social seating. Several airlines and start-ups are exploring different ways to develop and implement this type of service.
While it is not clear yet what model is going to prevail, one of the pioneers in this field, Satisfly, led by Sergio Mello, has reached a significant milestone and announced its first airline partnership, with airBaltic.
The Riga, Latvia-based carrier is usually quite keen to implement innovative marketing initiatives, it is a regular on Airlinetrends' rankings of most innovative airlines, so it is not totally unexpected that it has jumped on the social seating band-wagon, with its airBaltic SeatBuddy service.
What I find interesting about Satisfly's system is that it is not airline-specific, like similar airline social seating schemes developed by KLM and Malaysia Airlines, and also that, by partnering with the airlines, it can be put in front of the travelers every time they interact with the airline, during booking or online check-in. The concept might still take some time to take-off, and might not be for everyone, but as social networks become more entangled with everyone's daily activities I think social seating might end up being one more feature (a segment of) passengers will come to expect when they book a flight.