Feb 20, 2013 - Scribblings    5 Comments

Flying In A Perfect World

Flying is insanely boring. I wonder if pilots enjoy their jobs except for all the glamor they command on the ground. Waiting for check-in lines to open, then waiting in those lines, customs, clearance, waiting for gates to open. Such a ritual!

I was wondering what could make flying more enjoyable. That got me thinking; what makes travel enjoyable? On first thought, a difference of scenery, but I think flying companies have that covered already. You cannot ask for much up in the air and then there are those entertainment screens with hard-to-navigate touch screens and lousy ‘edited’ movies.

As Boring As It Can Get

As Boring As It Can Get

What makes travel even better is company. But how often do you bump into someone interesting on a flight? That fantasy is reserved for the movies, we know how that works. I have had to fly next to priests sitting next to me. (At that time I thought it was God’s way to telling me that I need to see priests more often.)

What if flights suggested seats based on interests?

Every flight lets you choose a seat when you book online. If only they had something where you could pick a few of your interests, like photography for instance, and then suggest a seat next to someone with similar interest. How cool would that be?

Even better, what if it asked you the purpose of the trip and say you tell them that you are a tourist and you get a seat next to another tourist going to the same destination. That could lead to something. That’s how the social media have managed to bring strangers together; based on interests.

Knowing that the person sitting next to you might have some shared interests would nudge people to start up a conversation at least.

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5 Comments

  • Very interesting idea indeed.
    The ‘need’ is totally valid.

    Thought of something similar recently.
    Tags for people participating in an event, a conference for example.
    No, not the physical nametags or IDs, but virtual ones, based on interests.
    To be accessed from a kiosks setup at the venue or as a feature of a free app of the event.
    So that people who will really get along can waste no more time playing hit-or-miss or shying away (I do that.)
    So that people can meet others at the event with collaboratable interests.

    An example.
    Consider a TEDx event with 500+ participants.
    It’s imperative that the crowd is almost 100% intellectually upmarket.
    You know there are people among the crowd worth sharing your thoughts.
    If only there was some way to locate people with similar interests.
    BAM! This is where the idea kicks in.

    Of course, it’s not a finished idea.
    Seeing a list of interesting people is one thing, actually locating and meeting them requires more work.
    But still, it’s do-able. Perhaps some time in the future.

    This whole thing could be made into a business even. As an “event solution”.

    Coming back to your original idea. In Flight Rendezvous.
    The huge cloud of legalities and privacy concerns will mostly make sure that no airline thinks of anything like this, anytime soon (sadly).

    The other option is to build this thing independently as an app/service so that people can use the service ‘at their risk’. Won’t be a universal experience but it’s still something than nothing.

    But again, connectivity (of personal devices) is pretty limited regarding flying and what good is our app in flight-mode?!

    So, you would have to do the match-making well in advance. Not really a problem. But seats are open for booking even hours before the flight. That leaves a lot of people outside your reach.

    BUT, it’s not that you didn’t see any of this points. I’m sure that you saw all these and lots more before making this post and I feel that it is exactly why you titled it “Flying in a PERFECT WORLD”.

    So, cheers to you! This is a fantastic idea.
    (Sorry if someone doesn’t read this far and gets the idea that I was bad-mouthing the idea).

    • A comment longer than the post, or almost as long as it. ha ha.

      Connecting people over events is an even better idea, we never get to meet all the people at a single event and playing hit and miss isnt effective, although we seem to find (or at least we think we do) the ones with the same frequency anyway.

      Regarding privacy concerns, I was suggesting this as an option during online registration only for willing people who wish to participate. Of course, if no one is willing, then the idea would flop, but I think people inherently wish to connect with others. Also, mobility during the flight is very limited, so the idea would be to seat them together and let them travel together.

  • My good friend Arun has been MIA now for over a month. If anyone knows where he is or what is doing contact me.
    There is going of the grid, and then is no contact all.
    Just let me know you are okay at least.

Where have you been to?