It’s easy to come up with a couple of airlines when thinking about social media and innovative marketing communication tools. KLM is without a doubt among the first names to pop-up in our minds when creativity is concerned. KLM has once again proved to be among the innovators by implementing their newest service. The idea is that KLM will identify passenger profiles and enable a passenger to pick a seat based on ‘who they would like to be seated with’ in other words who they would like to know.
This idea, may sound ill-suited at first, is however a very valuable innovation. We all know that the flight experience differs greatly depending on the persons we sit next to. It is always nice to be seated next to someone, who the passenger can connect and enjoy the airtime. This is especially important in long distances. KLM has decided to launch this service to guarantee a satisfactory flight experience. The airline has done some careful thinking here. KLM knows from its demographics that the core of its passengers are business people and it also knows that the majority of its complaints arise from customers whose inflight experiences have been marred by having to sit next to someone they would never have chosen to sit next to themselves.
KLM has decided to enable passengers to pick who they would like to be seated with, depending on the information provided. This would both create richer in flight experiences and also provide a point of social media advertising for the airline that will help it gain brand ambassadors.
This also provides some valuable networking opportunities and if successful, this model is surely to be implemented by other airlines as well. This would create total socialization of flying, which is Facebook profiles sharing flight-specific in-jokes, LinkedIn members meeting up and creating in-air business deals and sharing posts and information on Twitter whilst in transit from Amsterdam to Istanbul.
Of course, like every other social matter this has a flipside to it. It would be so much more convenient to stalk someone and sit right next to her on a pacific flight. Then there is the human factor, the nice personalities, fancy titles and more socially appealing people will be picked and there is going to be someone, inevitably, to be left out, stuck sitting in far ends next to irrelevant personalities. But there is no way to avoid the unavoidable, there are people travelling around, which a person would not want to be caught dead with. It’s better to pick up and book early.
Would that make complaints rise? We won’t really know until KLM gets their system up and running and puts it into operation. As far as social media goes however this is both a bold move and one which is likely to change many things, not least, the way we choose to book flights.