ATLANTA — Some travelers stranded by the great snowstorm of 2010 discovered a new lifeline for help. When all else fails, Twitter might be the best way to book a seat home.
Although airlines reported a doubling or tripling of Twitter traffic during the latest storm, the number of travelers who use Twitter is still small. Only about 8 percent of people who go online use Twitter, said Lee Rainie, director of the Pew Internet and American Life Project, a nonprofit organization that studies the social impact of the Internet.
“This is still the domain of elite activist customers,” Mr. Rainie said.
Sometimes, just connecting with someone at an airline can calm angry passengers.
"What you constantly hear from airline passengers is, 'Just tell me what's going on. I can adjust my travel expectations and my personal life if I just know what's going on,'" Mr. Rainie said.
He also said that stranded families were using their gadgets in a team approach to getting answers.
"Mom would be on Twitter, Dad on Facebook, Junior would be searching sites and whoever hit pay dirt first is the way the family would figure out what to do next," he said.Read More