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Love is in the air

October 9th, 2005

Dr Petra

Have you ever been on a flight where you fell in lust? Met your future partner, or perhaps found yourself in an Airplane! film scenario where a Ted Striker type tells you his life story and makes you wish you were dead?

For those of us who’ve endured long-haul hell sat next to someone we can’t stand, apparently now there is an answer.

In The Telegraph today there’s a report of a new website that helps passengers choose who sits next to them based on a personality profile. Since its launch last month over 1,600 people have signed up from around the world. You provide a profile of yourself and indicate the type of person you would (and wouldn’t) like to talk to.

You visit the site before you fly and if there’s a matched person who’ll be on your flight you’ll be sat together at the cost of £3.

The site isn’t being marketed as either a dating service nor networking tool, but could of course become one. To date people with shared interests in cookery or sport have been seated together. Some have been singletons looking for love.

In some ways this could be a godsend since it does remove the chance of sitting by someone you dislike on a flight. However the sort of people you’d want to avoid – those with chronic body odour problems, bigots, religious zealots, potential stalkers, or toxic types are hardly going to fill in their personality profile to that effect. Moreover whilst it can be fun to meet likeminded people, part of the joy of travel is to encounter people you don’t usually meet in your daily life.

And I suspect for many, what they mean by ‘personality profile’ will actually be based on looks rather than other factors. I guess that’s the question – do we want to meet a fascinating in-flight companion with who we have things in common, or do we just want a bit of travel totty?

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