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Despite stalled growth in China, Brazil and Russia, a wave of newly middle-class travelers from the BRICs and beyond will start visiting international destinations in the coming decades — dwarfing the numbers we’ve seen thus far.
There will be a lot of conscientious objectors among passengers who don’t want to be bothered with networking when flying, but social media fans will love the ability to keep getting social during the flight, and other airlines will follow Virgin America’s lead.
Airlines have used social media profiles to facilitate passengers choosing their seat mates before, but now Virgin America takes social media a step further and higher by launching an onboard mobile social network with Gogo using the Here On Biz iPhone app.
Users of the app can connect with other passengers using the app onboard the aircraft and discuss business ventures, evening plans or even Virgin America’s potential 2014 IPO try, among other topics.
Passengers can download the free iOS app, register using a social media profile (LinkedIn, Facebook or Twitter), and connect with other passengers using the app after logging-in at the gate or on board the aircraft.
There has been a lot of pushback by some passengers who believe accessing their social media profiles or using social networks on planes violates privacy or is going too far.
However, the Virgin America social network is an opt-in affair: Passengers obviously choose to down load the app or not.
Here on Biz is a location-aware app that alerts users when members of their social network are in the area.
Passengers at LAX can show their Here On Biz Profile for a $10 discount through July 31 for a pass to the Loft at LAX lounge. They would pay $30 for a day pass instead of the usual $40.