KLM social seating initiative fun but potentially fraught
KLM’s latest plan to allow people to choose who they sit next to according to social media profiles sounds like fun in theory.
The idea is to link your social media profile to your check-in information and choose a seating partner presumably with similar likes and dislikes.
But, it also leaves you wondering how far they’ve thought through the plan, which could become reality early next year.
What has made KLM, already well-known for quirky social media campaigns, think this is something passengers really want as opposed to a service the airline believes they might want?
One thing is to think a passenger might get on with another based on social media profiles, the reality could be quite different.
On a basic level, a business traveller might not actually be interested in talking business on a flight, preferring instead to read the newspaper, listen to music or catch up on sleep.
Of course, passengers don’t have to link up their profiles if they’re not interested but what if they play along and end up with someone who just wants to make a sales pitch.
You have to wonder how many people will be willing to take that chance.
KLM is not the first airline to tout the idea with Malaysia Airlines releasing a service on Facebook enabling passengers to see what friends might be taking the same flight or travelling to the destination around the same time – the obvious difference being that they already know each other.
Virgin Atlantic has also mulled the idea of allowing people with similar likes to hook up during a flight.
Linda Fox is deputy editor for Tnooz. For the past eight years she has worked as a freelance journalist across a range of B2B titles including Travolution, ABTA Magazine, Travelmole and the Business Travel Magazine.
In this time she has also undertaken corporate projects for a number of high profile travel technology, travel management and research companies.
Prior to her freelance career she covered hotels and technology news for Travel Trade Gazette for seven years. Linda joined TTG from Caterer & Hotelkeeper where she worked on the features desk for more than five years.