Airline ticket booking via Facebook goes live
US airline Delta has become the first to allow the booking of tickets directly through its Facebook page.
The news is likely to be a blow to budget airline EasyJet, which reportedly said earlier this year that it planned to become the first airline to permit direct booking via Facebook.
Currently, any travel information submitted using Facebook reroutes the user to EasyJet's own site, but the Delta facility enables any Facebook user to book travel through a "ticket window" on Delta's fan page, removing the need to navigate to Delta.com.
For the US carrier, the functionality is the first in a series of steps of changes to its customer-facing technology, which will also include the ability to book flights directly from banner adverts on other websites.
"We're now delivering technology where our customers are –- from our own website to our Facebook page to Internet news sites and beyond," said Bob Kupbens, Delta's vice president of eCommerce.
"We already know Facebook is the most used website by inflight WiFi users on more than 2,000 Delta flights every day, giving us the natural launching point for a new online Ticket Window."
Airlines have been quick to embrace social media, regularly using Facebook pages and Twitter streams to provide flight updates or respond to customer service queries.
Taking the cue from pioneers such as JetBlue, airlines often offer special deals to their social media fans - earlier in August, Virgin America launched a 24-hour sale on Twitter, saying that flyers should "grab a seat and retweet."
Now that Delta has cracked the technology necessary to book via Facebook, travelers can expect other airlines to follow suit.
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