Lufthansa MySkyStatus lets passengers auto-tweet their flight position

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Lufthansa USA has rolled out a new tool that lets air travelers share their location during their journeys via Twitter and Facebook. Called MySkyStatus, the application takes a user’s flight information, including departure and arrival data, and matches it to real-time global air traffic data. It then synchronises with their Facebook or Twitter page, posting regular updates about departure, arrival and even which country they are flying over. The messages also come with a link to a Google Maps mashup that shows their plane’s location. MySkyStatus users can choose whether to have only their departures and arrivals shared or also send messages (as often as hourly) with updates of their positions in the air.

The MySkyStatus service is part of Lufthansa’s new marketing campaign ‘Passion for Precision’, and aims to back up the carrier’s reputation for punctuality. Passengers do not have to be travelling with Lufthansa to use the service.  Every update is ‘lufthansa-branded’ (a short “powered by Lufthansa” is tacked on to every update), so those using the service for flights on other carriers will still be delivering some free promotion for Lufthansa.

According to Wayne Arnold of Lufthansa’s digital agency, Profero, the MySkyStatus tool connects with the current trend for real-time communications (a.k.a ‘The Now Web’): “It’s that fascination of your friends knowing what you’re doing. We were joking this could replace the out-of-office automated e-mail message.”

Update 11 January 2009 | Lufthansa has just introduced additional features to MySkyStatus.com: travelers can now send updates via email and also share their reason for flying. Since its launch, MySkyStatus users have sent some 17,000 automatic tweets.

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