Since the world has gone ga-ga for Twitter, corporations have been trying to figure out how to take advantage of the popularity of the micro-blogging service. Some airlines are trying out Twitter-only discounted airfares to fill seats. (United calls them “Twares.” JetBlue calls theirs “Cheeps.” I’m sure there are others, but it’s still not the norm for airlines to offer these.)
But these deep discounts come with fine print. This past Friday, USA Today’s Ben Mutzabaugh posted that United’s most recent $118 all-in Tware between Chicago and Philadelphia didn’t earn Mileage Plus miles. Comments started rolling in, protesting the change — these were published fares, after all, why wouldn’t they earn miles?
These fares last only a short time — typically two or three hours — and the fare’s terms and conditions are no longer visible online.
I asked for clarification. Specifically, I tweeted for clarification. I asked United, in under 140 characters:
Within an hour, their response:
Not an encyclopedic answer, but this much is clear: All Twares are not created equal. Some are normal deep discount fares, much like weekend e-fares. Others aren’t. Another layer of complication in the airfare and frequent flyer game.
If miles matter to you, and if Twitter-only fares are up your alley, then you’ll need to read the fine print before you click the purchase button.