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8,237,691. As of 9:30am EST today, that impressive number is the total number of Facebook "likes" for just one airline, Qatar Airways. Facebook may see almost 1.4 billion active users every month, but that 8+ million number for Qatar officially makes them the world's most "liked" airline on Facebook.
Qatar's alliance buddy, American Airlines, only counts 1.8 million likes, and competitor Emirates is at least half-way there with 4.4 million likes (maybe you've seen their recent big push in sponsored Facebook ads?).
Forget Black Friday. The best airfare deals won't be coming from the airline themselves, but via a little website named The Flight Deal.
An algorithm regularly unearths airfares you'd be tempted to consider "too good to be true," but then the TFD staff steps in to vet them and, once confirmed, posts these deals for you to jump on. Today, for example, they've highlighted $273 Seattle-Orlando, $592 Newark-Paris/Oslo, and $765 Denver-Taipei.
The Flight Deal's raison d'être is clear and squarely for the benefit of you, the cost-conscious traveler: "we will only publish fares that meet a simple criterion: 6 cents per mile." Under this rule, a nonstop roundtrip from New York to Barcelona "should never be more than $425." We've scored many, many unbelievable deals via TFD, such as New York-Vienna for ~$300, Detroit-Aruba for ~$230, and Los Angeles-Hong Kong for ~$550.
They're kind of our secret weapon; this Thanksgiving, we know for what/whom we're most thankful (hint: it's TheFlightDeal).
Airline News / PEOPLExpress / Airlines / LCCs / PHF / Virginia Travel / Facebook / Bad Ideas / Social Media / → All Tags
It's been nearly three weeks since fledgling airline PEOPLExpress announced they'd be putting a temporary stop to both flights and new bookings, and there's still no solid news on when the budget carrier will again take to the skies. There is, however, some odd activity on Facebook.
A notice on the flypex.com website appeared on September 26, explaining the shutdown as a result of "recent aircraft and crew availability and maintenance issues." The initial promise was to resume flights "on or about Oct. 16" and celebrate inaugural service from their base at Newport News/Williamsburg, VA to Orlando and Charleston, WV on the same day. Of course, as the calendar today flips to October 20 and PEOPLExpress remains grounded, that goal won't be met.
EW GROSS / Bad Ideas / That is Nasty / Passenger Shaming / Health Travel / Flight Attendants / Tourists / Facebook / → All Tags
The struggle is real.
Flying in Economy Class isn't the steak dinner and ample legroom experience it once was, and travelers have adapted to the lessening space and tightened liberties remarkably well; that is, until you view the Passenger Shaming Facebook page (and it's not just limited to Economy).
Started by a flight attendant in early 2013, the page has amassed over 200,000 "likes" of the submitted photos of passengers behaving badly. It's spread to Instagram and Twitter, not to mention spawned a small line of T-shirts.
Although it began with the aim of allowing cabin crew to vent frustration with ill-mannered and unhygienic flyers, it now welcomes image submissions from anyone and anywhere. Some have even spotted themselves among the shamed; as you can imagine, they're not flattered by the attention.
In order to stay out of the Hall of Passenger Shame, follow these few simple rules of in-flight etiquette:
Denmark Travel / Tourism / Social Media / Instagram / Twitter / Facebook / Copenhagen Travel / → All Tags
Denmark sees its fair share of tourists throughout the year, and enjoys its position a quick train or plane ride away from other Northern European capitals. Alas, the goal is always to attract more tourists, and now the country’s tourism board has figured a novel way to do so through social media. It’s one part marketing and one part tourism, as they aid in promoting the country while also appealing to those already there.
The campaign involves posting street signs with suggested hashtags at Denmark's "most shareable places."
Travel Photography / Airline Blogs / KLM / AMS / Amsterdam Travel / Tourists / Citizens of the Airport / Humans of New York / Facebook / → All Tags
Humans of New York, the photography project with nearly 10 million Facebook fans, 1.6 million Instagram followers, and a bestselling book, went international this season. The man behind HONY, Brandon Stanton, headed out with UNICEF on a 50-day trip through 10 countries, designed to apply his style to a broader (and certainly more war-torn) base.
HONY also has another current international connection, as KLM has been inspired enough to adapt the Humans of New York style in the creation of their "Citizens of the Airport" (COTA) series. Through portraits and small interviews, the airline gets up close with individual travelers at Amsterdam-Schiphol Airport to learn a little of their life around each particular journey.
