Nick Martin realized that airports and planes are incredibly busy scenes full of people you’ve never met. Perhaps, you’ve wondered who those people were. Maybe they have similar interests to you (e.g. music, film, sport, business, traveling, food etc)? Have you ever sat next to someone you’d have preferred not to? Ever spotted someone that you would’ve loved to be sitting next to, but couldn’t?
Martin created a solution called Planely.com, “Whenever you’re traveling by plane, tell us your flight, and we’ll connect you with other Planely Fliers who are on the same flight, or at the same departure or arrival airports as you.”
I asked Martin for some success or examples of the Planely in full throttle. “We’ve had someone write in and say that they met someone on their flight out of SFO from a notable Silicon Valley company that they’d been trying to get to for ages. A follow up meeting was booked before the landing gear hit the runway.”
For parents travelling alone with their kids, Martin told me about a mother with her 3 year-old and a small baby connected with another mother with a 3 year-old and they sat together. Not only did they feel more comfortable when the baby had a scream mid-flight, but the other children played and kept each other occupied.
“We’ve had loads of people write in and say that they used Planely to get a seat next to someone who also wanted to be left alone to sleep, read, listen to music or whatever! Big surprise for us for this scenario, but it appears ‘social’ is a relative experience; and when I pressed, I found out that most actually did have a chat at the beginning anyway (mostly about Planely which is nice!) This is probably more than they would’ve done if they hadn’t had an introduciton through us in the first place.”
The unknown excites Martin, “It’s what I’m yet to hear. These are all great stories but I hope for a much larger impact.”
Martin talked of about how great it would be to hear about really important new business deals initiated, exciting new friendships that may blossom into something more serious, amazing new experiences that would never have come about if it hadn’t been for that first contact. “Who knows? The next big thing is just round the corner and if Planely could have a small role in that, then that would be awesome!”
Martin told me that SXSW attendees are applying this new application now. “We’re supporting SXSW right now and getting some great feedback from people meeting up at 30,000ft and on the ground!”
Simply go to www.planely.com and fill your information. Who knows, you might be able to hook up with a favorite musician, top filmmaker or long lost college buddy. What is cool about this app is that you can make arrangements to sit together on the plane, have a coffee on the ground or share a cab to the festival.
Martin believes that your fellow fliers are the greatest untapped resource of knowledge and entertainment on your plane journeys. “Join the ‘social flying revolution,’ meet some new people and above all else start to enjoy flying again.”