British passengers are not in favour of proposals for sharing social media profiles with airlines to decide on favourable fellow passengers for flights.
HolidayExtras.com, a UK-based travel amenities company, found that British travellers are wary of what airlines call ‘social seating’, according to a survey, with 57 percent of the customers polled voting against airlines using social media profiles of passengers for shared information prior to boarding. Customers have cited safety concerns, with 64 percent of women fliers and 51 percent of men raising the issue.
Airlines are currently testing new software that will allow travellers to choose their ideal neighbour, based on their social media profiles. 38 percent of the airlines’ customers branded the new ‘social seating’ software ‘a completely scary idea’, while 19 percent admitted to feeling concerned that the software could be a danger to them.
For around 12 percent of the people polled, social seating would offer them a dream travel scenario, with the potential to fulfil a romantic notion, or to avoid ‘passengers from hell’. Of the people polled, men seemed more taken with the possibility of finding a date among their fellow passengers, than women.
Anthony Clarke Cowell, associate merchandising director at HolidayExtras.com, said, ‘It’s great to see the travel industry using the latest technology and harnessing the power of social media, but judging by these survey results, social seating could be a step too far for British travellers.’
The survey also points out that a small proportion of the customers (13 percent) may opt for social seating, if they have full control over the information shared with their fellow passengers via the airlines.