Choose a flight seatmate through Facebook?

One airline will allow travelers to pick a spot based on the online profiles of nearby passengers.

By Kim Peterson Dec 14, 2011 2:32PM
Image: Airline (© Blend Images/SuperStock)Ever experienced a moment of dread as you wait to see who fills the airplane seat next to you?

One airline is looking to change that by letting you check other travelers' Facebook and LinkedIn profiles before picking your seat. KLM Royal Dutch Airlines is calling the service "meet and seat" and plans to launch it early next year, USA Today reports.

When people make reservations with the airline, they also can choose to make their Facebook profile visible to other passengers. If enough people do this, you might get a general idea of whom you're sitting next to. But is this something anyone would actually use?

Maybe travelers would take a quick look and nix anyone with status updates like "Little Johnny is having lots of screaming fits lately" or "Man, I haven't showered in a week!"

Or perhaps, more likely, people would hunt around for a good-looking seatmate. Perhaps KLM could take this a step further and bump up seat prices depending on the attractiveness of the person nearby. Maybe an air-dating service is in the works?

"It also leaves you wondering how far they've thought through the plan," Linda Fox writes on travel site Tnooz. A business traveler might not want to talk about work on a flight with an interested neighbor. Or an alluring coed may want to avoid potential suitors.

Other airlines are also looking at Facebook-related possibilities. Malaysia Airlines will let passengers see whether any Facebook friends are on the same flight or headed to the same destination, Tnooz reports. Virgin Atlantic is considering something similar.

What do you think? Would you snoop around on Facebook to find a seat partner?

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2Comments
Dec 14, 2011 6:20PM
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I could see this as having potential, mostly in regards to being able to find someone who just wants to relax quietly for the duration, or to match up with someone who, if they do want to converse, would at least have similar interests.  I don't doubt this is what the airline had in mind.

 

Dec 14, 2011 11:16PM
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in the past I have wondered if we were being profiled by the airlines.  I always seem to sit next to someone that fits into my life.  It usually does not seem to bias towards family, employment or leisure.  Never had a neighbor I did not care for.  For me, being profiled does not sound new and not necessary since I have always been pleased with the choices provided.  I travel once to twice yearly mostly CONUS, some OCONUS
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