Tweet at Sheraton If Your Flight Is Delayed, and You Could Win a Drone

Hoping goodwill fills rooms

Through the end of December, Sheraton wants travelers to tweet with the hashtag #delightdelaysweeps to its Twitter account for the chance to win a bevy of prizes. It's a holiday endeavor, attempting to appeal to folks who get stuck in airports in the U.S., Mexico, the U.K., Dubai, France and Germany while trying to visit family and friends. 

Randomly selected winners will receive a direct message on Twitter from the Starwood Hotels and Resorts-owned hospitality brand about their good fortune. Prizes include Sheraton resort vacations, GoPro cameras, drones, high-end headphones, portable charging devices, battery extenders for mobile devices and travel kits.

"[We are putting our] own spin on one of the biggest pain points of the holidays and giving consumers the opportunity to get a little extra delight in their days," said Dave Marr, Sheraton's global brand leader. 

And, of course, if travelers are stranded for a night or two, Sheraton hopes the social-media engagement will lead to room bookings. The brand is also suggesting that Twitter users employ the hashtag when stuck in long holiday shopping lines in the coming weeks. The initiative ties into Sheraton's two-year campaign called "Where Actions Speak Louder," which launched in the fall. 

Flyers will find a "Delight My Delay" kiosk in New York's JFK Airport Terminal 7 on Dec. 21-24 to push the endeavor. Delayed consumers can scan their plane tickets and convert the number of minutes they are delayed into attempts to win a prize. The more minutes, the better chance of winning.

While there is no paid media, the marketing campaign costs $430,000.

Generally, the concept is leaning on Orbitz.com's recent holiday study that found 6 percent more Americans plan to take at least one trip this holiday season than the same period in 2014. 

Also, through January at Dubai International Airport, Sheraton will feature a vending machine that invites delayed travelers to use their boarding passes to receive travel care packages. 

UPDATE: An earlier version of this story stated Sheraton planned to give away hoverboards as part of its sweepstakes package. But the hotel brand on Monday nixed that proposition after airlines Delta, United and American banned the gadgets from flights due to safety concerns.