KLM Royal Dutch Airlines recently shared that they’re soon going to allow passengers to check other travelers’ public Facebook and LinkedIn profiles to choose their seatmates when checking in online and choosing a seat. Dubbing the program “meet and seat,” it could launch as soon as January 2012.
The process is simple. When you make your reservation with the airline, you’ll have the option of making your Facebook profile public to other passengers on your flight. You could essentially scan the profile photos and recent status updates to discover potential business partners with whom you’d like to strike up a conversation, a flirting partner for the flight, a potential mate - or even avoid being seated next to a co-worker, a kid, or someone with unseemly status updates.
This seems to put additional pressure on choosing your own profile picture, and anxiety around the wittiness of your status updates. Will you censor your own updates prior to a flight? Will you book a photography session and buy an Adobe Photoshop license to improve your profile pic? Will ticket prices begin to vary along with an assumed attractive seatmate? Maybe a seat next to a Google executive or Venture Capitalist to/from tech conferences will jump in price.
Other airlines have similar plans to integrate social media into your travel experience. Malaysia Airlines will begin to allow passengers to check if any Facebook friends will be on the same flight, or if other passengers on your flight are headed to the same destination, according to Tnooz.com. Virgin Atlantic airlines is weighing the same type of integration. This could be great for passengers looking to coordinate cab fare or share travel tips and recommendations - literally on the fly.
So, what do you think? Will you make your social media profile public before your next flight? Will you search the other passengers’ profiles when choosing your seat?