A Latvian Airline Really Wants Its Passengers to Make In-Flight FriendsS

Airlines have noticed that hurtling through the sky in a shrieking tube of metal while fending off questions like, "What's that you're reading, neighbor?" from your socially oblivious seatmate is downright unpleasant, so they're trying really hard to make it be less unpleasant by implementing all sorts of seat-choosing gimmicks, such as letting passengers premeditate who they'll annoy for eight hours via Facebook. Latvian airline Air Baltic, though, doesn't especially like the idea of people just trying to hook-up all over its airplanes, so, in order to make in-flight interactions more agreeable, it's going to start pairing seatmates based on three distinct "flight moods."

According to Australia's News Network, Air Baltic will start offering a free, optional service of pairing passengers based on whether passengers want to get on with work, make new business contacts, or simply not be bothered trying to hold their breath while a stranger close-talks at them. The airline will enter that baseline information along with a customer's hobbies and interests in a database, and the closest available match between any two passengers will ensure that they get to rub shoulders and trade war stories all over continental Europe. With this new service, passengers no longer necessarily have to worry that their neighbor is judging them for watching The Mummy on a laptop — they can share the movie's delights with a fellow lover of great late 90s cinema.

Air Baltic's Michael Grimme said that the first test flights will take place in late June, during which time of awkward conversation openers the airline will "explore [the service's] future commercial potential." It's only a matter of time before an iPod commercial features two strangers sharing a pair of headphones so that they can both listen to the Black Keys and revel in their shared music snobbery at 35,000 feet. If the system actually works, however, an all-quiet napping section of the plane would be awesome for anyone whose spine is elastic enough to settle into a sleeping position in an airplane seat.

Airline seats passengers according to mood [News AU]

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