Service Sets Up In-Flight Dating

Airtroductions.com is a dating Web site that allows singles to meet on airline flights. For $5 you can arrange to sit together and have a first date on the plane. Airtroductions.com user Julia Filz describes the service to Scott Simon.

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SCOTT SIMON, host:

Bars are crowded, loud and smoky. Blind encounters can be chancy. Who wants to meet someone at a gym where you're sweaty and groaning. Why not date on an airplane? A website called Airtroductions.com invites you to type in your flight number and shows you photos and profiles of other single people on your flight who have registered with the same service. Now, if you like a fellow passenger's looks, you can have your first meeting as soon as the pilot has turned off the "fasten your seatbelt" signs and you're free to move about the cabin.

Julia Filz uses Airtroductions.com. She's also communications director for the National Museum of Dentistry in Baltimore. She joins us from her office. Thanks very much for being with us.

Ms. JUILA FILZ (Communications Director, National Museum of Dentistry): No problem.

SIMON: How does it work?

Ms. FILZ: You type in your name and information, and if you match up either on the flight, or even if you want somebody to share a cab with you to your hotel, it offers you that opportunity.

SIMON: How is this an improvement over in this culture we think of as more traditional meeting spots and gambits?

Ms. FILZ: You know, you're going to be stuck on a plane with somebody for three, four, five, six hours, you may as well make the most of it and talk to somebody that you may have a connection with.

SIMON: Wouldn't the opposite obtain? I mean, let's say you're on a BWI to Tokyo flight, and you wind up deciding you want to meet somebody, and you sit next to them and they turn out to be a dreadful bore, a radio host or someone else who is unendurable, what happens?

Ms. FILZ: Well, hopefully, you'll have an opportunity to kind of get a feeling for somebody before you make that choice to switch over from that nice aisle seat that you had at the front of the plane, to the back of the plane in the middle just to talk to that person. But, you know, you take that risk if you are set up by a friend; you take that risk if you're on a dating website in your hometown.

SIMON: Aren't there a lot of people who fly who just want to be left alone. They want to read the paper, hold their head.

Ms. FILZ: This site also lets you have that option of, I don't want to talk to anybody. Put me next to somebody who won't talk to me either.

SIMON: That's an option?

Ms. FILZ: That is an option, not having to deal with a chatty Cathy next to you.

SIMON: How much does it cost?

Ms. FILZ: $19.95 for a month, or if you want it for a flight here or there, it's $5.00.

SIMON: How do you describe yourself on the website, if we might ask?

Ms. FILZ: Sure. I'm a 27-year old public relations professional, who is primarily interested at this point in doing business networking.

SIMON: So, may I ask what kinds of people you're communicating with in preparation for your next flight?

Ms. FILZ: Actually, an airline pilot is one person...

SIMON: This is not the pilot of the plane, I'm guessing?

Ms. FILZ: I hope not. He mentioned that he...

SIMON: I don't want you chatting up the pilot when he or she has to...

Ms. FILZ: I think the FAA may have something to say about that too.

SIMON: Are you at all worried about imposters? You know the way people can kind of adopt new personalities and just try it out on the airplane flight?

Ms. FILZ: You know what, I think it's probably one of the safest places to actually meet people, because you don't have to see these people ever again.

SIMON: Well, maybe at baggage claim. Ms. Filz, nice talking to you.

Ms. FILZ: Thank you so much.

SIMON: Julia Filz uses Airtroductions.com. And it's 22 minutes before the hour.

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