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“Like” Travel Deals? How Facebook makes it easy to save

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Why not "like" DB Bahn on Facebook?
Why not "like" DB Bahn on Facebook?

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.

Fast results

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?

It goes without saying that EuroCheapo is on your list (on Facebook; @EuroCheapo), but perhaps you’re trying to decide between flying across Germany or taking the train?

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.

About the author

Hilary Bown

An academic by training, a writer by day, and a Cheapo by heritage, Hilary Bown's meagre means and insatiable travel appetite have helped her sharpen her "no-budget travel" skills across the European continent over the past decade. At home in Berlin or on an adventure abroad, you'll find her in sandals, riding the bus, reading novels while walking, drinking the local wine, writing out postcards with a felt-tip pen, and browsing the shelves of the supermarket and hardware store. Find her unique blend of travel adventure and tested advice at Less Than a Shoestring.

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2 thoughts on ““Like” Travel Deals? How Facebook makes it easy to save”

  1. Greetings S&N and thanks for your comment.

    In recent memory, there was the 5-euro mobile ticket coupon you describe, as well as another 10-euro coupon deal for playing an (easy) quiz game. In both cases, the coupon codes could be saved and used for travel at any point until 30. April. These codes could also be shared with other travelers. There was plenty of time to plan ahead and save, when possible. Interconnex also offers specials on FB.

    Whether DB offers exactly what you’d like to see from them? I doubt it. Most of the time when I’m searching for travel (or riding the rails), they make me want to stamp my foot in frustration. But their FB and Twitter teams make it possible for you to offer that feedback in a forum where others can “like” and comment about it. Recently I had a problem searching for a ticket with an extended layover; when I posted about this on the DB FB page, he was able to duplicate the error and pass it on to IT folks, while offering me a work-around at the same time. How long do you think I would have sat on 01805xxxxxx trying to resolve such an issue?!

    Many of these offers may not be exclusive to FB users, but that wasn’t necessarily the point of the post. Adding a company to your feed (i.e. granting them permission to send you targeted advertising) is an easy way to keep tabs on the specials they’re running or on developments that might interest you, in a form that’s lighter than an email for those with oversaturated inboxes. No registration required, “unsubscribe” in an instant.

    The benefits of engaging with travel companies over social media extends beyond the savings factor, as the rest of the post also tries to make clear.

    Which sources do you recommend for travel savings with DB (or any other company)?

    Reply
  2. .
    Interesting post, Hilary. But is it actually the case that the Deutsche Bahn’s lacklustre Facebook pages are replete with special offers geared solely for Facebook users? We think not.

    Yes, they launched their Facebook presence back in 2010 with a special €25 anywhere in Germany offer (called the ChefTicket if we recall correctly), which was effectively a €4 discount on the regular DauerSpezial €29 fare, but was MORE EXPENSIVE if your elected journey would have been eligible for the cheaper €19 Dauerspezial.

    The only other DB Facebook offer that we have noted was earlier this year when they offered 1000 vouchers, each valid for a €5 discount off a regular fare, provided that the purchase was made as a mobile phone ticket (called HandyTicket in DB speak). These vouchers were distributed in a ‘happy hour’ – the precise time of which was not pre-announced. All we knew was that they would be made available within a 13-day period in February. Naturally, folk hovered round Facebook like flies round a bulb at night. And, as they hovered, the price for their prescribed journeys rose by €5, €10, €20 or more. We think those putative travellers would have saved more if they had just gone ahead and booked at once, rather than enduring the Facebook diversion.

    We’d love to hear of Facebook-specific deals from the Deutsche Bahn, Hilary. But although we follow these things, we simply have not seen any.

    Susanne Kries and Nicky Gardner
    editors of hidden europe magazine (www.hiddeneurope.co.uk)
    and
    editors of Europe by Rail: The Definitive Guide for Independent Travellers (Thomas Cook Publishing, 2012).

    Reply

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