Virgin America launches real-time deals with Loopt

Virgin America launches real-time deals with LooptVirgin America, the airline that always seems to be on the cutting edge with in-flight entertainment and passenger satisfaction, is launching a new initiative to keep customers happy before they even board their flight. Virgin America’s new program “VX Deals on the Fly” has it teaming up with the mobile check-in company Loopt to offer deals at the airline’s hub at San Francisco International (SFO).

To unlock real-time deals, passengers at SFO must use Loopt to check in at T2, the spanking new Terminal 2 where San Francisco-based Virgin America is an anchor tenant, then watch a short video about the terminal’s modern and sustainable design. “A Day in the Life of SFO’s T2” does an excellent job of making the airport almost as inviting as the onward destination. [Watch it here.]

VX Deals on the Fly range from discounts at restaurants and shops within T2 to deals on Virgin America flights. Here’s a full list of VX Deals on the Fly available through December 22, 2011:

  • Cat Cora’s Kitchen: a complimentary dessert when you order two tapas.
  • Kiehl’s: Two complimentary product samples.
  • Natalie’s Candy Jar: 15 percent off discounts on bulk candy.
  • Napa Farms Market: $1.00 off TCHO chocolate bars or Napa Farmhouse marmalades.
  • Hotel escape offers from $315 through the Elevate® loyalty program’s partner Morgans Hotel Group’s Boutique and Lifestyle Hotels, including Clift in San Francisco and Mondrian in Los Angeles.
  • Car rental: $15 off your next green car rental at SFO.
  • Virgin America: 10-20 percent off last minute travel discounts as well as random two-for-one and free flight offers for future trips.

Yes, that’s right. Checking in at T2 with Loopt could possibly land you a two-for-one flight deal or a free flight from Virgin America. To learn more about VX Deals on the Fly, visit the Virgin America and Loopt websites.

Social media addicts get hotel points when they jones for recognition

Does check-in mean more to you than a pretty girl at the front desk, fumbling with your credit card and a humble request for an upgrade? If this expression instead reminds you that you’ve been the uncontested mayor of your tiny cubicle for the past seven and a half months – and you like to travel – has you in mind. This new social media service seeks to score hotel points for you based on foursquare, Gowalla, Loopt and a handful of other networks.

So far, Standard Hotels is previewing Topguest. According to CNET:

Right now, there are two rewards in place: check in to all four Standard hotels in the course of a week (which involves being in New York, Los Angeles, and Miami) and earn a complimentary week’s stay at any one of them), or check in to Standard establishments ten times and receive a 25 percent reservation discount.

Okay, so the perks are a little thin right now. But, if Standard can wrangle the addicts, look for the other hotels to get on board.

GadlingTV’s Travel Talk 008: Chilean drinking game, inside Loopt for the iPad, & ‘Bring Your Own Big Wheels’!

GadlingTV’s Travel Talk, episode 8 – Click above to watch video after the jump
Bring your own big wheels! Join in this week for a San Francisco flashmob tradition that involves steep wet streets, plastic tricycles, and a need for speed.

We’ll look into the origins of legal drinking ages on airplanes, temporary marriage in Shi’ite Islam, protests against the protests in Thailand, top-secret Russian ships turned airplanes, and why most of U.S foreign aid might not be going where you would expect.

If you’re looking to get social in South America, tune in to see Vanessa teach us how to play a Chilean drinking game and then relax with some spiced Chai in Tea Time. We’ll also take an exclusive look at Loopt’s brand new iPad application with the company’s co-founder, Alok Deshpande.

If you have any questions or comments about Travel Talk, you can email us at talk AT gadling DOT com.

Subscribe via iTunes:
[iTunes] Subscribe to the Show directly in iTunes (M4V).
[RSS M4V] Add the Travel Talk feed (M4V) to your RSS aggregator and have it delivered automatically.

Loopt – Discover the world around you.
Going to Russia? Check out the locations of these ekranoplans!
Brush up on your Pyramid rules before you play…

Hosts: Stephen Greenwood, Aaron Murphy-Crews, Drew Mylrea
Special Guests: Alok Deshpande & Vanessa.
Produced, Edited, and Directed by: Stephen Greenwood, Aaron Murphy-Crews, Drew Mylrea



Tea Time
“Tint of Fusion Sitar”
Gokul Salvadi

Travel Tech
“Pipe Dreams”

“All We Need Is Love (Remix)”
Dominic Balli & Mark Suhonen

Adventure of the Week
“Tech Romance”
Her Space Holiday

“Dancefloor Lover”

When cellphones become guidebooks

The technology is almost there. Pretty soon, you’ll be able to ditch your guidebook and rely on your cell phone to tell you that “there is a pet-friendly hotel around the corner”. Should you decide you actually miss your guidebook, your cell phone will be there to tell you “Barnes & Noble, two block north of you, is selling their guidebooks at 75% off.”

CBS announced today that it is testing its cellphone advertising capability, which will be customized for a person’s location. They are partnering up with the social networking service Loopt, a service which allows subscribers to track family and friends on their mobile phones.

Can you imagine getting an ad on your cell phone every time you pass Starbucks? Start cultivating your neurosis now!

Know where your friends are at all times

Whether you’re in a strange city on vacation, or simply in your own hometown, it can often be a challenge to meet up with your friends at a designated place and time. You know how it is; someone’s always running late or getting lost.

Loopt, another cool company brought to us by Stanford grads, aims to eliminate all the waiting and guesswork involved in meeting up.

The technology is simple and works with the GPS signal in your cell phone. Want to know where Landon is with the keg? Just check your cell phone screen and a Loopt map will point out his exact location. In fact, as long as your friends opt in, your phone will tell you wherever they are at any time of the day and even send you an alert if they happen to be nearby.

Very cool, and perhaps even a little scary.

Oh, and you’ll need to be on the Boost or Sprint network for it to work.