Travel Contests / Social Media / Twitter / Vine / Facebook / Instagram / Croatia Travel / → All Tags
Love them or hate them selfies are here to stay, so go ahead and use them to your advantage—like to score a free trip over to Croatia.
The country’s tourism board is taking advantage of our social media narcissism, and they’re rewarding one lucky person with a trip to the country. The rules seem pretty simple; basically you need to take and share a selfie using the hashtags #lovecroatia or #sharecroatia. After that a free trip might just be yours, as they’re giving away round-trip airfare and a 7-night stay along the country’s picturesque coast.
New Airlines / PEOPLExpress / PHF / Virginia Travel / Social Media / Facebook / Twitter / Airline News / Travel News / Budget Travel / LCCs - / → All Tags
In case you missed the news, know that PEOPLExpress is heading into the skies above the nifty fifty once again, and tickets for the new low-cost carrier are definitely budget-friendly. If you don't completely trust a brand new airline enough to give them your vacation money, we understand, which is why following them and their deals on social media is a solid idea.
PEOPLExpress is already busy doing their thing over on Facebook, and you can head over there to see what they’re up to. Unfortunately, we don’t see any current promotions, contests, or other deals right now—but there is a good-looking picture of their plane in its white and green livery. The other day, however, their Facebook page teased a $40 discount, so long as those who wanted to book called into the 844-4FLYPEX number and mentioned it. No idea if they’ll do this again, but it might be worth it to keep an eye out.
When it come to selecting an economy seat for a flight, there is a very limited platform on which you can base your decision. There are two decisions to make: Aisle or middle, and front or back. Other than that, it's a blind decision, most notably in terms of who ends up being your seatmate. The classic complaint always revolves around an annoying seatmate who talks your ear off all flight, but is this only because we typically sit next to people with whom we have nothing in common?
South African Airways thinks so, and is launching a new feature called Social Check-In to help people select their seats based on common interests with other passengers. The concept is pretty simple. When you check in online, you can choose to share select Facebook details, such as your interests or upcoming events, which are then available for other passengers to see when they are selecting their seats. Passengers can then vet the value of empty seats by evaluating who is occupying the ones adjacent to it.
What else is there to see in the sky this season? After today's first solar eclipse of 2014 (visible only in Australia and Antarctica), thirst is high for more nights spent with an eye to the sky. For a clue or two, we turn to one of our favorite Facebook pages, i fucking love science (IFLS). The page, which describes its mission as existing for "the funny side of science...quotes, jokes, memes and anything your admin finds awesome and strange," has over 13 million "likers."
Filed in among those memes and jokes is some spectacularly useful information, good enough to inspire summer travels. For example, take their quick guide to dates with celestial events (above) and meteor showers (below).
Travel Contests / Facebook / Social Media / Hawaii Travel / Cruise Travel / Alaska Travel / Belize Travel / United / Free Stuff / → All Tags
We realize travel budgets may be limited, but it’s free to dream. This is where contests come into the picture, as there’s alway these current contests:
Enter between now and April 30th each and every day, as United Airlines is giving away some airfare over to Belize as part of the My Coke Rewards program. Apparently if Belize isn't your preferred destinations things can be changed, as options across the United States and Central America are also open to the winners. It's all part of Earth Day celebrations, as they want you to learn all about United and their commitment to the environment. The link above will fill you in on the rules and regulations, and you'll be one-step closer to scoring something with an a approximate retail value of $1,050.
Awesome Stuff / Legos / Toy Travel / Instagram / Facebook / Twitter / Social Media / Airlines / AvGeek / Pilots / → All Tags
Lindbergh. Earhart. Yeager.
Let's face itaviators are the epitome of cool. Heck, even fictitious pilots like Top Gun's Maverick get all the girls, so frankly we're shocked it's taken so long for the internet generation to devise a character as brilliant as The Lego Pilot.
Jetting around the world in his perfectly pressed uniform, The Lego Pilot spends days sharing his "office views" and favorite layover locations with fans on social media. Though his body may be made of plastic building blocks, his personality is very much alive on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter. He's essentially a fully conceptualized and storified version of Lufthansa's "Pilot Diary" Instagram series from August 2013, which we heralded as "a revelation for airline social media."
Recent travels have transported The Lego Pilot to London, Hong Kong, Spain's Costa del Sol, Dubai, and Marrakech...and that's only since the beginning of March when the accounts initiated.
We won't spoil all the fun for you (follow him!), but below are a few of our favorite The Lego Pilot moments. Enjoy!