Would you check in for a Delta flight on Facebook?

By John Walton, March 24 2011
Would you check in for a Delta flight on Facebook?

Delta Airlines has revamped its Facebook app, Ticket Counter, allowing passengers to check in online and pick up a boarding pass via the social networking site, before telling all their friends about it on Facebook.

But will business travellers on Delta's Sydney to Los Angeles flights like it -- or Like it? 

Passengers could previously book tickets on using the FaceBook app, but this update adds the ability to check flight status, SkyMiles frequent flyer balance and whether there'll be in-flight features like Wi-Fi. (Hint: from Australia, that's a 'no'.)

But you can do all of that via Delta's website. The real bonus of the Facebook app -- like Malaysia Airlines' MHBuddy -- is that you can tell your Facebook friends about your travel. (Unlike Malaysia's, though, Delta doesn't help you sit next to friends who are on the same flight.) 

As a trend, Facebook integration is at least showing that airlines are interested in using technology that passengers actually use themselves.

But Facebook isn't exactly core business technology, with many corporate networks banning it from their systems over security and timewasting concerns.

No airline as yet has developed technology to tie into LinkedIn, the social network of choice for business use.

And there may well be security implications for developing an app for use within Facebook. Delta says of its new Ticket Counter app: "it’s just as safe and secure as delta.com". That could be taken more as an indictment of delta.com than praise for Facebook, which has been criticised for playing fast and loose with privacy settings.

Unlike the Delta website, the Ticket Counter app requires Flash, so you won't be able to use it on an iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch or any other device that isn't Flash-capable.

Would you use it to check in and share your flight details? Or is it gimmicky and aimed at the tourist market? Tell us what you think in the comments section below.

John Walton

Aviation journalist and travel columnist John took his first long-haul flight when he was eight weeks old and hasn't looked back since. Well, except when facing rearwards in business class.

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