Hooking up 30,000 feet in the air has been made easier with a somewhat-accidental in-flight dating app.
This week, Qantas unveiled the Boeing Dreamliner that’s being added to its fleet. And while the 787-9 comes with a bunch of fancy things like bigger seats and larger windows and fewer greenhouse emissions, there’s an unassuming feature that’s far more impressive and will revolutionize the dating world. It’s called “Seatchat.”
The function has been around on some planes for a few years now but this is the first I’ve heard of it and honestly, I don’t know why I haven’t read more feature stories about couples who’ve met on this unofficial dating app.
The feature, which appears on the tiny screen on the back of your headrest, allows you to message anyone around the plane as long as you know their seat number.
That’s the official description printed on the promotional material. In my mind, though, the description is more along the lines of: “Seatchat allows you to talk with hot strangers you’ve been eyeing since the departure lounge.”
Over the course of an 18-hour international flight, entire relationships can blossom, flourish and die before landing again.
Boy sees girl as they line up to board and he goes out of his way to see which seat girl goes to once inside the plane. Boy looks at his own seat number and whispers under his breath as he points in the air, counting the rows to the girl’s seat to figure out her coordinates. “48D,” he nods confidently.
Boy messages girl on Seatchat. Girl messages back. Lots of flirty wink faces ensue.
They relocate to the empty emergency row of seats and share a romantic dinner from the Neil Perry-designed menu before changing into something more comfortable.
In their ill-fitting grey Qantas pajamas, things progress and they retire somewhere a little more quiet and moody: the bathroom.
It seems perfect. But the relationship quickly becomes turbulent.
The boy has spotted a honey back in 57A. He begins messaging her. The girl in 48D senses something is up and she begins to spiral. She double messages him on Seatchat. He leaves her on “read.”
Looking over her shoulder, the girl in 48D sees the boy going into the bathroom with the girl from 57A.
Heartbroken, she frantically hails a flight attendant to demand one of those tiny cylinders of Pringles.
Movies will soon be based on this function and it’s only a matter of time until Sandra Bullock stars in a rom-com called “Seatchat.”
Of course, as Seatchat starts to become a regular feature on all flights, there is a downside to all this. There’s now added pressure to look good on a flight to entice attractive people and get them to message you. Plus, there’s the risk of being extremely disappointed when — as your plane touches down after a 20-hour flight — no one has messaged you at all on Seatchat. Instead, an emoji tumbleweed rolls across the screen.
It’s like when you don’t use Tinder for a week and when you finally open it again you expect there to be a gazillion messages from hotties around the town. But you’re humiliated to find there are zero matches and no new messages and your self-esteem comes crashing down like Tom Hank’s plane in “Castaway.”
I absolutely despise airports and flying but with the unexpected expansion of my potential dating pool, my under-stamped passport is about to become rather well-worn.
FYI: I’ll be in 58D.