Normally, top perks when it comes to travel are restricted to the most loyal customers of the airlines and hotels.
The quid-pro-quo -- give us your business, and we'll make your experience better -- has been the driving force behind lounges and hotel executive clubs for decades now, but social media could be about to chance all that.
Last week, Cathay Pacific announced a plan to allow flyers access to its First and Business Class Lounge in San Francisco based on their 'Klout' score, a measurement of social influence on sites such as Twitter, as measured by startup Klout.
The promotion runs through July and effectively gives those with enough influence free access to Cathay Pacific perks in a hitherto untested way -- prove you've got a Klout score of over 40, and you're in, no questions asked, even if you're not flying with the airline.
It's an interesting development which is unlikely to stay restricted to just one airline -- Klout has reportedly been working with hospitality brands too to give users access to better hotel rooms, so an announcement may not be far off.
Even back in 2010, the Palms Hotel in Las Vegas was using Klout scores in its reservations process.
In an interview with technology publication Wired last month, a Klout official also predicted that users with formidable Klout scores will soon get to board planes earlier, suggesting its deals with airlines won't stop with the lounge.
With the average Klout score well below 40 (around 20, in fact), travelers who want to make the cut when it comes to the elite should bear the following in mind.
Klout is based on 'true reach' - effectively, the number of people you influence, or followersIt's also about amplification, or how many people act upon content you post, either by replying or sharing furtherIt also measures interactions with others - how often your content is spread by others seen as top influencers.The only person in the world with a 'perfect' Klout score of 100 is Justin Bieber.