Airlines: use Facebook to pick who you sit with

Airlines: use Facebook to pick who you sit with

Summary: What if you could pick someone to sit with on your next flight? That's exactly the kind of service KLM is planning to offer, by tapping into the social networks Facebook and LinkedIn.


KLM Royal Dutch Airlines is considering letting you to use social networks Facebook and LinkedIn to help you who to sit with on their flights. KLM is reportedly planning to launch the "meet and seat" service early next year, though the airline has admitted it still has many specifics to work out, such as whether or not there will be an extra fee.

Although the details are still unknown, the big picture shows a straightforward system. Here's how it will work. You will be able to login with their Facebook or LinkedIn profiles when you check-in for their flight online. KLM says the service will be available to all passengers checking in online, but you will be able to choose whether or not to make your profile publicly available.

The point is to let people sit beside each other based on if they have similar interests. Chances are, however, that most people will simply judge their potential seatmates based on their profile picture(s).

Overall, it's not a bad idea, as long as it's optional. I would likely try to choose someone who is near my age, or at least looks like he or she is. At the same time though, sometimes I just want to get work done and I would rather pick someone who won't want to constantly try to engage me in conversation.

Tnooz, which first reported on the story, notes that KLM is not the first airline to consider the idea. Virgin Atlantic has also mulled allowing people with similar likes to hook up during a flight.

Malaysia Airlines has a similar service that lets you see what Facebook friends might be taking the same flight or travelling to the destination around the same time. In that case, however, the individuals already know each other.

KLM, Virgin Atlantic, and Malaysia Airlines all have fairly popular Facebook Pages. They have 600,000 Likes, 100,000 Likes, and 400,000 Likes, respectively.

See also:

Topic: Social Enterprise

Emil Protalinski

About Emil Protalinski

Emil is a freelance journalist writing for CNET and ZDNet. Over the years,
he has covered the tech industry for multiple publications, including Ars
Technica, Neowin, and TechSpot.

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  • RE: Airlines: use Facebook to pick who you sit with

    This service seems AWESOME. I'd like pick people based on their intelligence and multidisciplinary knowledge.. (yeah, I know, I'll keep dreaming..)<br><br>But generally, be it an airplane, bus or train, I too prefer people who don't constantly try to engage in conversation, so I can carry on with my business.
    • I prefer somebody who wants to have a friendly conversation ....

      @cameigons .... to somebody who:

      - SMELLS like a horse. Seriously, take a freaking bath and use deodorant before you fly.
      - is SICK. Last thing anybody on the flight needs is recycled germs. And if the sickness is stomach related ...... silence is definitely deadly in a hermetically sealed cabin.
      - is flying with a SCREAMING KID .... and don't forget about the loaded dipper and mom/dad conveniently forgot to carry a change.
      - is a religious fanatic who spends the entire flight mumbling stupid words. I don't force you to hear about my believes (or not-believes), so I don't want to hear your dumbazz rituals. If you need to pray ... pray in your head.
      - just spent sometime at the airport bar and the high pressure is now helping the alcohol work its way to the brain.
      • RE: Airlines: use Facebook to pick who you sit with

        @wackoae I agree. How could I not... lol People who are smelly, sick or brought their screaming kids are the worst types.
      • RE: Airlines: use Facebook to pick who you sit with

        @wackoae Let's not forget those who take up more than 1 seat space. There's nothing worse than having the person next to you overflow into your seat ...especially if they are also in the smelly category.
  • Meh

    First airports strip you of your privacy by xray machines/"pat downs", and then they want access to your facebook because they care about your travel experience? -LOL

    Log this one under EPIC FAIL.

    Like they care who you sit can't even get a whole can of soda from the flight attendant....You share it amongst others via dixie cups... :P
    • RE: Airlines: use Facebook to pick who you sit with

      @subjectzero I'm assuming the service is optional. If it's not I'm myself am gonna rail against it.<br><br>They care about money, getting us to like our time with their company more will bring them more of it.<br><br>I'm all for privacy, but security measures are absolutely necessary man. Taking into consideration the threats such measures seek to mitigate, would you have alternatives for xray machines and such?
    • RE: Airlines: use Facebook to pick who you sit with

      @subjectzero I'm sure they're more interested in having Mark Zuckerberg feed them more of our profile info without out knowledge.
  • I'd like... sit with someone else who doesn't use Facebook.
  • Sure .... great idea ..... NOT!

    How many of you fly with friends WITHOUT even making some arrangements?

    I have never taken a trip anywhere where I find a "friend" flying to the same location at the same time and on the same flight.