If dating at ground level has proved difficult, perhaps it’s time to set your relationship sights a bit higher. About 30,000 feet higher.
Like your mother, airlines and social entrepreneurs have taken an interest in your love life. But thanks to social media, a handful of tech tools, and a high-security environment with few exits, they may actually be able to help you.
Gabe Whaley, who founded the much-anticipated “social discovery” app, Wingman [debuting this summer], believes that airports and airplanes are the best-case-scenario places for meeting like-minded people. “You’re all going somewhere,” he said, forging automatic mutual interests and common ground.
Depending on your airline, an airborne brand of speed dating may already be available to you. Last year, Virgin America debuted their “seat to seat” feature, making it possible for passengers to send a text message—or a drink—to the attractive young professional in 36A.
In a similar move, KLM introduced Meet & Seat. Before the plane even takes off, passengers can scope out their potential seatmates on various social platforms, and plan their seating assignments accordingly.
When Whaley’s app hits the marketplace, your dating life can hit cruising altitude in less time than it would take eHarmony to determine your 29 dimensions of compatibility.
“People [at the airport and on planes] have downtime, and are often alone,” Whaley observed. By simply inputting your flight number, you can find compatible fliers in the airport, on your airplane, and even get in touch with others headed to the same destination.
While Wingman may kindle genuine relationships (and help indoctrinate new members into the Mile High Club), Whaley’s vision for the app goes far beyond the transatlantic hook-up.
“We’re making the travel experience more human [and] helping people bridge this gap and connect.”
Fortunately, those fearing the sanctity of their long haul quiet-time are in luck, too. Simply block any incoming requests for conversation, turn on your noise-cancelling earphones, and be glad the chatty yapper next to you switched their seat to talk up another social traveler.
Melanie Lieberman is the Editorial Projects Assistant and a member of the Trip Doctor News Team. You can follow her on twitter at @LittleWordBites.