Baggage Handling Not Included
February 24, 2012 4:00 PM   Subscribe

KLM introduces Meet & Seat. Choose your seat-mate with Facebook!
posted by PareidoliaticBoy (37 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Half Grindr, half racial profiling.
posted by The White Hat at 4:08 PM on February 24, 2012 [6 favorites]

oh goodie, another social interaction to fail at!
posted by The Whelk at 4:11 PM on February 24, 2012 [4 favorites]

Actually no it reminds me of when you book a spa day and they ask you what level of social interaction you'd like from the attendants, from Talkative and bubbly to just instructions to NO TALKING AT ALL EVER.
posted by The Whelk at 4:12 PM on February 24, 2012

I guess it's finally time to make a Facebook account (and then use this as my profile pic).
posted by 2bucksplus at 4:16 PM on February 24, 2012 [10 favorites]

Is this a dating thing for the mile high club, an attempt at grouping all the parents with infants together, or a way of making me buy two extra tickets so I can sit alone for the flight?
posted by Elmore at 4:20 PM on February 24, 2012

The second-last time I flew KLM, a gate agent decided that although she would let our group on the plane, she wouldn't allow our bags. She decided -- unilaterally, with her underlings looking on horrified -- that our connecting flight had arrived 'too late' even though our next flight was not leaving for 3 hours. As we were going to a remote part of east Africa, it took our bags a week (and must have cost KLM a good sum of Euros) to catch up with us.

The last time -- and it will be the last time -- I flew KLM, the flight attendants would not let us remove our shoes on a transatlantic flight. Seriously. One guy took his shoes off anyway, and the flight attendant picked them up and walked up and down the aisles yelling "Who do these shoes belong to?"

It's not seat-mates that are the problem on KLM. It's the imperious, whimsical staff.
posted by grounded at 4:27 PM on February 24, 2012 [3 favorites]

OK, I watched the video again and it is clearly a dating thing.
posted by Elmore at 4:28 PM on February 24, 2012

I flew KLM from Holland to the UK one time, and sat next to an enormous mountain of a man who told me all about his time working the oil rigs and having sex with prostitutes. If'd we'd have chosen to sit next to people more of our choosing, I wouldn't have had that eye-opening talk about certain sections of the economy.
posted by The River Ivel at 4:30 PM on February 24, 2012

Part of the joy of not knowing who I'm going to sit next to is knowing 100% that we'll be able to ignore each other completely the entire trip and neither of us will judge each other for it.

This, for whatever reason, reminds me of the issue Blizzard had where they were going make everyone's names public for the sake of upgrading the quality of the community, when really it just made women easier targets than they already were. I get where they're coming from, and maybe I'm just not people-person or business-person enough to utilize it, but I won't ever be using a feature like this on my flights unless it is to find out where parents of young children are sitting. They should mark those in red.
posted by june made him a gemini at 4:30 PM on February 24, 2012 [1 favorite]

Wow grounded, I see where you got your username from. Hey, at least you weren't flying Ryanair where even the staff sue them.
posted by Elmore at 4:31 PM on February 24, 2012

Is there a button i can click to be in favour of furtive handjobs near the back, under one of those cheap polyester blankets?
posted by PinkMoose at 4:46 PM on February 24, 2012 [2 favorites]

I can only think of the moment that you settle into your window seat for the 17-hour flight to Kuala Lumpur, just before a character whose eyes goggle just a little too much sits down next to you and says, "I've been looking forward to this for weeks. I've been reading ALLLLL about you." And fixes you with a grin.
posted by bicyclefish at 4:55 PM on February 24, 2012 [8 favorites]


Hey, you've seen my tattoo!
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 4:59 PM on February 24, 2012 [1 favorite]

Considering that you really have no option other than sitting six inches away from this person for 2-5 hours, I think "no expectations on either side" is the best way to enter into the flying-together relationship.
posted by benito.strauss at 5:22 PM on February 24, 2012 [2 favorites]

This reminds me a little of the service on Virgin Atlantic where you can send text messages to other passenger's seatback TV. What seems like a practical way to keep in touch with friends or family members if you end up seated apart was represented, strangely, as a way to flirt with sexy passengers who caught your eye, presumably on the way to or from the bathroom. Which just feels like the worst thing to have to deal with on a flight. I have no idea if anyone ever used it for that purpose. I like to think not.
posted by running order squabble fest at 5:27 PM on February 24, 2012 [1 favorite]

Did I just watch an ad for the worlds worst flying gay club?
posted by The Hamms Bear at 5:32 PM on February 24, 2012 [1 favorite]

Oh, The Dutch.
posted by humboldt32 at 5:52 PM on February 24, 2012

Pass them on the left-hand side.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 5:53 PM on February 24, 2012 [2 favorites]

