Is Seatmate Selection the Next Trend in Air Travel?

Posted by Rachel Klein on December 19, 2011 at 9:55:23 AM EST | Post a Comment
Airlines-Introduce-Social-Seating.jpg

The days of dealing with that annoying passenger seated beside you may soon be over, as two major airlines are offering customers the chance to choose seatmates in advance.

Travelers on KLM Royal Dutch Airlines will soon be able to use their Facebook and LinkedIn profiles to find passengers with similar interests—as long as there's mutual consent in viewing personal information. The service is expected to become available on KLM's Facebook page in early 2012, but there's been no word on whether there will be a fee.

Earlier this year, Malaysia Airlines took the link between social media and seat selection one step further. In March, the carrier introduced MHbuddy, which allows passengers to book tickets through the airline's Facebook page and find the ideal seatmate during check-in.

Flyers on Malaysian are able to see where friends on the same flight are sitting because seat selections can be made public. The service also includes the option to share trip itineraries and final destinations. [CNN]

What do you think? Tell us your thoughts on seatmate selection at Fodors.com.

Photo credit: sjlocke / iStockphoto

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Posted in Travel Tips Tagged: Air Travel

Member Comments (9)  Post a Comment

  • Mucky on Dec 24, 11 at 11:47 AM

    I think it is a non starter.
    It could though be used to help travellers avoid people that smell badly or weigh 30 stone or continually fart through out the flight. Not sure if the technology is there yet though. :-)

  • LSky on Dec 21, 11 at 07:41 PM

    What happens to the people who don't want to post their personal info on FB? Maybe we'll be lucky enough to get seatmates who are busy doing their own thing.
    I don't mind sitting next to kids. An opportunity to screen out heavy drinkers would be welcome. Can we check our potential seatmates dimensions before we commit?

  • 2gottogo on Dec 21, 11 at 12:56 PM

    Selecting a seatmate takes away the spontaneity and fun when meeting new people. I would never volunteer any personal info prior to boarding a plane. I certainly would never pay for this either.

  • rubies21 on Dec 21, 11 at 11:56 AM

    I wouldn't want to my post travel information on FB, but would love to be able to see where young children and babies are sitting, so I could sit elsewhere.

  • Familygoboston on Dec 21, 11 at 11:10 AM

    risky...and what does it really assure you?...unless you happen to personally know the person on the flight it just allows you to use stereotypes to generalize about people. One of the joys of travel is that you never know who you will meet and what stereotypes thaey will dispel for you. That's all worth the ocassional flight with a cranky toddler or infrequent showerer. I would not allow my info to be public.

  • thursdaysd on Dec 21, 11 at 10:51 AM

    I refuse to use FB, but I doubt I'd use this even if I did. This just seems like further erosion of privacy, and a prime opportunity for stalkers. It also suggests more talkers seated next to other talkers, which is NOT a good thing.

  • caroline_edinburgh on Dec 21, 11 at 10:29 AM

    I wouldn't use this either - seems a bit weird to me. Although I would welcome an option to sit well away from any children - might even pay a modest premium for that.

  • donna538 on Dec 21, 11 at 09:41 AM

    I would never use this. People post too much on facebook and you don't want to let other people know you'll be out of town or even what your schedule is.

  • JemmaKBradley on Dec 19, 11 at 01:53 PM

    interesting! now wouldn't it be great to ensure the person sitting behind you has legs short enough to NOT kick the back of your seat for an entire flight!

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