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A Service That Lets You Pick Who Sits By You On Your Flight?

Jaclyn Hughes

Just when you thought social media couldn’t possibly get any more prying, behold one of the most interesting travel services on the planet; “Meet and Seat”. Picture your high school physical education class as a setting; you have the jocks, the way-too-smart-kids, the snobs, the cheerleaders, and the kids just trying to get through the day all in groupings ready to make their picks for team dodge ball. Remember those hideous days of being a teenager where everyone was judged for their image? Well, fast forward into 2015 and it’s still haunting you. The Meet and Seat online service gives travelers the option to see who will be on their upcoming flights and allow them to switch seats with others to sit next to the apparent “cool passenger” of your choice.

Is this a crazy thing to allow strangers to do? Maybe, but only if you think someone is potentially stalking you on your flight. Otherwise, it’s nothing but two consenting adults befriending each other (or more?) whilst flying the friendly skies. Before you go into panic mode, do note that this is only applicable to those who participate by using the service, (as detailed by the Chicago Tribune) and most importantly; this service is only available through the KLM Royal Dutch Airline, so unless you’re traveling to or from Amsterdam anytime soon this won’t apply to you. For those who have no desire to know who is sitting next to them on the flight, you can still blindly board the aircraft as you previously have.

How does it work? You have the option directly on the KLM Airline website to click the “see who’s on your flight” link along the bottom of the flight screen. From there you then have the ability to link it to certain components of your social media profiles. For example, you may wish to only allow other passengers to view your LinkedIn profile, versus your Facebook one. The online seat picking service came onto the scene in 2012 and currently has over 30,000 people using it.

Will this turn into some form of internet dating alternative? A highly accessible web option that is excellent for stalking? Perhaps, but don’t get too worried as the only way strangers are going to know about your travel plans is if you want them to. You can use the service without linking it to your social profiles, and if you did use it you may end up finding a brand new best friend! This app probably comes in handy if you travel a lot overseas as those international flights can be exhausting, but if you have this new method of making new acquaintances to travel with, then where’s the harm in this?

Another interesting point of view is that this service could potentially be an excellent form of networking for your business. Think of the amount of passengers that you could pass along your business card to that fly from London to Amsterdam, or various other major cities via the KLM airlines; that’s a lot of new contacts! If you’re going to be on a long flight, you may as well make the most of it anyway. Use your miles in the sky to network, make new friends from around the globe, or perhaps even find a date for the evening. You just never know what can happen during a flight, but this KLM social seating service certainly has a large following so don’t be surprised if you see it popping up with other major airlines in the coming months!