Linkedin mapping tool a first for Etihad Airways

Etihad Airways, the United Arab Emirates national airline, has become the first company to launch a mapping tool that is intended to help business people in particular to plan more efficient trips.

The ‘Etihad Mapped-out’ tool was developed in association with professional network, LinkedIn, and claims to make it easier to message new contacts, arrange meetings and be more productive while traveling. It does this by utilising the Linkedin network for users to search their connections by geographical location and display them on a map for an overview of the traveller’s proximity to their global network of contacts as they travel.

The parameters that can be searched include geographical area – either countrywide or centered on a city, a particular industry, or connections listed by importance. Once the search is activated, a customised map is generated of the user’s Linkedin connections and business contacts within the search area. Messages can then be sent to contacts directly from the list. Etihad route maps can also be superimposed using the tool.

Peter Baumgartner, Etihad Airways’ chief commercial officer, explained: ‘As a global airline, Etihad Airways connects points and people from across the globe, so our Etihad Mapped-Out tool which taps into LinkedIn’s global audience of over 200 million is an extension of that mission. This tool is particularly useful for our guests traveling for business. Ahead of a business trip, the guest can use this tool to see not only his or her immediate contacts in the region, but also second-degree contacts. This fosters more effective networking and greater opportunity to create connections across international boundaries.

‘We are always looking for ways to enable our guests to get more out of their travel experience. For business travellers, the world just got a bit smaller.’

Frederik Bernsel, sales director for EMEA and LATAM Partners at LinkedIn, said: ‘A good network of contacts is essential for business success and this innovative initiative from Etihad Airways using Linkedin’s APIs enables Etihad’s customers to easily connect with their Linkedin network while traveling, making it even simpler to get business done and be productive.’

Etihad Mapped-Out is available at www.etihadmappedout.com to Linkedin members only.

‘Seatmate’ selection could be available on your next flight

Dutch airline KLM is working on a tool that will give passengers the chance to choose their seatmate by linking travellers Facebook and LinkedIn profiles to their check information.

 

‘Meet and Seat’ will allow travellers checking in to choose their neighbour through online networking sites.

 

This idea allows passengers to pick people with similar interests to sit next to them.

 

Passengers will also be able to use these networking sites to choose their neighbour based on looks and even job description.

 

The matchmaking service, which is currently still in development is set to launch early next year, and further details are being kept under wrap.

 

An opt-out option will be available for passengers who prefer to ignore their neighbour and enjoy entertainment through their headphones; this will mean that they don’t have to share their personal information with others.

 

However for those who do choose to join in, their neighbour may not be what they expected, making their flight a long one. For instance their neighbour may turn out to be less attractive than first thought or they insist on talking business for the entire journey.

 

KLM airlines is not the first to spark controversy and harness social media for its passengers.

 

Malaysian Airlines are planning to release a Facebook service, allowing passengers to see whether any of their friends are booked on the same flight or plan to visit the same destination at the same time.

 

Making headlines in 2006 were AirTroductions, which offered an online dating service for frequent flyers, allowing them the chance to meet other travellers. However the company have since closed down.

 

Article by Charlotte Greenhalgh