Sir Richard Branson, founder of Virgin America, is on a quest to help his passengers find love.
The 62-year-old business magnate launched a new service that enables Virgin customers to send a drink, meal or snack to a fellow airline passenger that grabs his or her attention.
Passengers can find out where their interest is seated using Virgin's digital seat map.
After sending the food or drink, the person can then send text messages to the passenger who caught his or her eye using a seat-to-seat messaging system.
According to Branson, who introduced the new feature in a video, the chance of a customer leaving the flight with a fellow passenger is at least 50 percent.
Virgin America began the service this week as it also launch its Los Angeles to Las Vegas service, but the service is available on all of its U.S. flights.
It is not the only airline trying to play matchmaker. Dutch carrier KLM has a program called Meet and Seat, which allows passengers to choose seatmates once they upload information from their Facebook or LinkedIn profiles.
“For at least 10 years, there has been this question about serendipity and whether you could improve the chances of meeting someone interesting onboard,” Erik Varwijk, a managing director in charge of passenger business at KLM told the New York Times. “But the technology just wasn’t available.”
Malaysia Airlines has an application called MHBuddy, which allows users who check in on the airline’s Facebook page to see if any of their Facebook friends are also on the same flight or in the city they are travelling to at the same time they are. Facebook friends also can choose to sit together onboard.
Amethyst Tate graduated summa cum laude from Middlebury College with a B.A. in Sociology/Anthropology. During her time at IBT, her articles have been sourced by various...