Flying alone is always the luck of the draw. Sometimes you get the person of your dreams sitting next to you (my cousin met his wife on a plane!) and sometimes you get that guy, yes that one, that makes you want to put your headphones in, close your eyes and pretend that he's not there . Except that his snoring is so loud that it's hard to masquerade his existence.
Fear no more - well for passengers flying on Ukrainian carrier, AeroSvit, anyway. The airline has partnered with SeatID to launch a social traveling experience for its passengers, aimed at allowing individuals (who opt-in) the ability to see who else is on the chosen flight.
Deemed the ‘social seating solution' travelers are now able to view information about their fellow voyagers using popular social networks' profiles, while booking and purchasing tickets online on AeroSvit.com. It also lets people see who will be on other flights before purchasing a ticket.
"We wanted to inject a social networking experience into the traditional airline ticketing process. We're showing friends, friends of friends, people with shared interest and everyone else. We have created a new class of customer service and passenger experience," says Eran Savir, chief executive and co-founder of SeatID.
Passengers can use the service by selecting the SeatID option in the online booking form on AeroSvit's website. They are asked to log in to the system using their Facebook or LinkedIn accounts in order to see images and other profile information of the other AeroSvit passengers on those flights. The passengers are provided with the opportunity to become acquainted with their fellow travelers in advance, according to their social preferences and interests.
"By intensifying activity in social networks, the company reaches a new level of communication with customers. Recently AeroSvit has provided access to online services on its Facebook page. Social is the way of the world these days and we wanted to be part of that too," says Savir.
The SeatID service is free of charge for passengers purchasing tickets online at AeroSvit.com. Personal data specified during the ticketing process is not published and the only information shared is the one taken from social network profiles. SeatID has implemented a strict privacy protection policy that allows users to take charge of what information they do or do not show.
While passengers can only use the SeatID service via their Facebook or LinkedIn accounts at present, Sabir says the list of social networks will be extended in future. Additionally, a social seat map option may also be added to AeroSvit.com, enabling the selection of a seat next to a specific passenger.
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March 19, 2014