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Passport -check. Ticket - check. Ideal flight mate - check!

By 0 and 0 and 0
11 October 2012


Leading carrier S7 is offering a system whereby passengers can find soul mates as they fly. Picture: Tolmachevo aiport

Travellers will be able to access the Facebook, Google+ or Russian Vkontakte profiles of fellow passengers who sign up for the service. 

They can then arrange to sit together with like-minded people on domestic and international flights. 

'S7 is the first airlines in Russia to offer a possibility to get more information - including pictures and brief on the personal likes and dislikes of passengers' future flying mates,' announced the Novosibirsk-based airline, one of the four largest in Russia.

'If you want to find out who is flying with you, all you need to do is to give your profile for either Facebook, Google+ or Russian Vkontakte popular social network during online check-in.' 

The S7 Group's e-commerce director Dmitry Chuiko said: 'We are aiming to give maximum comfort to our passengers for the whole duration of their journey. 

'Usually social network profiles give information about personal interests and type of business people are involved in. 

'It will help to select enjoyable company to fly with at the point of online check-in. We are hoping that the new service will be popular among our passengers.'

S7 - also known as Siberian Airlines - insist the personal information will not be abused and can be withdrawn. 

'The personal information passengers share with S7 is secure, with an option of choosing to add a social profile and then removing the link without any change to the booked seat,' said the airline, a member of the One World alliance which includes American Alirlines, British Airways, Cathay Pacific and Qantas.

S7 fly extensively in Russia, with a wide network in Siberia, but also to destinations in Europe and Asia. 

When Dutch Airline KLM announced a similar scheme, major English language news website Mail Online warned it could be 'an open invitation for passengers to join the mile-high club'.

Yet it could also be 'a recipe for disaster'.

'For those who do join in, the flight could end up being a long one if their neighbour turns out to be less attractive than first thought or insists on talking business for the duration of the journey.'

It also said passengers could 'buddy up based on their looks and even what job they do'.

But the International Airline Passengers Association said: 'If you can choose the airline you fly, why not choose the passenger you sit next to? 

'Airlines are getting more creative in the way they embrace social media tools. For some passengers, this could mean pre-ordering your in-flight experience up to the type of person who sits next to you. 

'Airline passengers don't usually discuss the type of seat mates they prefer. Most of the time, flyers lament over the chatty, noisy, less-than-pleasant, inappropriately dressed or differently-sized ones who make it a challenge for them to fly comfortably. 

'Given the odds against finding that perfect seat mate, a service to give passengers more control over their chances could seem quite appealing. Yet we all know what passengers really enjoy - an empty seat next to them. There's only one way to guarantee that. You'd have to buy the seat yourself.'

Comments (4)

nooo thank you
Dee, Australia
11/10/2012 20:51
yay, not sure I'd like someone to 'choose' me!! usually all I want is to work or rest during the flight - not to get into chats with strangers
Neil, UK
11/10/2012 17:54
tariq aziz, pakistan
27/05/2017 02:05
privacy intrusion - check
Tamara, X
11/10/2012 17:56

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