A revolutionary new product that enables passengers to pay for their flight using their twitter account has been unveiled by the aerospace social media consultancy firm, The Travel Strategist. 17 months in the making, the product is expected be a game changer for the industry.
Pioneered by social media consultant Steven Frischling (@flyingwithfish), the aptly named TweetAFlight will combine the new e-commerce Twitter platform Chirpify with the flexibility of Paypal, completely transforming twitter from a social media sharing platform into a transactional tool.
Once the passenger has registered their details with a participating airline, they will be able to make one step transactions through their twitter account. For example, an airline puts out a TweetAFlight tweet “Early bird tickets – $100 r/t #LAX to #JFK this Tuesday! Reply “BUY” to purchase! #travel #deal.” A keen follower of their airline or someone who has searched out the appropriate hashtags would simply reply with “BUY” and the seat is sold. Passengers then have their data transferred to the airline’s ticketing system and the payment is securely processed using PayPal.
The platform has received a largely positive reception from both passengers and airlines, its developer and the mind behind KLM’s successful social media presence, Steven Frischling, recognises what it can deliver for the civil aviation sector. “This will show people in the industry that social media can be used directly to drive sales [...] airlines can actually justify using twitter.”
The software that will power TweetAFlight, Chirpify, is now widely available in the US and since February has seen a massive popularity growth for use in both large and small businesses. The advantage for passengers being that once they have registered their details with an airline, they will also be automatically registered with Chirpify, allowing them to use TweetAFlight with alternative airlines if the provider is part of the initiative.
The Travel Strategist see the platform being used to sell seats that would have otherwise been empty, generating revenue that had the potential to be lost through far less targetted deals online. Currently, the closest rival to Frischling’s system is KLM’s twitter booking system, which uses a series of links, rather than an instant transaction to arrange last minute seating.
“What we wanted to do is provide a system that was proactive, rather than reactive [...] the average attention span of a twitter user is 2.8 seconds, once they click a link to a flight booking screen, the average conversation rate is just 48%. Our system takes that out of the equation, offering potential passengers the chance to buy tickets there and then across the social network.”
There is one airline currently negotiating the exclusive first use of TweetAFlight through its company twitter page. Reports suggests that the airline is by no means currently at the forefront of social media tech and are extremely open to how they will use TweetAFlight as a valuable sales and marketing tool.