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KLM Royal Dutch Airlines uses passengers to be a social business with Meet & Seat
Chris Miller    

KLM Royal Dutch Airlines launched a program called Meet & Seat to passengers on select flights that allows you as the passenger to hook your LinkedIn and Facebook profiles to your itinerary.  The linking allows you to browse other passengers to change your seat to sit near others with similar interests or business opportunity.

The question of privacy should immediately come to mind and how they use this shared data. I dig into that and my theory of some futures they could offer. This first quote from their main initiative page gives the basic privacy understanding:

Profile and privacy

If other passengers on your flight have shared their details through Meet & Seat after you have, we will send you an e-mail.

You can always choose to show less or more profile details, or remove your profile details from the seat map entirely. Simply log in to Manage my Booking, go to the ‘Seating’ tab and click ‘Meet & Seat’. Here you can edit your profile details.

KLM will not use your profile details for any other purpose than Meet & Seat, nor will we share your details with third parties. Your details will be removed automatically 48 hours after your flight has departed.

You are able to change your seat as often as you wish for participating in this initiative, but if you cancel sharing or wait until 48 hours before the flight the seats become locked and you can no longer see passengers seats.

Does this make KLM a social business? No.  They are embracing social into their flight planning in hopes of making it more enjoyable for the passengers, but they do not monitor the decision making process in how you move your seat around.  I am thinking they will watch to see how many times a person moves seats and using the shared profile information the types of services they can build and offer to further make the flights productive for travelers.  This includes social interaction not for business purposes.

Could you see a social section on flights for gaming with a game catalog? A section for those interested in music with KLM providing a catalog of music to listen to?  Total quiet zones? The possibilities and ideas to take them a step above is endless.  It all revolves on how they treat the access to the data the passengers are sharing with each other since this is not linked to their frequent flyer profile.  Yet.

After reading deeper into the privacy controls it appears as if KLM will do nothing with the data and remove your linked profile within 48 hours after the flight completes. This includes sharing with third parties or even their own internal marketing.

Feb 27, 2012
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