As expected, KLM Royal Dutch Airlines has launched Meet & Seat, a new service "for meeting interesting passengers on your flight." If you have a reservation, you can link your Facebook or LinkedIn profile to the flight you'll be on, in order to see who else is on board, and decide who you want to sit with – long before the flight leaves the ground.
Meet & Seat is available for: bookings with one passenger, KLM flights between Amsterdam-New York and San Francisco-Sao Paulo, and from 90 days until 48 hours before departure (after that, you will not be able to view other passengers' profile details or where they will be sitting). KLM is still working on making it available for more of its flights.
Here's how it works:
Go to KLM.com and log in to Manage my Booking.
Go to the 'Seating' tab and click 'Meet & Seat' on the right.
Log in to your Facebook or LinkedIn account.
Select the profile details you want to share with other passengers and add your travel details.
The seat map will show you other passengers' profile details and which seat they have chosen. You can select your seat – for example next to someone with similar interests, or a person who is attending the same event as you at your destination.
KLM will notify you via e-mail if other passengers on your flight have shared their details through Meet & Seat after you have. That being said, you can always choose to show less or more profile details, or remove your profile from the seat map entirely (Manage my Booking => Seating => Meet & Seat). If you choose to remove your profile from Meet & Seat, your seat number will remain the same.
KLM says it will not use your profile details for any other purpose than Meet & Seat, nor will it share your details with third parties. Your details will be removed automatically 48 hours after your flight has departed.
KLM says it is the first airline to integrate social networking in its regular flight process. 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 1 million Likes, 130,000 Likes, and 460,000 Likes, respectively. KLM's Page exploded in popularity over the last few months, though it's not clear if Meet & Seat is the reason why.