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Socal-media start-ups bring compatible travelers together

April Thompson has sat next to some interesting people on planes. She once struck up a conversation with the pilot of Air Force One on Sept. 11, 2001. Another time, she listened to a French pastry chef talk about starting a bakery in Alabama.

Alejandro Gonzalez, USA TODAY

But there were many other instances when she sat next to someone with whom she didn’t want to spend hours talking. So last year, when she heard about Planely.com, a social travel-media website that connects fliers on the same flight or airport, she was eager to join.

“I’ve had some really great experiences on flights,” Thompson, a travel blogger, says. “I always thought it was a great opportunity to meet cool people, so I figured this tool would facilitate it and keep me from sitting next to crazy people.”

Traveling, especially by plane, has gone from glam to glum. To try to reverse the trend, social travel-media websites linking travelers around the world have popped up. Many help travelers plan trips and share their experiences.

Now, a number of start-ups, such as Planely and Satisfly, are taking the concept to another level by helping travelers meet not only online, but in person. Call it the Match.com of travel.

“It’s about real connection,” says Asaf Engel, co-founder of IMGuest, a social-networking site for business travelers staying at hotels. “It’s about being engaged. We push people to get along and meet up.”

Airlines such as Delta have already been experimenting with social media by selling tickets on Facebook. Now, some carriers are trying to tap more aggressively into customers’ social circles.  Read More

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A Revolution in Social Networking

Posted on May 28, 2012, in #social media and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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