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HindustanTimes Sun,21 Dec 2014

Your seat or mine? Virgin America in-flight flirting service

AFP   April 26, 2013
First Published: 16:41 IST(26/4/2013) | Last Updated: 17:17 IST(26/4/2013)

Spotted a hot passenger sitting in seat 25C? Virgin America has launched a new mile-high flirting service that will allow travelers to send their onboard crush a drink using the in-flight entertainment system. Or, as Sir Richard Branson puts it, help them get lucky.


The new seat-to-seat feature is being launched on all flights within the US, and is the latest innovation out of the Virgin brand to encourage flirting at 35,000 feet.

The same Red in-flight entertainment system already offers an in-flight chat service that allows passengers to send each other text messages.

Meanwhile, the new service that turns the airplane into a flying club works via passengers’ touch-screen seatback entertainment platform.

Here’s the scenario of how things could go down: Picker-upper makes a casual stroll down the aisle to verify the seat location of the pick-uppee target.

Once confirmed, picker-upper returns to their seat and sends their crush a cocktail, snack, or meal along with their best pick-up line, using the entertainment system’s digital seat map.

The object of affection also undertakes a reconnaissance mission through the aisles to scope out their admirer. If the feeling is mutual, said parties engage in a marathon session of chatting until finally someone proposes, "Your seat or mine?"

To promote the new service, Virgin America has also launched an online contest inviting travelers to share how they would use the new seat-to-seat feature along with their best pick-up line.

The top five entries will be voted on by the airline’s Facebook fans, while the top two picks will win travel packages that include a flight from Las Vegas to anywhere within the airline’s domestic network and stays at The Cosmopolitan Las Vegas.

Other in-flight matchmaking services

Virgin isn’t the only airline to try and encourage love in the air. To coincide with Valentine’s Day, low-cost Aussie airline Jetstar shuttled a group of 28 singletons on their 'LoveJet' between Sydney and the Gold Coast this year where passengers engaged in speed dates over a champagne breakfast.

Dutch airline KLM also offers a Meet and Seat program which allows passengers to choose their seatmates via Facebook and LinkedIn on all flights to and from Amsterdam.

And in 2009, Air New Zealand likewise launched a service inviting 100 singletons to find love in the air. The flight from Los Angeles to Auckland included a themed cabin, party snacks, speed dating and ice-breaking games.



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