“Hi, I saw your profile, mind if I sit next to you? For the next seven hours?”

In media world, I suppose this piece of information is now ancient, but I am still intrigued. (I caught the whim of it via twitter, and here.)

KLM Airlines have proposed a “Meet & Seat” service for the allocation of seats on board their flights, using the information available on individual passengers’ social media pages (specifically Facebook and Linkedin). Let us have a look at their presentation video:

The company suggests that you can use the service to network, and possibly even find somebody with whom to share a taxi after the flight.

From personal experience, as lovely as it would be to have interesting company on a long-haul flight, seasoned solo long-haul flyers seem to prefer sleeping, reading a book to get away from day-to-day business, or tapping away on their laptops/tablets/gizmos. It is of course voluntary, so at least one can be sure that people who sign up for the service will be interested in conversation, and probably not otherwise have company. I nearly talked myself into sitting on the fence, but then thought: “what if they seemed alright on their profile, but are actually a massive, pretentious twat?” This is very cynical of me, but it could be a possibility. Again, personally, I have had the luck to alternately sit next to all manners of travellers, and find the change in in-flight entertainment rather pleasant. Sometimes it is nice not to have  expectations, which I believe is what will become of this tool.

…and all of this is aside from the fact that it seems mildly, to put it in colloquial terms, “stalky”. What do you think?


4 thoughts on ““Hi, I saw your profile, mind if I sit next to you? For the next seven hours?”

  1. I often exchange pleasantries with the people who sit next to me on a plane but there is a very understood line. You talk for around 15 minutes before or just after take off and then wish each other well at the end of the flight. I find it aids with the fact that you are in each other’s personal space for however many hours. I wouldn’t like to choose this person because to be honest, I select my seat very carefully to maximise the chance I will sit next to no one.

    1. I have experienced both more and less chatty seat-companions. Most people with common sense are able to pick up if the person next to them is open to further banter – after the primary 15-minute conversation (as you prescribe) – or not, and this is generally respected. I still think that expectations (and the “stalky”-effect) is the main problem with this plan.

      You’d be one for those flight-suites that some of the airlines are introducing then! :p

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