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Sky High Networking

Posted At: February 15, 2012 2:10 PM
by Ashley McDaniel

“Flying alone?” “Business trip?” “How’s your wife?” These are some questions a complete stranger may ask you on your next flight, even though they may already know the answer.

Thanks to KLM Royal Dutch Airlines, passengers are now allowed to choose their flying partner based on their Facebook, LinkedIn and Google+ profiles. This new Meet and Seat program was created to help ease long flights for many passengers by letting them choose seatmates based on common interests, dislikes and even professions.

Although KLM won’t be implementing Meet and Seat until next year, it is not the first airline to use social media to connect with its passengers. According to, Malaysia Airline is also using social media. Its program, MHBuddy, enables Facebook users to see if any of their Facebook friends are also flying with Malaysia and even if they are going to the same destination. Both of these initiatives require that passengers opt in on this more social method of choosing a seating partner, which does allow some privacy.

Because these companies are using social media, their programs are intended to make patrons feel more at ease and cordial during flights. One of the major concerns with this approach is that some people use their flight time as down time and would rather get some R&R than be social.

On the other hand, organizations may use these initiatives as a way to promote their own businesses and to network with others. Being seated next to someone with the same interests may spark a conversation more easily than “Could you pass the peanuts?”

With its networking possibilities, Meet and Seat may be more of a business advantage than most think. Southwest Airlines has more than 3,300 flights a day and Delta Air Lines averages almost 5,000. These airlines could provide an ample amount of opportunities for passengers to meet, seat and greet.

Some passengers may view these programs as an invasion of privacy, but could it be the newest way to network and conduct business? Or maybe even a different approach to meeting your significant other? The endless possibilities these programs possess are sky high.

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