In December, I wrote about KLM’s plans to let you pick your airplane seatmate by creeping on other passengers’ Facebook profiles. Their innovative/unsettling ‘Meet and Seat’ program will roll out some time in 2012, but only for KLM flights.
Now a Hungarian startup, FaceBelt, wants to help you perv other passengers’ Facebook photos on any airline you choose.
FaceBelt is releasing an app for fliers that lets you see, in advance, who you’ll be flying with…and then pick your seat accordingly.
“Fasten their seatbelt! You’re gonna love this!” shouts their website.
Here’s how FaceBelt will work:
The app will give you a visual seat map of your coming flight. On the seating plan, you’ll see Facebook users who’ve checked in for the flight and who’ve all agreed to be
stalked ‘social’. Most importantly, the map will reveal where they’re sitting on the plane.
You can then browse through these strangers’ profiles to get to know them a little before you decide if you want to sit together. Want to sit with the hot blonde single mom? FaceBelt makes the introduction.
In an interview with an online travel site, FaceBelt’s founders, John Milton and Ferenc Galgoczy, said their app “will allow fliers to communicate and interact with each other throughout the entire flying process.”
They claim FaceBelt will let you:
- “see which other Facebook users are on the flight via an interactive seat map and then proceed to communicate with them”
- “change seats if seats are available to sit next to that interesting guy / girl, move away from that loud group of teenagers, or perhaps sit next to the person which has similar interests and preferences as you”
- “share a taxi with other passengers”
- “the app also respects your privacy so if you do not wish to “check-in” to FaceBelt you can still browse the other passengers on the flight”
I know this: Milton and Galgoczy are two confident men.
Exhibit A: they say their app “works with any airline in the world, anywhere in the world”
Exhibit B: when asked if anyone said their idea wouldn’t succeed, they replied “nobody advised us against this.”
What do you think?
Would you like to audition (and Facebook poke) potential seatmates for your next cross-Atlantic flight? And if you had a chance to sit next to Milton or Galgoczy on a plane, what tips would you give them on how to make FaceBelt even
stalkier more social?
— Ken Hegan