Planely, the Social Network for Strangers Flying Together. What?

I'm flying to Vegas tomorrow for CES. I need to pack. I'm missing socks. And according to Planely, I'm also missing the opportunity to meet strangers on my flight online. Then sit together. And talk. This is really weird.

Planely bills itself as the "social flying revolution"—and sounds about as fun to participate in as the Industrial Revolution. It's a website, routed through Facebook, that will find strangers who happen to be on the same flight as you, and put you in touch. So that, what exactly? I'm still not really sure.

Ten seconds into their promotional video, Planely suggests to us, with a wide-mouthed Right? Riiiight?, that "We all know the experience of waiting at the gate during boarding, and checking out your fellow passengers, wondering who will be sitting next to you." OK, perhaps I'm with you so far, Planely, but the next leap from here I am not onboard with—because as I look around while boarding, I am overwhelmed with feelings of please let me seated next to none of these people.

Planely encourages you to not only contact these complete strangers in advance of your flight, but to carpool, meet for coffee at the airport, and even split a cab to your hotels, should be you staying at the same place. What person in their right mind would find this appealing, I can't fathom—all that seems certain to me is that this sounds like less of a "social flying revolution" than a "easy way to find someone to strangle you in an airplane bathroom revolution."

In their about section, Planely, which clearly has a sterling business plan drafted, claims "In the future we will help you see if there's anyone else around you already know through social networks, and all sorts of other things that we're waiting for you to tell us you want to do." If one of those "all sorts of other things" is ensuring that I am seated next to someone who has absolutely no interest in interacting with me during a stressful flight, then I will sign up. Otherwise this is just sort of creepy and frightening. [Planely via swissmiss]

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