(Mis)Uses of Technology

by Mike Masnick

Filed Under:
flying, seatmates, social media


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


    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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