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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