6 years ago

KLM moving ahead with social seating for Facebook and LinkedIn

Despite questions about its practicality, KLM is moving ahead with its social-seating initiative, with the implementation to take place on Facebook and LinkedIn, the airline says.

A spokesperson for the Netherlands-based airline, which merged with Air France, says its social-seating tool will be launched on the two social-networking sites at “the beginning” of 2012, although a specific date hasn’t been set because the project is still under development.

Putting the tool on Twitter is not in the launch plans, the spokesperson says.

The idea behind social seating is that passengers would be able to select seat-mates based on their Facebook and LinkedIn profiles, but exactly how this would work and what fees it might entail have not been detailed.

Will both parties have to agree on sitting next to one another?

Will the tool be used as a dating mechanism or for one passenger to hit on another?

Can you find a new job by sitting next to a potential hiring manager?

Or will your seat-mate spam you with unsolicited sales pitches while you are trying to get some work done on Wi-Fi?

The fact that KLM will include LinkedIn in the airline’s plans indicates that going after business travelers who might desire social seating is part of the mix.

Many travel companies are trying to get more “social,” but how large a market there is for selecting a kindred spirit to sit next to on your next trip, remains to be seen.

KLM, which has been out-front with its social media efforts, would be a very early mover in tying air travel to social network profiles.

However, it is not the first-mover.

Malaysia Airlines has a Facebook application, MHbuddy, created with SITA Labs, which enables Enrich members  to book a trip with friends using MHbuddy, view photos and seat choices of friends flying on the same flight, and then selecting preferred seats on Facebook.

You can also use the MHbuddy app to find social networking friends in your destination city and share your itineraries on Facebook.

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Dennis Schaal

About the Writer :: Dennis Schaal

Dennis Schaal was North American editor for Tnooz.



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  1. Dennis Schaal

    Dennis Schaal

    Yes, and Malaysia Airlines has been dabbling with social seating since February 2011.

    So, here’s an interesting angle: What if people start using these tools in a negative, discriminatory way?

    You know, they don’t want to sit next to the fat guy, the homely looking man, rambunctious kids or the white folk?

    On the other hand, we have social media and the Web available, and if things like these sorts of things start happening, they will go viral in an instant.

  2. Jason Alf

    It seems like Social Seating is the next big thing. I searched the internet and found another vendor which seems to be developing something similar – SeatID (http://www.seatid.com). I just registered on their website, I wonder what direction will they choose.

  3. Mark Lenahan

    I think there’s potentially a solution to a more practical problem here. If you are travelling with colleagues and booked on separate PNRs (as normal for TMC / business trips), but you all check in online (as you do), you either have to arrange with the agent ahead of time or talk to each other while checking in if you want to sit together. In our company: all export, travel tech, based on an island… we fly a lot. We often consciously decide to sit together (usually on the way out) or sit apart (usually on the way back).

    If this makes that part of the process simpler – but in other regards its the same checkin process whether I kick it off from KLM.com or LinkedIn.com – I’m in favor.


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