Choosing Your Airline Seat Based On Your Social Network

You have a long flight coming up. You don’t want to get stuck sitting next to (fill in the blank here). What if you could use your social networks to select your seatmate, based on your friends or common interests? Would that make for a better flying experience?

Such a service is going to be launched next year. The developer is not some bootstrapped startup. KLM Royal Dutch Airlines, founded in 1919 and now part of Air France KLM, confirms to TechCrunch the feature will launch next year.

KLM says their new social seating tool, called “meet & seat”, will work with Facebook and Linkedin, but not Twitter. The tool will be opt-in only. When pressed if both people will be required to accept a seat pairing, KLM couldn’t say because they are still in the development phase.

The travel website Tnooz, which first reported the story, wondered if “this is something passengers really want as opposed to a service the airline believes they might want.” USA Today wrote about the possibilities this could create for in-flight dating, suggesting it “could be fodder for a flight from hell.”

KLM has pushed the envelope on technology before. TechCrunch reported two years ago about the airline’s idea to hand out e-book readers to passengers. Matt Burns called it a bad idea.

KLM isn’t the only one mixing seat selection with social networks. Earlier this year, Malaysia Airlines launched a system that allows passengers to book a flight and check-in all on the airline’s Facebook page. Passengers can also see if any Facebook friends are on their flight.

Startups are also in this space. Planely, wants you to join what they say is the “social flying revolution.” If you give the website info on your flight, they will connect you with other Planely fliers.

Another website, AirTroductions joined the deadpool. The founder says he sold it in 2006 and it appears the new owners closed it. The website hasn’t been updated in 5 years.

If flying KLM, would you sign up for this?

Is there any part of human existence that won’t have a social media component?

[Image: Dmitriy Shironosov/Shutterstock]