cruise_holidayWould you klout your way into a better travel experience? Turns out you might be able to if you have a high enough social media score—or klout rating. Hotels and airlines are considering offering upgrades to customers who have a lot of followers on Twitter or many friends on Facebook.

Is that a good idea? We debated the issue in a lively TravelingMom Monday Twitter Party on October 18, 2010.

Some Twitter partiers said they thought giving upgrades to people who are extremely popular online is akin to providing perks to frequent flyers. Others said they don’t need a big following on Facebook to get a better room at the inn. They just ask nicely.

Have you ever tried to score a travel upgrade? Did it work?


@ConnieFoggles: I’ve tried and it’s worked a few times with hotels.

@thegeekwife: Good suggestion: If you are on honeymoon/anniversary let it be known, sometimes they will upgrade you for free.

@xstitchschool: No. Afraid of rejection.


Surprisingly, a lot of moms were a little nervous about asking for upgrades…

mountainsDo you think hotels/airlines should offer upgrades to people with klout?


@flywithbaby: I have my own business and I don’t give discounts to people passed on klout.

@WeekendInParis: Most airlines have automated upgrade system now so workers can’t just upgrade- computers decides, hotels- yes, ask!

@ambergrace: Absolutely, why not? I’d love to use my online status in ‘real life’!

Have you ever used your klout to trash or promote a hotel?

@GoBIG_GoHome: If you want to be a viable source, you have to be objective. Readers are smart enough to see through gloss.

@Lorraine_TLA: At one hotel the carpet in the room was filthy and the hotel wasn’t cheap. I wrote about its good points, but I couldn’t leave that out.

@AllTravelSites: We don’t trash but give constructive criticism.

Is measuring Klout a new way to discriminate?


@xstitchschool: I think of it less as a discrimination more of a reward.

@stressfreebaby: …It’s discrimination, but so is charging more for a better room—it discriminates against those without $$.

@_ink_mama: Depends on who is judging. Some people discriminate based on any number of things (including klout).

@coffeewithjulie: I think discriminate is too strong. Perks are a common industry standard for heavy consumers, repeat customers.


Are social media peeps selling out by using their klout to wrangle a travel upgrade?


@travelingmoms: I pay as a consumer all the time. I do love it when I get a nice upgrade.

@CindyRichards: They’re selling out if they don’t tell the truth- if they get bad service, they need to report that too.

@JenniferMiner: People who use their #klout to wrangle upgrades must be transparent in doing so and disclose as such IMO.

@xstitchschool: No I don’t think they are selling out…if you can get an upgrade go for it!

Overall tweeters didn’t think it was bad as long as they’re keeping it honest…

packed_suitcaseWhat’s another term for social media klout? What would you call it?


@CindyRichards:Twitter Power?? Facebook Flaunts??

@HIP2HOUSEWIFE: Social Media Klout is when more people RT you than you RT.

@ramblingstump: or would it be tweetravler? The biggest little bird on deck.

@ciesla504: oh I know!! “OPRAH”!!!

Join us next Monday from 9-10 pm ET for another TravelingMom Monday Twitter party.Next week, we talk travel disasters with Travel Guard, sponsor of the Unluckiest Traveler contest, as our sponsor.

Past Twitter Party Fun

Read the sometimes hilarious (don’t miss the ideas for flight attendants uniforms if there were family-only sections on planes) recaps of our previous TravelingMom Monday Twitter parties:

October 11, 2010: Discovering America

October 4, 2010: Karate Kid

September 27, 2010: Electronics on Vacation

September 20, 2010: Uber Fans

September 13, 2010: Packing Tips

September 6, 2010: Family-Only Sections on Planes

August 30, 2010: 3-Day Weekends

August 23, 2010: Back to School

August 16, 2010: Travel Rage

August 2, 2010: Cooking on Vacation