News / New app lets you find friends at the airport
Travelers can now customize their in-air experience by connecting with other passengers before their flight
If you have ever wanted to meet a new friend at the airport before going on your flight, you are in luck. An interactive startup travel app allows passengers to share their assigned seats with other passengers on the same flight.
Flight Mate, which has more than 10,000 followers on Instagram, says travelers can discover their perfect mate with customized passenger profiles, including personal information, travel preferences, and more. It is currently available for download from the App Store or Google Play.
How it works
According to the app’s website, the process starts when booking a flight. After downloading the app, passengers can simply enter their flight number to search for their flight. When they find their flight, the passenger can search through other travelers with Flight Mate profiles on the same flight and claim a seat beside the user profile of their choice.
Following that step, the passenger would return to the airline’s website or app and choose the seat number that corresponds to the one selected on the Flight Mate app. Then, all that is left is to update their profile with their seat selection.
FlightMate said the app works ideally with airlines that have assigned seating, but passengers can always use “000” as their seat number as a placeholder to indicate to other Flight Mate users that they are on that flight. During layovers or while waiting at the gate, travelers using the app can also search through nearby Flight Mate profiles to connect with users.
Users can also opt out of sharing a picture of themselves on their profile. The app said that while other users would appreciate a photo, it is not mandatory and encourages users only to provide the information they are comfortable providing.
Regarding names, Flight Mate said it is not necessary either.
“Although your Flight Mate social media handle has to be unique, it DOES NOT have to include your name. Your Flight Mate social media handle can be whatever you want it to be. Get as creative as you’d like,” the app said.
Who is behind the idea?
Juan Franco, the founder of the interactive app, said he is not afraid of risks, according to Designli, a mobile app, web, and custom software development firm. Franco spoke about why he created Flight Mate.
“When you travel all the time, you begin to notice how little things can make or break your flight, like if the person beside you likes the overhead light on, but you want to sleep,” he said. “That’s when I got the initial idea for Flight Mate—an app that gives visibility of who is on the flight and what their flight tendencies are, so you can check them out before booking a seat.
“It also allows people to interact with other frequent flyers to create a travel network. For example, if two people have a layover in the same city, they can meet up during those few hours,” Franco explained. “I searched to see if there was something out there like that but didn’t find anything, so I decided to make it.”
In the future…
The founder also mentioned an upgrade he would like to add to the app in the future that could potentially help airlines and other travelers deal with unruly passengers.
“Eventually, I’d like it to have a security component as well,” he said. “I think it’ll be an important capability for the app for users to be able to flag someone if they’re disrespectful or if they are causing any fear or harm to people on their flight.”