Airlines are doing it so why not online travel agencies? MakeMyTrip, the India OTA, has introduced in beta, Tripalong, a social seating site for flights.
With Tripalong, users can add flights or automatically import them from MakeMyTrip, create profiles, link to their Facebook and LinkedIn networks, and get informed when social media contacts will be on the same flights or in destination cities.
And, Tripalong also will inform users when other Tripalong users are on the flight so travelers can decide whether they are pals or not pals to determine if they want to meet or sit together.
Tripalong has not tied its app to any airlines yet so to secure a seat next to a social network or Tripalong friend, you need to check in together at the airport or check into the flight far enough in advance using airlines' online check-in features.
Tripalong, which notes it is a MakeMyTrip initiative and in beta, says its aim is to make travel more fun, help with business-oriented networking or even assist travelers in "finding their soulmate."
A very different business model than MissTravel.com, by the way.
Here's a Tripalong video on how the whole thing works.
Among airlines, first Malaysia Airlines and then KLM have led the way with social-seating initiatives.
MakeMyTrip is believed to be the first OTA to give social seating a try.