Sign up FAST! Login

Selecting a Seatmate to Make Skies Friendlier - NYTimes.com


Stashed in:

To save this post, select a stash from drop-down menu or type in a new one:

The idea is catching on. Last year, Malaysia Airlines introduced MHBuddy, an application that allows users who book and check in via the carrier’s Facebook page to see whether any of their “friends” will be on the same flight or in their destination city at the same time. The platform, which claims 3,000 monthly active users, also enables existing friends to select seats together.

And airlines are not the only ones betting on the concept.

Planely, a Danish start-up, allows registered users who submit their itineraries to view the Facebook and LinkedIn profiles of others who will be on flights with them. Since it began in late 2010, Planely has connected more than 1,500 travelers, according to its chief executive, Nick Martin.

Satisfly, based in Hong Kong, allows users to submit profile information as well as their flight “moods” — whether they would prefer to talk shop or chat casually — and other details like languages spoken and preferences about potential seatmates. The information is then shared with its airline partners, which incorporate the data into their own seat-assignment platforms.

KLM’s service is available only to travelers with confirmed reservations who are willing to connect their social profiles to their booking. After selecting the amount of personal information they wish to share, passengers are presented with seat maps that show where others who have also shared their profiles are seated. You can then reserve the seat next to anyone who seems interesting — provided it is available — and that person will receive a message with your profile details.

You May Also Like: