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KLM’s innovative use of social media to match-up perfect flight partners

Whether long or short haul, if you’ve done any kind of travel, you’ve experienced the awkwardness of being stuck next to the kind of person you would not care to be spending any time, much less hours, with. Looking to alleviate this, Dutch airline KLM, may soon announce the launch of “Social Seating,” if reports are to be believed.

A simple concept; using your social media profiles, Facebook and LinkedIn according to USA Today, you will be able to pick your seat partner according to your interests.

The program, though not officially announced by the airline, was mentioned in a conference by an executive of the airline. A Dutch newspaper, De Telegraaf also says that the initiative was confirmed by KLM.

While initial reports put the service down as an opportunity for business networking, Britain’s Daily Mail has reported it to be a “match-making” service. “Access to the websites will also allow them to buddy up based on their looks” writes the paper which warned of an impending race war in South Africa prior to the highly successful and race-war free 2010 Soccer World Cup.

KLM has been a pioneer social media user in the beleaguered airline industry.

Though questions about invading privacy were raised, the airline’s most successful foray into social media was its “KLM Surprise” marketing campaign which Memeburn contributor Jonathan Houston found to be one of the “three great social media campaigns of 2011”. Using information from customers’ social media presences, KLM would surprise their patrons with a small, but bespoke to their interests, gift.

So, have an enduring love of discussing all things bacon but for some reason not that enamoured by the thought of sitting next to a crying baby? By early to mid 2012 when the service is said to be going live, that problem will have been solved.

Author | Mvelase Peppetta

Mvelase Peppetta
Mvelase is a Senior Account Manager at Irvine Bartlett one of the most sought after full service public relations companies in South Africa. Mvelase is passionate about all things digital and the social media landscape, particularly as it relates to the integration of digital public relations management within the traditional... More
  • Brandon Condict

    KLM consistently ‘knocks it out of the park’ with its social media efforts and is miles ahead of the others in its industry. The KLM Passport app ( http://ins.ert.co.in/KLMpassport ), the social  luggage tags promo, and even KLM Surprise are fantastic examples that illustrate how smart, social media-based executions can successfully engage a target audience. KLM will undoubtedly find success with Social Seating. 

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