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Airlines and Travel Brands to Follow Right Now on Instagram

December 27, 2011 at 1:09 PM | by | ()

And just like that, social photo sharing app Instagram is super hot. Sure it's only just celebrated its one-year anniversary as an iPhone app, but recent contests and exposure given to it by brands and influential figures in social media have pushed it over the edge. Heck, we jumped in head first! And we're freaking loving it. (Follow us by searching "jaunted" & "hotelchatter" in the app).

It's not just people posting images of their kids eating birthday cake or close-ups of kitty paws, either; Instagram seems to be spreading most rapidly among those interested in design, architecture, analogue photography, nature and—of course—the rest of the world. This is where travel images enter the game, and the airlines are paying attention.

We ran a fine-toothed comb through Instagram to find the airlines you need to follow now, and who else to watch:

Airlines to follow now:

Air Asia: (Instagram: airasia) Air Asia is one of the airlines we first followed on Instagram, because they're actually quite active. Whether it's showing off their Christmas tree or Instagramming pics taken track-side at their Lotus racing events, Air Asia is totally into it.

bmiBaby: (Instagram: bmibaby) 143 photos and very active, bmibaby is totally worth following. They've even occasionally used their own tag, #bmibabygram, and their subjects are a mix of their own planes and graphics to advertise their airfare sales.

British Airways: (Instagram: british_airways) 43 photos and spectacularly on-message. We look forward to every image they share, recent ones being their Speedbird Centre (the British Airways Museum), a retro BA bag and a look at an Airbus A380.

JetBlue: (Instagram: jetblue_airways) There's only 7 photos, but they include Chris Isaak performing at T5 and an out-the-window look at clouds between JFK and LGB. Still, the photos are relatively recent so we have hope.

KLM: (Instagram: klm) Trust KLM to be on top of things, as they've already shared some 83 photos using a variety of the available Instagram filters. We most enjoy the details their images reveal, like messages on the bottom of in-flight waste bags, or candy specially made to celebrate the anniversary of their crown logo.

Southwest: (Instagram: southwestair) Hands down, Southwest is the airline with the best grip on Instagram. As of today, they've shared 96 photos, the most recent only this morning. It's a great behind-the-scenes look at the airline (Gumby driving a baggage belt loader!), and it's got us majorly coveting a Southwest-Airtran rubber ducky.

Virgin America: (Instagram: virgin_america) 40 photos as of today, and all recent. It's obvious from the shots that they're totally in love with their own wingtips, sunrises and sunsets. Planeporn to the max.

Airlines to watch:

Air Asia, Thailand: (Instagram: airasiathailand) There's only two photos and they haven't been active in months, but we're watching anyway.

Air France: (Instagram: airfrance) Air France did an Instagram promotion where they encouraged French users to tag their Air France photos with "#SpotAirFrance." It's over, but the Air France account is still there, ripe for more activity.

American Airlines: (Instagram: americanair) They've only posted 8 photos and haven't updated in weeks, but this account could have real potential if only someone would take charge of it.

BMI: (Instagram: flybmi) Only three photos and spectacularly random, but they're going through a thing right now, so maybe give them some time.

Brussels Airlines: (Instagram: flyingbrussels) Brussels Airlines recently announced they'll be resuming flights to JFK in 2012, so perhaps it's time to take a look at them again, via Instagram.

EasyJet: (Instagram: easyjet) Three photos including their Christmas tree. Will we see any more? Time will tell.

Frontier: (Instagram: frontierairlines) Maybe give up on Frontier, since they've also only uploaded three images and the last was some 21 weeks ago. C'mon, Frontier.

SAS: (Instagram: flysas) Scandinavia's airline just joined Instagram within two hours of this story posting. Immediately they've shared 3 photos, including one showing off new economy seats to reach their planes in May 2012. Totally impressive (not to mention fast) of them.

Virgin Atlantic: (Instagram: virginatlantic) They seem to just be getting started on Instagram, with 5 photos. We're hoping for more of course, because they've got planes painted with pin-ups, and those at least deserve an Instagram or two. Or two hundred.

WestJet: (Instagram: westjet) Yep, Canada's in the Instagram game, but just barely. WestJet has only begun to share their images, which include snaps of their new employees and their HQ.

Other Aviation accounts:

aeroplan (just joined within one hour of this story posting! yippee!)

Other travel brands:


Final reminder to follow us on Instagram (names: jaunted, hotelchatter), as we post at least one original photo per day from our own globe-trotting! Know of any other travel brands or travelers we should be following? Share 'em in the comments!

[Photos: Instagram]

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