by Christina Ricchiuti,


KLM To Launch New

Never fly lonely again … at least, that’s a service that Dutch airline KLM is hoping to provide their passengers in 2012. The airline will be launching a new “Meet and Seat” tool that will allow fliers checking in online to utilize Facebook and LinkedIn to check out their fellow passengers pre-flight and pick their preferred seatmate.

Depending on the user’s interests, “Meet and Seat” could be used for a variety of different “matchmaking” motives. Whether a flier is looking to schmooze with a potential professional contact, bond over alumni connections (or a common interest) or flirt their way from point A to point B with a handsome stranger, there doesn’t seem to be any structure or restrictions to how a seatmate may be chosen.

While there will be an opt-out option for people who prefer to keep their information private, it remains to be seen if there will be an option to “reject” a potential seatmate.

Personally, this service seems like it will bring in-flight awkwardness to a whole new level. While it might be flattering to have someone hand-pick me to sit next to on a long flight, in a way it also seems borderline creepy to have a stranger know who I am and details that I only share with friends. Maybe I’m old-fashioned, but part of the fun of travel is the spontaneity of finding common ground with fellow travelers.

What about you, Traveling Typers? Would you ever use social networking to find a seatmate?



2 Responses

  1. jamienapier says:

    I think this is a very interesting idea indeed, speaking from one perspective, I have been on a lot of flights where the person next to you can be enough to immediately want to change seats.
    I think it would be a cool "option" to alleviate that potential negative randomized seating by intentionally sitting with someone of common interest/professional background etc.

    Alternatively, I have taken a few flights (and of course other modes of transportation) where you end up conversing for the duration of your travels about any number of topics with someone you may never have met otherwise.
    "Social Seating" could take away from that spontaneity, which would be unfortunate, because those "out of the blue" conversations with strangers are part of what makes travel so wonderful.

  2. Mmmm…. A quick poll of the office and we're undecided on this one. A novel idea though and we can see the potential. Could be very useful professionally if you were travelling to a major business event (a conference or trade show for example). Will be interesting to see if it takes off (no pun intended). It could be the start of Social Mediair (pun intended)!

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Kwin MosbyKwin is Managing Producer of His multimedia career has included working as a TV news reporter/producer and publications editor. What inspires Kwin to travel? It’s relaxing beach locations, vibrant...


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