KLM Royal Dutch Airlines will offer the ability for passengers to use social media to choose the people who will sit next to them. Passengers can use the Facebook profiles or the LinkedIn profiles from other passengers to select seatmates. Now, I believe that this tool could have some benefits and some consequences. First of all, here's a benefit. You might be able to choose to sit next to someone who you might actually wish to talk to, or you could choose to sit next to someone who doesn't talk much at all. For many people, a quiet seatmate is a blessing, especially for a long trip. For other people, talkative seatmates who share some of the same interests are perfect. I see a problem with the ability to pick a seatmate based on the way he or she looks. If photos are viewable in the profiles when people select their seatmates, who is not to say that people will choose not to sit next to someone based on race or other superficial measures. Someone might choose to sit next to someone because that person has a more attractive photo than another person.
Participating in the service is not mandatory, but I just wonder what happens if you do choose to participate, and you are not a sought after seatmate. Can you choose to sit next to someone and that person declines the invitation? How will that feel when you get on the plan and see the person or people who turned you down? I'm merely musing here. At this point, we still do not know details of how the KLM system will work. All I know is that it's a lot easier to face a virtual slight than to face the person who turned you down once he or she steps onto the plane.