How Can Social Media Affect Your Next Flight?

Depending on which airline(s) you fly with the answer to the  question can be quite different or desirable. Social Media is all the rage right now. As we transition from using Social Media as a novel way of informing the world of what we ate for lunch there are some really interesting trends which look set to change the way we fly. Some good some not so good. It is the case of the good the bad and the very ugly.

The Good
Less Wasted Newspaper. As I approach a decade of flying long haul one thing is certain. The number of newspapers available to business class travellers has dwindled. It is more noticeable to me now that more and more business travellers whip out iPads launch Flipboard and browse stored publications and feeds. As I write KLM announces it will allow passengers to choose seatmates based on social platform profiles like Facebook & LinkedIn in 2012. No more jostling for the WSJ or FT in fear of not getting a copy because the last one was given to the chap in 61A. Good for you good for the environment!

Mobile boarding passes  – Kevin Spacey, say no more!

The Bad
As business integrates with Social Media more the tool which makes all the devices tick and buzz along – over the air data through WiFi proliferates. In aviation the demand or need (delete as you wish), for the always on everywhere access to data is showing up as airlines opting to install inflight WiFi. VOIP over wireless networks in a confined space like the plane is not going to be  everyone’s cup of tea! As more airlines roll out WiFi  expect a greater deterioration in the quality of the atmosphere in the plane’s cabin, did I mention the radiation from the router signal at 36,000ft!

The Ugly.
Social Media accessible 24/7, everywhere may make  good business sense. The undesirable underbelly for travellers connected all the time, is more exposure to Electrosmog including ionising and non ionising radiation. All types of man-made radiation are less than desirable.  What is more dangerous is our ignorance of the problem and the reduced immunity we have to deal with it.  For business travellers this translates to increased fatigue and jet lag symptoms

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