Co.Design

KLM Lets You Choose Seatmates Based On Facebook And LinkedIn Profiles

The friendly skies just got a whole lot more familiar.

Anyone who’s ever lolled at a departure gate waiting for their flight to board has looked around and wondered: Which of these strangers will I be stuck sitting next to on the plane? Left to Murphy’s Law, it’s probably not going to be the like-minded individual with a fascinating job (who also happens to be incredibly handsome, natch). Dutch airline KLM is taking chance out of the equation with its Meet & Seat program, which allows you to select seatmates well before takeoff based upon their LinkedIn or Facebook accounts.

The initiative is, ostensibly, a prime schmoozing opportunity, and KLM is "the first airline to integrate social networking in its regular flight process," senior press officer Ellen van Ginkel tells Co.Design. Passengers opt in to disclose their online profiles and can decide how much information is made available to others. Will knowing someone’s professional history or last status update ensure a smooth flight? Not necessarily. It’s still a gamble whether or not you’ll hit it off, and you have to pay to play, so to speak. "Passengers can only see other Meet & Seat participants after linking their Facebook or LinkedIn profiles to their flight," van Ginkel explains. "As a carrier we offer our passengers the possibility to join the service, but it’s up to the customer if he or she wants to use it." Since launching in early February, more than 1,100 profiles have been shared so far (though no word on resulting high-powered handshake deals or wedding bells).

So, given the choice, would you rather be responsible for the potentially awkward conversations that ensue on a long haul or simply let the sky gods make the choice for you? Some of the more interesting airborne connections can occur based upon the sheer unpredictability of the adjacent coupling, but should you choose to tempt fate, you can currently use Meet & Seat while traveling to 34 KLM destinations, and there are plans to roll out the program to all intercontinental locations in a few weeks.

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11 Comments

  • Ksyusha Knopka

    Met my ex-boyfriend on the plane, he was sitting next to me. Interestingly, I doubt we would met if I was using this service as I am working on TV and he's a banker... Not sure what should be there in our SM profiles to make any link whatsoever.

  • FacestalkedIn

    old news.. but yeah.. title should read "klm lets you find out if there are any hot blondes on your flights, and maybe you can sit next to one"

  • Donald

    Hi, I think your hot and I'd like your number.. I Facestalked you. Muahahaha.. Yes, my little pretty.

  • gorillasandbananas

    It would be nice to see their Facebook/LinkedIn photos, I hate flying next to bigger folks that "spill over" onto my seat.

  • dahliapham

    You know, some of us simply don't want to talk to anyone on the plane. Some people just like to mind their own business and have some peace and quiet. Aren't there enough networking opportunities already as it is?

  • graeme crowley

    If you're clever about this, it could be a brilliant way of ensuring no one sits next to you

  • welcomebrand

    Dear god, imagine waiting for a bit of quiet time on a flight only to find out that you've been seated next to one of those insufferable LinkedIn "networking experts". 

    J.