KLM Meet & Seat is a service that the airline is offering to meet interesting passengers on your flight lets you sign in with Facebook or LinkedIn to see if any of your friends or professional connections are on the same flight.
There are some limitations to the service, only on certain KLM flights and the latest you can sign up to it is 48 hours prior to your flight. Another limitation that I find odd is that you can only use this on 1 passenger bookings. Meaning that if you’re travelling with colleagues or your significant other it’s not available to you. I find that this specific limitation makes it closer to a dating service and shouldn’t be there since a number of us travel with colleagues, friends or our girlfriend/boyfriend.
Other than that, I like the initiative but even I have to say that using the social web in this way feels like its taking something out. To me, there’s something to be said about a random encounter with a colleague or a friend while travelling, having this feature takes away that serendipity.
A lot of us web natives use social networks to connect with new people online prior to meeting them in real life. I for one can be shy when meeting people face to face for the first time but I still prefer meeting someone in that way and then follow-up with them via social networks, get to know them with their updates and then have something to talk about when I see them again.
Speaking for myself, I’m very much a web native and my social networks are open for all to follow and connect with. Looking at it from another perspective, lately at my new job I’ve been confronted with new work colleagues who just don’t use the social web like me. They use it in a very limited facet which has given me another perspective. There is still a high number of the population that use social networks like Facebook & LinkedIn as closed gardens.
From this point of view I can see why a lot of people will agree with FAILblog and feel that this is borderline creepy.
I’m not saying that there’s no place for services like this, the social web will be spilling into our real lives more and more as time goes. I can predict that the amount of passengers who will use this will be minimal at first but that with time it will grow and could become standard in the travel industry.
I for one will definitely try this service if I ever travel with KLM.