Hey now I can think of a way more worse flying gay club
posted by The Whelk at 6:14 PM on February 24, 2012

Is this real? If so, I want a box I can check for "antisocial bastard" to make sure that no-one talks to me.
posted by carter at 6:17 PM on February 24, 2012 [4 favorites]

Also - flying coach, and Facebook - two of the worst user experiences in the world combined into one fatuous package.
posted by carter at 6:19 PM on February 24, 2012 [3 favorites]

Facebook is kind of the flying coach of social interaction
posted by The Whelk at 6:28 PM on February 24, 2012 [3 favorites]

I've met some very cool people on airplanes (I fly 20-25 times a year). But I sort of like the serendipity and the option to be disengaged if you so choose.

Last year I got bumped up to first class on a flight from Seattle to Anchorage, and the guy seated next to me was like a marine hero from central casting, big, brawny, impossibly handsome, and as it turned out, an airline pilot for another airline and ex air-force. As soon as we hit 10K feet and the flight attendants started serving drinks, he began flirting with the 1st class attendant, a tall blonde woman who was also uncommonly good looking. This went on charmingly for the whole flight, and I'm thinking this guy has game and wondering what it must be like to be so attractive that random gorgeous flight attendants flirt shamelessly with you. Right before the final descent, she walked by and dropped a note written on a napkin on his tray with a smile. I'm thinking, damn, did she just give him her phone number? (Note to self: go back to age 18, join air force, learn to fly jets, and have surgeon create square jaw and chiseled physique.) Meanwhile he was also a very pleasant seatmate and we had occasional interesting conversations throughout the flight.

And then as we're getting off the plane he gives her a quick kiss and says "see you at home." We're walking up the ramp when tells me the flight attendant is his wife and they'd been married for 15 years. The note was a shopping list.

Somehow, I found this comforting.
posted by spitbull at 6:30 PM on February 24, 2012 [38 favorites]

I once ended up next to the most bubbly and effusive woman ever on a flight to Iceland . She managed to give me everything from a complete history of the Icelandic people from prehistory to today, the complex geopolitical underpinnings of the icelandic bank collapse and the revolt afterward, and the insinuation that I should at least attempt to marry her daughter. I was so overcome by the sheer force of her personality that I was pleasantly entertained for the entire flight.

But I'm not sure how you put that into Facebookese.
posted by The Whelk at 6:37 PM on February 24, 2012 [4 favorites]

I'm guessing no women familiar with public transportation were involved in this decision.
posted by Space Kitty at 6:43 PM on February 24, 2012 [5 favorites]

And we provide low lighting in our extra large bathrooms!
posted by honey-barbara at 7:39 PM on February 24, 2012

The problem is what you get when there are 947 people trying to book the two seats by Hottie McCamwhore.
posted by Samizdata at 9:06 PM on February 24, 2012

posted by zennie at 11:44 PM on February 24, 2012

I got a job once because a friend sat next to a guy on a flight and they wound up talking and my friend recommended that he hire me. So I can something like this being useful for business networking if it's opt-in and kept exclusively to LinkedIn and Xing profiles.
posted by cmonkey at 12:05 AM on February 25, 2012

spitbull: Somehow, I found this comforting.

You haven't met their children.

I'm all for the Facebook if it helps me avoid the frothing Reagan-era Republican who has too often been my neighbour.
posted by sneebler at 2:55 AM on February 25, 2012

grounded, seems to be a KLM thing since my first flight to East Africa had us offloaded in Amsterdam for 'having missed our connection' (from HEL, an experience of its own). Cost KLM an overnight hotel stay and gave us a night on the town in Amsterdam (no complaints whatsoever).

Double dutch.
posted by infini at 3:04 AM on February 25, 2012

Great service. Two thumps up!
After one flight London>Rio I am a strong believer, that you should be able to select your fligtmates bases on WEIGHT! It really can't be that you pay for a seat but from your seat will only be 70% available because your flightmate basically needs two seats.
posted by yoyo_nyc at 3:06 AM on February 25, 2012

hmmm Flying Dutchmen?
posted by infini at 3:07 AM on February 25, 2012

PS: If you need one of these then it is time to go on a diet!
posted by yoyo_nyc at 3:07 AM on February 25, 2012 [1 favorite]

This is a stalkers dream.....
posted by what's her name at 8:28 AM on February 25, 2012

Funny. The one time I flew KLM (A'dam to Crete), the luggage came next day. Crappy way to begin a holiday.
posted by Goofyy at 4:55 AM on February 26, 2012

I read this as KLF and was disappointed.
posted by dhartung at 4:00 PM on February 26, 2012

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