SMART TRAVELER

How to pay for flights via apps and social media

You can use Twitter, Apple Pay, or Visa Checkout for travel on Jet Blue, KLM, and Virgin America

Published: May 09, 2015 08:00 AM

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For some time now, airlines have used social media to send promotional deals to travelers. You also use social media apps to book flights, check flight status, use your phone as your boarding pass, and more. Now passengers can book their flights via Facebook or Twitter on KLM Royal Dutch Airlines. JetBlue lets passengers pay for in-flight purchases using Apple Pay. And Virgin America has partnered with Visa Checkout so users can sign in to complete a transaction on a phone, tablet, or computer.

If you want to fly on KLM, which serves 347 destinations, including 14 U.S. cities, you can request fare information on Twitter. You post a message requesting flight details, and KLM will send you a private message with a link to payment options. Your confirmation is sent via social media. You can also change a flight, check-in, choose a seat, order a meal, or arrange to fly with extra baggage via Facebook, LinkedIn, or Twitter.  

On JetBlue, customers can pay for food, beverages, onboard amenities, and upgraded seats with Apple Pay. The service is now offered on select coast-to-coast flights from New York to Los Angeles and San Francisco, but should be available on all flights next month according to the carrier's website. Later this year, it will be connected to the JetBlue app, so you’ll also be able to book flights with Apple Pay.

Visa Checkout users can now tap the Visa Checkout button and provide their username and password to pay for Virgin America flights, meals, or services from a phone, tablet, or PC. The service stores your credit card information when you sign-up (which can be done on Virgin's website).

Want to fly using your frequent flyer miles or points? Our exclusive research shows which airlines book the most award seats

To get the best deal, we recommend you search for the lowest fares by going to sites like Expedia, Kayak, Orbitz, and Travelocity first. Then compare the best rate you uncover to the options you find on the website, Facebook page, or Twitter feed of the airline you've chosen. That way you'll know if a price sent to you via Twitter or promoted on Facebook is really a great fare.

––Mandy Walker (@MandyWalker on Twitter)

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