PUBLIC OPINION > Airlines Should Offer Mood-Based Seating

News 2012/06/12 20:00:00
AirBaltic, an airline based in Latvia, is testing out an interesting new seating algorithm called SeatBuddy that has passengers select a "mood" when their seat is assigned -- business talk, easy chat, work, or relax. That selection is factored into a program that tries to assign the best seat for their preference. There are also a handful of optional selections, like career and language. We asked the public if it was a good idea.

Who wouldn't like to have more control over the people they're stuck with for the next 2 to 12 hours? We were actually surprised to find that 35% of respondents thought it was silly. The reasons for giving mood-based seating a thumbs-up are pretty obvious, but why are some people against it? The TSA was part of it. One commenter wrote, "Until the TSA goons stop groping passengers, I have no intention of flying anywhere." Another popular objection was that you could end up sitting behind a big group of loud-talkers. In that case, the seating works against you.

Higher Incomes Are Hesitant

With a selection dedicated specifically to business talk, and the ability to throw in your career, airBaltic clearly wants to make SeatBuddy a potential networking tool. However, higher income brackets are much more hesitant to participate. It might be a nice tool on the bottom rungs, but the higher-ups don't really want to be set up on a blind business date. (Plus, they're probably in first class.)

Teens Take a Seat

Interestingly enough, younger voters were by far the most interested in airBaltic's idea. A good 79% of voters under the age of 25 thought it was a good idea, but only half of the voters 25 and up were interested. Maybe older voters are just hesitant about how well it would actually work. They're well aware that picking that "easy chat" option could be a horrible mistake, even if you think you're in the mood for it.

Drinkers Don't Need It

There wasn't a huge difference between drinkers and nondrinkers, but enough to draw some conclusions. You can order drinks on many flights, so really, if you've got some of that in your system it shouldn't matter who you sit next to. You can fall asleep, have a chat, or tell someone to shut up with the greatest of ease. Though your seat buddy might wish they took advantage of the system.

If you'd like to vote on this question, dig deeper into the demographics, or engage in existing discussion about the topic, visit our poll about mood-based seating. We'd love to hear from you!
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  • Lina Blub 2012/06/28 14:18:47
    Lina Blub
    i doubt it will help much, because my last trip with an airplane was really back breaking. The plane had to delay its depart about for 2h and the passengers were just complaining. Some foreigners(germans) looked at my direction and scoffed like it was my fault. Heck, stress release on yourself please. They were 5rows across on the other side of my seat. And behind me, there was constant light flashes, really bright ones. From a CANON camera I think(those which costs about 900€+ with lenses and all). I couldn't even listen to music in peace, because little children couldn't keep quiet. They were seated verrry far away from me. But you know how loud a baby girl can scream.
  • Bash aka Demondestroyer 2012/06/16 04:53:43
    Bash aka Demondestroyer
    They could have one whole plane just for PMS
  • lurch 2012/06/15 22:19:17
  • Walter Harris 2012/06/15 13:56:58
    Walter Harris
    just another reason to go up on the price. besides, some people need to be charged more for the rest inconvinuence
  • TuringsChild 2012/06/14 23:34:17
    How about a Flying Matchmakers Service? Meet your Soulmate at 70k ft!
  • SarcasticB*tch 2012/06/14 20:45:25
    fly Southwestern. pick your own damn seat. lol
    unless you're flying a thousand miles, get over it.
    everyone has to deal with ridiculous people every now & then.

    or drive. you picky bastards. lol
  • Jenethia 2012/06/14 14:52:48
    Yay! Now if you're trying to do work, the kids behind you can't yell in your ear and kick your seat! DREAM COME TRUE!
  • Anthony 2012/06/14 13:14:39
    Is there an "I'm in the mood to join the mile-high club" seating plan?
  • MrsJJS 2012/06/14 12:15:29
    They don't appear to offer a "Hurry the hell up and leave me the hell alone" section...lol
  • Fariborz-Zak 2012/06/14 05:59:11
    so funny
  • Clare 2012/06/13 21:07:24
    I think it's a great idea because if someone has noisy kids u don't have to sit next to them and if someone is all excited and moving around u just wanna go to sleep- I think it's a great idea
  • All American 2012/06/13 16:06:05
    All American
    Not if it's going to lead to guys sleeping on other guys like that picture you have.
  • CAPISCE 2012/06/13 14:13:35
  • Bill 2012/06/13 12:49:48
    Sure, why not, this should raise the price of a ticket by a couple of hundred bucks.
  • MikeWon 2012/06/13 08:06:28
  • bansheebanski 2012/06/13 07:03:00
  • kobidob... banshee... 2012/06/16 16:21:57
    Matched up right would break the monotony of a long flight. Each has to respect each other. One may have views way different than the other.
  • mae 2012/06/13 06:18:17
    Sounds OK, but I'm sceptical about how this actually plays out. One girl's "easy chat" is another girl's " My G@d! Shut up already!"...then who moves, and to where? the seats are all taken.
  • Jessica 2012/06/13 05:45:06
    I think that would be interesting to see in action.
  • Gwen 2012/06/13 01:58:33
  • Curmudgeon 2012/06/13 01:38:23
    I'm not sure it would make me any more willing to take a plane, as I prefer road trips where I can choose who is in my car and I get to see more than clouds out the window.
  • Ozymandias 2012/06/13 01:29:00
  • Morgan 2012/06/12 23:55:51
    That sounds pretty cool :)
  • Bibliophilic 2012/06/12 22:50:40
    If I can choose an area with no noisemakers I will be content. Although I'd pay more for a seat next to no one at all.
  • Anthony Bibliop... 2012/07/12 22:39:21
    Wait until airlines use drone pilots to fly their planes. Then there will be some spare seats in the pointy end. I'd pay extra for that!
  • Fred 2012/06/12 22:19:17
  • pederu Fred 2012/06/12 22:32:32
    thats a real classy way to advertise
  • ohaidra... Fred 2012/06/12 23:14:41
    79 an hour for just a few hours doesn't even equal over 8k. She'd have had to work over a hundred hours. Not that any of it was believable anyway.
  • Vicereine Killbride 2012/06/12 21:50:02
    Vicereine Killbride
    Not for it. Not agianst it.
  • lauren 2012/06/12 21:11:41
  • Anonymouse ~superdoge~ 2012/06/12 21:09:42
    Anonymouse ~superdoge~
    I put silly - what's the point of this, why not just put people that are travelling together in the same seats? It's a lot easier, yet they don't do it...
  • *goodbye* 2012/06/12 20:56:12
    Has anyone noticed after a poll by Sodahead, they put the results up as an article?
  • TimothyBrianFoley 2012/06/12 20:32:04
    not a bad idea now only more airlines we're like that go for it

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