There’s always a mystery of sitting down at your gate waiting to board an airplane and wondering who might be sitting next to you on the flight. On Southwest Airlines, you get to choose your own seat upon boarding the plane. Most airlines other than Southwest assign seating by the price of the ticket and the date in which it was purchased. KLM Royal Dutch Airlines – which lists departure sites in the U.S., United Kingdom, Norway, Netherlands and Germany on their résumé – has integrated social media as a means of determining a flight’s seating chart.
KLM Royal Dutch Airlines is eliminating that mystery of who your seatmate will be by launching a program called “Meet and Seat”. With this effort to integrate social media into air travel, travelers have the opportunity to link their Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn profiles to their check-in information.
HOW DOES IT WORK?
Passengers can choose their seat assignments based upon common interests, business connections and/or demographics. Don’t panic; it’s voluntary. In the event that you don’t have a Facebook or LinkedIn account, or should you prefer not to reveal any of your personal information, you have the ability to decline participation.
While some airlines – like AirTran and Spirit Airlines – charge extra fees to choose a specific seat, KLM Royal Dutch Airlines has not yet indicated whether or not they will charge extra for “Meet and Seat.”
MORE SOCIAL MEDIA NEWS FOR AIRLINES
In this last year, Malaysia Airlines launched the first system on Facebook where you can book and check-in for your flight – all on one social media page. And believe it or not, it’s as easy as visiting the Malaysia Airlines Facebook Page and clicking on the “Like” button. Upon becoming a fan, there is a tab that reads: “MHbuddy”, where it takes you step-by-step through the process of booking your flight, choosing your seat and then checking in. For more information, tnooz has the full story.
WHAT DOES THIS MEAN FOR TRAVELERS AND AIRLINES?
Airlines have more potential to bring in new business if they can assure travelers that they can choose their seatmate and potentially get a new client or even a date out of it. For travelers themselves, this provides every reason to consider their next flight a productive one.