After boarding your flight, stowing away your carry-on luggage and nodding to your fellow passenger in the next seat, he introduces himself and you notice that he’s surprisingly eager to meet you.
Your new friend knew where you’d be sitting, your industry and what you look like. Don’t panic, he isn’t a spy. He is, however eager and a shrewd networker and would love to work with you or maybe even to employ you.
KLM’s ‘Meet & Seat’ and Malaysia Airlines’ MHbuddy’ social seating programmes now give passengers the option to see who will be sitting on the same flight or if they’re on their way to the same business meeting in your destination city.
Aside from business relationships, you can potentially be partnered up with people with similar interests via Facebook and the professional networking site LinkedIn. Although this is a great gimmicky idea, many would view that this is an invasion of privacy and is fraught with potential problems.
Don’t panic though, KLM’s Meet & Seat programme is only on flights between Amsterdam and New York, San Francisco and Sao Paulo and is entirely voluntary. Malaysia Airlines’ MHbuddy is a Facebook application. Once checked in on Facebook, the passengers can view photos and seat selections of their Facebook friends on the flight and choose their seat accordingly.
What do you think of this idea? Would you be happy for the other passengers to plan a conversation with you? What else will the airlines do with the new personal information they now have on you? Let us know below, or tag us @puregenie on Twitter.