Social networks have revitalized customer/corporate contact across the travel industry — angry passengers receive immediate responses to their hasty tweets; travelers stuck on a train can expect answers within minutes to a Facebook post questioning the reason for their delay.
Due to the far reach of the negative word on the web and the success with which they’ve been able to appease some of their loudest customers, numerous airlines, railway companies, and other travel service providers are putting more people behind these efforts, to connected consumer benefit.
In a pinch, the speed with which you can gather information and make educated decisions for altering your current travel plans or seek recourse in the event of total travel disaster is invaluable. It pays to connect; so, fellow savvy traveler, what are you waiting for? If you are a frequent flier of a specific airline, for example, log on to your favorite social media outlet right now and “like” their page or “follow” their tweets for a flavor of this action.
By practicing first with a company you know, you’ll come to understand better how this type of media is used to reach out to consumers and how consumers are able to reach directly back, sans long waits and muzak. Then you can easily put this knowledge to use when planning your next adventure.
Who do you like?
Add some new companies to your menu like Germanwings (on Facebook; @germanwings) or Deutsche Bahn (on Facebook; @DB_Bahn; @DB_Info). In addition to updates on changes in service, sales, special offers, and the like, there are frequent opportunities to win free tickets (unlikely) or coupons for discounts on travel (nearly guaranteed) which can add up to significant savings.
Once you’ve gotten the hang of it, don’t limit yourself — this trick has saved me money on train tickets, movies, museums, and cultural performances worldwide. The truly brave can graduate to international Groupon offers!
Are you “like” minded?
Has being connected saved your tail or saved you a tenner? Share your experiences in the comments.