The airlines' pilot program offers an example of how brands can create utility with Facebook and LinkedIn but will depend on passengers' openness to be useful.

KLM recently announced a new pilot program, to take effect next year, which will allow passengers to select their seats based on the Facebook and LinkedIn profiles of other flight passengers. The opt-in system will invite travelers to link their profiles to their check-in information; as such, the service will depend on passengers making this information publicly accessible for other passengers – be they friends, co-workers, potential dates or networkers to court them on the flight.

We think this is a smart attempt by KLM to employ Facebook and LinkedIn to provide a utility to passengers. But of course, it’s true usability and potential depend on passengers’ desire to share their profiles.

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