Malaysia Airlines takes social media to an all-new high by allowing people to book their flights and check-in with the airline through Facebook.
MHbuddy on Malaysia Airlines' Facebook page lets users book, check-in, manage and share their flights via the social network. The Facebook page also lets users know if one of their friends are travelling on the same flight or going to the same destination.
"With MHbuddy we are pleased to provide our fans on social media an easy way to book a ticket without having to leave Facebook," said Amin Khan, executive vice president of commercial strategy, Malaysia Airlines.
To gain access to the app, Facebook users have to give Malaysia Airlines permission to access basic and profile information about them and their friends, as well as allow it to post to their wall.
When booking a flight, users fill out a simple form that asks where they are travelling from, where they wish to travel to and the dates of travel. MHbuddy will then list flights that are available, how much they cost and if any of their friends are travelling to or live in the same destination. From there, users choose their preferred flight and fill out the payment details.
If a friend happens to be on the same flight or resides where they are headed, MHbuddy will list them below the departure and arrival list, with a "Share with friends" button beside their name. Clicking on this button will allow friends to post a comment on the wall.
Using MHbuddy to check-in, Facebook users will be able to choose their seat via a seatmap, which will also show where any friends travelling on the same flight are seated. The "Share with your friends" button also appears here.
Regarding user concerns about privacy, air transport IT provider SITA Lab--which developed MHbuddy for Malaysia Airlines--said travellers can choose whether or not they want to share their flight information with friends.
Malaysia Airlines is not the first company to offer this service via Facebook, as US carrier Delta Air Lines has offered a booking service on the social network since August last year.
This article was first posted in ZDNet Australia.