Those of you who already Twitter-savvy might know about the deals beginning to seep into the newsfeeds of big corporations. Companies are tweeting out last-minute deals and steals in all arenas. JetBlue and United have decided to give it a go and are tweeting out special deals to those that follow them on Twitter. The airlines are giving out seats on less-than-full planes for unbelievable deals; see JetBlue’s “Cheeps,” i.e. $9 fares from JFK to Nantucket. The deals are usually dispersed on a Monday, giving followers about eight hours (or as long as there are seats) to book a flight for the next weekend.
“By promoting the Cheeps through Twitter, we give the already spontaneous audience of Twitter users a chance to grab great last-minute fares,” says JetBlue spokesman Morgan Johnston. In addition to filling empty seats, the sales can introduce new customers to the airline, he says. “Those first-time customers trying Cheeps … we know they’re going to come back.” Over at United, the “Twares” usually go faster, with a window of one to two hours before they’re snapped up. “Twares are all about surprising our customers with low fares for a very, very limited time,” says Robin Urbanski, a United spokeswoman. And, she says, they “sell extremely fast because the prices are unbeatable.” Twitter is cutting the window of time for deals smaller and smaller. With email deals, you usually have a few days, but with Tweets, you’re talking hours. It’s a neat way to get a great deal on the fly. With Twitter fares, Johnston says, “You really have to act fast. Because people watch Twitter in a real-time manner, the ability for someone to … come in and immediately act on it is a unique phenomenon to the culture of Twitter.”