27 MAR 2012: Seatmate Number One is in 17A. He is from Springfield Massachusetts. He describes himself as impulsive and admits having a sweet tooth for donuts. Working as a nuclear safety inspector; he says it gives him sustainable energy. What a guy. Ladies and gentlemen please say hello to Seatmate number one.
KLM passengers who book flights between Amsterdam and New York, San Francisco and São Paulo can access ‘Manage my booking’ on the airline’s website to participate in the ‘Meet & Seat’ programme.
It is set up to use social networking profiles to allow people to decide who they want to sit next to on a flight. The intent is for travellers to choose seatmates with similar interests or related careers.
I looked at the profiles of my friends on Facebook: an impressive montage of cats sliding down banisters to be sure, but rare mention of careers or interests with respect to my human associates.
Could it be that the Meet & Seat programme will enable participants to choose seatmates based on looks? I am alarmed.
If this is the case, then who is going to sit beside the less attractive people?
I’m sure the airlines will do the right thing, possibly offering a discount if you have to sit beside someone ordinary. Or maybe the plain folk can be forced to sit beside aestheticians or hair stylists. You know; someone who could elevate their visual appeal for future travel.
Southwest Airline seems to be on the right track of humiliating large people and preventing them from flying unless they buy two seats.
But there will still be victims.
I’m thinking of the platinum blond with a flawless brow and pouty lips (approved by the Federal Drug Administration) who chooses a seatmate based on a dated photo. Must she still be forced to remain in that seat? Oh the inhumanity.
Might she be compensated if the seatmate, chosen in good faith turns out to have been photo-shopped? What if the seatmate was the victim of a reckless haircut since his image was posted? You see, these are potential liability issues.
Travel insurance companies are really going to have to come up to the plate and protect the beautiful travelling public from unwelcome misrepresented companions.
Of course you see the potential dangers. Seatmate Number One could turn out to be Homer Simpson.