There was a post on The Economist‘s travel blog titled, Turning seatmates into SeatBuddies. It talks about how airBaltic is following the example of Dutch KLM in allowing passengers to link their social network profiles with the airline website. Then you could pick your seatmate as well as your seat. From the description, it sounds like you get potential candidates who have similar interests to yours.
This excerpt explains the process:
Passengers who want to participate in the scheme will select one of four flight moods before travelling. “Business network” and “easy chat” are for those who want to interact with their seatmate for commercial or social reasons; “work” and “relax” are for those whose approach owes more to Greta Garbo.
I can’t help but think how this feature might be abused. Maybe you could try to get a bigshot as your seatmate, to help secure a job or cut a deal. Or choose an attractive member of the opposite sex. On the other hand, you could use this to avoid passengers you wouldn’t want to sit next to. For example, a screaming baby.
Social networking seems to be creeping into everything these days. Do you think some serendipity is lost? Or would you welcome this level of control over your flight experience?
Would you participate in a service like this? Do you make new friends when you fly? Please share your thoughts in the comments.