Dr. Livingstone, I Presume?
One of the wittiest ads I've ever seen is an Air France full page advertisement that caught my eye a decade or so ago: a handsome business traveler sits on an airplane next to a drop dead gorgeous woman. They are smiling to each other as they clink their Champagne glasses. The caption: as there's virtually no chance this will ever happen to you, you’d be happy to learn we have increased the distance between seats in Business Class by a couple of inches. I'm quoting from memory, totally inaccurate but you get the gist: if you are traveling alone, don’t count on a miracle by which your next seat neighbor will be the person of your dreams.
As you might know, I can relate to the statement above...
Turns out there's a business opportunity here--one that AirTroduction seized.
Here's how USA Today describes their service:
The idea is to connect like-minded fliers--either in the personal or professional realms--who are traveling on the same flights. Here's how it works: Travelers join AirTroductions for free and post personal and/or business profiles. Then, before taking a flight, they enter their itineraries and are notified of other members booked on the same flight. They're given the option of sending anonymous e-mail through the site (at which point a $5 fee kicks in) to determine whether they want to meet at the airport, and, if mutually acceptable, get reassigned to adjoining seats.But this quote from Newsday captures the idea best:
“It's 14 hours to Tokyo... would I pay $5.00 to sit next to someone who doesn't drool on me?”