Where do I meet someone?
It’s the age old question that plagues singles across the world. Whether flirting in a bar, rubbing elbows at the office, or trying to catch the eye of the handsome barista, dating is an elusive game with a large playing field.
Dating apps such as Tinder seek to connect people in all places, making love more accessible, but there is one untapped area that is ideal for forming connections: an airplane.
Imagine boarding a Paris-bound flight — six hours of idle waiting, stale airplane food and outdated movies awaits you. Rather than pass the time with intermittent naps, new dating app AirDates turns flying time into a first date.
AirDates works by having users input their upcoming flight itineraries prior to arriving at their departure terminal. Using geolocation technology, AirDates scans the surrounding area for fellow passengers to connect with. Through the app, users can chat with fellow passengers before boarding their flight.
Up until this point, AirDates operates similarly to Tinder, but once in the air AirDates is able to operate on “Airplane Mode,” using Bluetooth and WiFi to keep the conversation going long after the plane has taken off.
Founder Michael Richard promises the launch of AirDates is less about joining the “Mile High Club” and more about forming connections with other passengers while in-transit. AirDates aims to keep the flirtation going long after the plan has landed, allowing travelers to arrive with connections upon arrival. “On a lot of dating apps, you swipe, you match, but you never really meet,” explained Richard in an interview with Mashable.
Beyond the ease of having an app help strike up conversation with the dashing traveler in 26A, Richard believes that dating in the air is likely the safest place to date. In no other dating scenario are potential suitors pre-screened by TSA before sitting down to chat.
While London-based AirDates is still in Beta, the promise of meeting people in transit is already creating waves of excitement following the app’s debut at the 2016 Disrupt London tech conference. As to whether AirDates will usher in a new era of on-the-go dating remains to be seen. Just in case, it might be wise to leave those tattered travel sweatpants and scrunchies at home next time you fly.
AirDates is currently available for iOS download and looks to be made widely available in February 2017.