBlueCheeps JetBlue’s legendary "cheeps" are the gold standard for Twitter deals: exclusive, frequently posted and dirt cheap. Fares can dip as low as $19 each way, but blink and the deals are sold out.
- @SouthwestAir keeps its million-plus followers happy by tweeting sales the moment they launch, offering double credits and some interesting promotions -- such as free pedicab rides a few weeks ago in Denver.
- @VirginAmerica The frequency with which Virgin America offers freebies is almost mind-boggling -- a new contest or trivia question is posted every few hours, and the prize is often a free flight.
- @JDVhotels This chic California-based hotel chain tweets deals every Tuesday. (Travel Tuesday has been adopted as the day to broadcast deals; do a search for #traveltuesday on Twitter.) This week, the oceanfront Pacific Edge Hotel in Laguna Beach was $100 per night, but these specials are only live for a few hours.
- @FairmontHotels celebrates Twitter milestones -- such as reaching 6,000 followers -- by launching flash sales and contests. Fairmont Hotels in Banff and Victoria were recently discounted by 40%, while a few lucky followers scored free stays.
- @MorgansHotels Free concerts, party invites and exclusive discounts (for oil spill volunteers, recently) are some of the perks of following this posh brand.- @Kimpton This quirky boutique hotel chain posts passwords for “delightful surprises” (often free cocktails or an upgrade) granted at check-in. The code for the last few days of July is “fireworks,” while an August password is coming soon.
- @Fly_com The folks at Fly.com send out alerts when they find really hot fares. With more than 30 local feeds like NYCFares, they make sure you don't miss a reason to get out of town.
- @Travelzoo Last but not least, our own Twitter account features staffers’ top deal picks, live chats with senior editors and localized content from our offices around the globe.