It is not a one-for-one ticket offer to tag your best buddy along; nor is it a buddy pass your cabin crew friend wishes to share. It is an innovative thought from air travel service providers who wish to guarantee that all passengers using their services never feel "gloomy or irritated, bored or tired, exhausted or otherwise," a Forbes report says.
Whether flying hours turn out to be an experience or an ordeal depend on many factors, such as the cabin crew service, food served or most importantly the next seat neighbour who is going to keep you company through the duration of flight. It is the most important factor in finding you suitable company.
Airlines are turning to the social media to bring that extra smile to the faces of flyers by devising a program to weave a huge family of pleasant acquaintances by seating people you like next to you.
The process is not as complex as it would seem due to the number of people and their individual likes and dislikes that have to be taken note of to find you a perfect neighbour for a pleasant jet experience.
The only assistance the company requires from you is for you to log into your social network website and provide access to information deemed fit by you to suggest good company.
Established in 1919 the oldest airline to have retained its name, the Netherlands-based KLM Royal Dutch Airlines has introduced Meet and Seat on a few of its scheduled flights. The service is optional and does not burden those who do not wish to share time and space. All that you need is an active account with Facebook, Twitter or Linkedin. Passengers flying KLM can make use of the right of choice 90 days or a couple days prior to departure.
An airline that has outwitted established airlines to introduce the idea of choosing through social networks is Estonian Airlines formed immediately after Estonia got independence in 1991. A couple of decades old, Estonia has defined the use of social media in regard to connecting passengers. The programme called Air Score rewards for being active on your social media network, redeeming you with points if you care to discuss it and sometimes use the exclusively designed application for Facebook and the like.
Satisfly, an online firm in Honk Kong, provides services to airlines to help optimise social media influence to better connect with passengers. Not long ago Malaysian Airlines introduced MHBuddy to cash in on the popularity of online media such as Facebook.
Air New Zealand, AirAsia X in Malaysia and Vueling in Spain provide passengers with the choice to have the neighbouring seat vacant for that extra bit of space for prices varying between $6 and over, and the money collected is refunded in case the flight is booked to capacity.