Virgin Lets Passengers Make a Pass with New Seat-to-Seat Feature

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Virgin Group CEO Richard Branson wants to help everybody without $4.6 billion to their name find love. (And if it helps him make a few more bucks, all the better.)

Virgin Airlines, in honor of its new flight plan to Las Vegas, has introduced an in-flight service designed to bring folks together on all of its planes. Passengers can now send a drink, snack or meal to other passengers on their flight and send text messages to them via the touchscreens on their seatbacks. If airline travel was one of the last places that you could escape conversation and advances from others, don’t worry. Virgin does give the opportunity to decline any freebies from other passengers.[more]

Virgin is promoting the new service on its Facebook by asking consumers “to share how they would use the new seat-to-seat feature along with their best pick-up line.” Five will make it to a final vote on the page and the top two will win trips to Las Vegas from anywhere Virgin flies in America along with a hotel stay in town.

Branson doesn’t mention that the new feature probably means that the aisle is going to get very crowded as potential drink senders and receivers try to surreptitiously figure out where the object of their affection is sitting. And he certainly doesn’t bring up the distaste that flight attendants and fellow passengers would likely have for those who decide to take it too far and turn flirting into becoming new members of the “Mile High Club.”

But Virgin isn’t the first airline to encourage love at the highest levels. In February of last year, KLM launched its in-flight “Meet & Seat” matchmaker service, a social media-enabled opt-in feature allowing passengers to find compatible seatmates (like-minded or aligned business interests) based on their Facebook and LinkedIn profiles.

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