JetBlue and United Airlines are pushing the first taste of cheap fares out on Twitter. They hope to use what USA Today calls the “uber-trendy form of messaging” to push seats on flights that may have vacant seats prior to wheels-up. After deals appear, they don’t always stick around long. JetBlue’s first “Cheep” (a variation on “tweet”) offered a $9 one-way fare from JFK to Nantucket. The model that’s emerging puts JetBlue’s fare tweets out on Monday mornings and offers around eight hours to act on them.
United Airlines has had its “twares” in action since May, and the element of surprise is a factor. The discounts can be released without warning, and there’s no discernable schedule. The deals can live for as little as two hours, forcing Twitter-using travelers to act fast.