Exclusive: Fly.com to Twitter best flight deals

Fly.com, Travelzoo’s flights meta search site, is to launch live feeds promoting flight deals at UK regional airports on Twitter.

The move follows the launch of similar Twitter feeds in the US in mid-November and will initially focus on core departure points like London, Manchester and Glasgow.

The San Francisco Twitter feed already has nearly 3,000 followers and with around two deals tweeted per day it is hoped it will offer a valuable service for avid flyers.

UK managing director Chris Loughlin said he did not expect fly.com to benefit commercially from the feeds initially, but that it would broaden the firm’s reach to its online community.

“At the moment it’s not really about making money, it’s about creating a service offering high quality information that’s honest.

“A lot of what you are seeing on Twitter is for people who have an interest or hobby or are generally obsessed about something. This is simply for people who are obsessed about flying.”

Travelzoo has said it is wary of using Twitter to spam every deal it receives and will use the Twitter feeds to promote only those deals considered unique or the very best.

Loughlin said linking the feeds to particular airports or cities will help weed out the precise information the user wants.

Fly.com was launched in the UK last August and claims to have 500,000 unique users a month, still some way short of the likes of Skyscanner but a level Travelzoo said it is happy with.

The meta search site will be linked to Travelzoo with a new “go to” widget placed at the bottom of deals pages that display relevant flights for the accommodation or hotel deal.

This will allow subscribers to confirm their flights before taking advantage of the hotel deal.

Yesterday Travelzoo announced its European subscribers surpassed 3.6 million by the end of 2009 after 1.38 million were added, the largest annual increase since operations began in Europe in 2005.

Loughlin said: “2009 was a remarkable year for Travelzoo’s European publications in terms of subscriber growth.

“The economic downturn spurred more travellers than ever to turn to Travelzoo to help find the perfect deal. Travellers across the world simply want the facts on how they can get the best deal, that’s what we do.”

Travelzoo revealed Hilton Hotels 2010 January sale which kicked off on December 26 was the year’s most popular deal attracting 270,000 click throughs, 100,000 up on the same promotion in 2008.

Danny Barrasso, Hilton online marketing and retailing director, said working with the deals publisher gave it access to over three million potential customers who trust its recommendations.

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