In an effort to answer the question, "what could possibly make the act of traveling by plane worse without violating the Geneva Conventions," KLM is rolling out a new feature next year that will allow you to choose your seatmate. Through Facebook!
Since the entire flying experience is already built on a foundation of complete and utter humiliation and the loss of any kind of dignity and privacy, this new feature is a natural fit: instead of spending several agonizing hours yelling at a stranger over the engine noise, you can spend hours yelling at a near-stranger, and then still pretend to be asleep when she comes back from the bathroom! It's like a wonderful online dating service, if it only had a few dozen members, and for the date you were strapped into a tiny chair and forced to watch Fred Claus.
And, indeed, there are already services that do it. Get in on the ground floor!
A company called Planely that's already up and running provides a similar service. Travelers create a profile with the online company and link it to Twitter, Tripit, LinkedIn or Facebook. When they're ready to go, they provide their flight information and choose a flying buddy.
"You can then make arrangements to sit together on the plane, have a coffee on the ground or share a cab home," Planely's website says. "Why? We believe that your fellow fliers are the greatest untapped resource of knowledge and entertainment on your plane journeys."