Could this be the future of airplane seating?
Some people like to chat on the plane. Some people want absolutely nothing to do with their seatmate. Some people want to work, some people want to sleep, some people want to stare out the window and think about life.
Now the small airline AirBaltic is introducing an option of selecting your seatmate based on your personality and preferences. You fill out a profile, and they match you up with someone in the same “flight mood”. I could definitely see this catching on and being picked up by major airlines in the future.
AirBaltic's system lets you select from four basic moods: you want to meet a business partner, you want to talk casually, you want to work quietly, or you just don’t feel like talking. You can also give preferences on characteristics like age, language, hobbies, culture and more.
On paper, I think this is a fine idea. A lot of people want to tailor their flight experience to the max, and this is one more way to make flying more pleasant. Personally though, I wouldn’t do it. While I’m not a big talker on airplanes, and would be annoyed if I were stuck for six hours next to someone chattering my ear off, at the end of the day I like the idea of leaving my seatmate up to fate. It’s part of the experience. And, in general, I think the more you open yourself up to the unexpected, the better off you'll be in the end.
Photo: Joe Shlabotnik via Flickr