KLM To Allow People To Pick Seatmates Based On Social Media Profiles

from the need-an-e-harmony-plugin dept

I spend way too much time in airplanes these days, and I'm one of those people who tends to be fairly anti-social during the flight. I generally don't talk at all to my seatmates. Most of the time, this is because I tend to view flight time as productivity time, and focus on getting work done. That said, I've found that on the rare occasions that someone else initiates conversations, I've had some pretty fascinating conversations (including a very long discussion once with the VP of a big tech company on innovation tactics that took up much of a 10 hour flight). So I'm... intrigued but skeptical of the news that KLM is trying out a system that will let passengers pick seatmates based on social media profiles. The details are still a bit slim, but it sounds like when you purchase, you can link up your social media profiles (if you choose -- opt-in only), and then as other passengers are picking seats, they can see who they might be sitting next to. My guess is that having a good seat will still significantly outweigh who you might sit next to. On top of that, you'd imagine that a lot of the really interesting people you'd want to meet might keep their info private. But, either way, even if I probably wouldn't participate, it will be an interesting program to watch.


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  1.  
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    Call me Al, Dec 22nd, 2011 @ 3:09am

    Maybe its more for who don't want to sit next to

    I'd expect the more likely use would be so you can work out who you don't want to sit next to. For example if your automatically assigned seat puts you next to someone who's profile indicates a somewhat troubling obsession with something (cats for instance) then you can arrange to be seated elsewhere.

    I wonder if this will end up with some kind of bizarre musical chairsesque situation where people follow each other around the plane with one trying to escape and one desperate to sit next to them.

     

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    Wilson, Dec 22nd, 2011 @ 3:12am

    Ticketmaster doing something similar

    I've recently bought tickets for a show via Ticketmaster, and there was a similar option available; when selecting my seat, some of the seats had links to "see who's sitting here" which were somehow linked to Facebook (I did not click on any).

     

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    mattarse (profile), Dec 22nd, 2011 @ 3:44am

    I will be setting up a new profile for the sole purpose of getting the only empty row on the plain.

    Anyone want to sit next to Matt "I'm afraid of flying and want to release some tension"

     

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    TechnoMage (profile), Dec 22nd, 2011 @ 4:10am

    The real question

    Mike, Would you post your info?

    For Myself: There are tons of security/privacy/data-mining issues I can see with this. I would probably not post this info myself, since the only thing I care about for flights is price and dates. Arriving/take off on time... those I just take for granted (ideally).

     

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    ComputerAddict (profile), Dec 22nd, 2011 @ 4:18am

    Re: Maybe its more for who don't want to sit next to

    Forget the crazy cat lady, every new mother I know has a picture of their kid in their profile pic, see a baby, try a diffrent row.

     

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    princefeliz (profile), Dec 22nd, 2011 @ 4:21am

    Just another way for Social Media to know who we like so that they can bomb us more advertisement crap.

     

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    Call me Al, Dec 22nd, 2011 @ 4:46am

    Re: Re: Maybe its more for who don't want to sit next to

    Maybe even if a different compartment if you can manage it. The sound of screaming babies really carries.

     

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    Michael Lockyear (profile), Dec 22nd, 2011 @ 5:37am

    Possibly useful if it can identify someone on the plane that you know (FB friend etc)?

     

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    Capitalist Lion Tamer (profile), Dec 22nd, 2011 @ 6:10am

    Hmm.

    Who are these people who actually want to converse with complete strangers who have nothing in common but (and only possibly) a destination?

    No one that I know personally (or anecdotally)wants to be bothered by some mysteriously chatty seatmate. Most people on any form of mass transit just want to get to Point B as painlessly as possible.

    I can't imagine the whole pre-flight security theater improves many people's moods either. Unless there's some sort of perverse "misery loves company" aspect to it, but it's been going on so long that there's nothing new to talk about there.

    KLM's tool will probably only be used by those kinds of people who want to somehow "network" during their flight, making them even more annoying than the average Joe, who would just blather on about ideal vacation spots, their kids/grandkids, how underrated their law school is, and etc.

     

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    iamtheky (profile), Dec 22nd, 2011 @ 6:18am

    selfishly

    ..i suppose you could make a fake profile with a grotesque picture, maybe obese as well....might get a row to yourself everytime.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 22nd, 2011 @ 6:25am

    I once had a conversation with a seatmate, and it turned out he was selling soap. That did not end well.

     

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    Cowardly Anon, Dec 22nd, 2011 @ 6:35am

    Re: Hmm.

    I've noticed on long haul flights that people seem to get more chatty as the flight goes on. I think it's the alcohol personally.

     

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    Cowardly Anon, Dec 22nd, 2011 @ 6:38am

    Well, I wouldn't be using this feature as my FB page is locked down to the point that I can't even be searched. Why would I want a random stranger I'm going to be traveling with knowing anything about me. Sounds very creepy if you ask me.

    That being said, if it would help me figure out if I'm going to be sitting next to the guy who is 450lb, it might give me some time to change my seat before getting on the plane.

     

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    Chuck Norris' Enemy (deceased) (profile), Dec 22nd, 2011 @ 6:54am

    Re:

    A profile picture of a sweaty, fat guy would be good, too.

     

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    mattarse (profile), Dec 22nd, 2011 @ 7:17am

    Re: Re:

    Maybe I already have that :)

     

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    mattarse (profile), Dec 22nd, 2011 @ 7:18am

    Re:

    Calling you a dirty boy might not have meant he was selling soap.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 22nd, 2011 @ 7:22am

    Re:

    I believe I sat next to that guy once, too, only then I think he was working for a major car maker.

     

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    Anonymous Anonymous Coward, Dec 22nd, 2011 @ 7:55am

    They want me, I don't want them

    So, someone (Party A) puts in their profile, and another (Party 2) comes along and elects to sit next to A. A finds out about 2 and then wishes to change. What then? Does the airline dissapoint A or 2? Or is it a dissapointment? Or is it a stalker? Or is there another unconsidered consequence (which is what I think this is, an extremely ill-considered process with many potential very bad unintended consequences)?

     

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    Sarah, Dec 22nd, 2011 @ 8:06am

    I can't imagine anyone using this other than singles looking for opportunities to sit next to other singles. Whole new marketing angle -- singles flights! I wonder if pictures are also available...

    I'm just glad this is opt-in. (Although now I'm seriously wondering if opting in and creating a terrible profile might lead to more leg room...maybe my 6'6" fiance should give it a shot!)

     

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    Wuod Obam, Jan 30th, 2012 @ 3:30pm

    Re: They want me, I don't want them

    From my last experience with KLM, you may risk your flight being cancelled if you say you want another seat.
    But on a different note, KLM may end up using this information for profiling passengers. I would advice otherwise, but if you really feel you have to use KLM, just do not give them your social life information.

     

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