Dutch airline KLM has just released a new programme that allows passengers to share their Facebook and LinkedIn profiles before take-off, in order to pick the perfect flying buddy.
After passengers have booked their flights with the airline, they can peruse other passengers' profiles and seat choices, via the 'Manage my Booking' tab on the KLM website. Then, according to whom they find the most interesting, they choose their own seat. The service, which is available from 90 days to 48 hours before take-off, is available on all intercontinental flights to Amsterdam and only to those who book on their own.
For those who find that they are sat next to someone they don't like the look of, the airline provides the option to change seats or even delete personal information completely, up to 48 hours before take-off.
A voluntary service, the airline aims to pair up potential conversation partners in order to provide a more pleasant flying experience. They claim to give passengers the chance to meet those on the same flight for a drink beforehand, or even share a taxi once they've reached their final destination.
KLM is not the only airline to have invested in such a programme, with Danish airline Planely and Hong-Kong airline Satisfly also using similar software to match passengers based on their social-networking information. Airlines JetBlue, American Airlines and Delta Air are also reported to be interested, according to USA Today, though none will be rushing into the venture.
Concerns have been raised by some passengers however, as to the safety of this social-seating trend. Nora Barry Byrne wrote on KLM's facebook page, "Very weird, I totally vote on the creepy... all I think of is the creeps that would use this to stalk."
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